Days of Poetry and Wine is an international festival of poetry and other artistic forms like music, theatre and fine arts, which was founded in 1996 by Beletrina Academic Press and has hosted more than 400 internationally renowned poets and young emerging authors ever since. Their poetry has been translated into Slovenian and published in bilingual chapbooks as well as on the festival webpage www.versoteque.com which has become a relevant and substantial source of poetry translations. Festival events take place at several different locations throughout Slovenia, Austria and Croatia, but the center of the festival is Ptuj, a charming medieval town in Eastern Slovenia, which hosts more than 60 events every Summer, last week of August, and greatly supports the relaxed atmosphere of the festival. Days of Poetry and Wine have become an important reference for guest poets and a beloved destination for all poetry-lovers and professionals, not only from Slovenia, but from wider region.
Guest poets are selected by two selectors: one Slovenian and one foreign expert in the field of poetry. Three guests of honour receive special attention and additional events are organized: round tables and exhibitions regarding their poetry, which is translated into Slovenian and published in bilingual poetry collections in renowned Beletrina edition before the festival.
Every edition of the festival is dedicated to specific national poetry: so far there have been Chinese, Japanese, French and Swedish focusess, while the focus of 2015 will be Dutch and Flemish poetry. The focus includes a four-day translation workshop with five poets from selected country and five poets from Slovenia, assisted by professional translators, translating each others poetry which is then presented at several poetry readings and discussions as well as published in form of a brochure. Festival organizers detect increased interest in poetries in focus after every festival – in the media and among readers, which is a good basis for building further bridges between different languages and cultures.
Main festival events all take place at Ptuj, which becomes a capital of poetry for a few days every year: street art installations, posters, flags with poetry and coffee pads with verses in every coffee shop in town all create a special atmosphere. Since the town is very small poets, artists, journalists, visitors and organizers of the festival all meet and interact on daily basis. The main festival venue lies in the heart of the oldtown and hosts great poetry readings and concerts of best musical groups from the region. Throughout the day there are exhibitions, private readings, wine tastings, street theatre shows, children's program.