/ Croatia18 – 22 March 2016
The “Goran's Spring” is the oldest and most prestigious poetry manifestation in Croatia, established back in 1963, in memory of the young Croatian poet and partisan Ivan Goran Kovačić who died in 1943, in the midst of World War II.
The teachers from the primary school “Ivan Goran Kovačić”, in the village Severin na Kupi – the most prominent among them being Marijan Lang and Josip Krajač – were the initial founders of the “Goran's days”, a cultural manifestation which was surprisingly well accepted by the local community.
The “Goran’s days”, later called the “Goran’s Spring Lukovdol,” intensified their collaboration with the “Goran’s Spring” from Zagreb, which was established as a part of the Student Cultural and Artistic Association (SCAA) “Ivan Goran Kovačić” in 1964. The conceptual basis of the manifestation was formed by: Seka Becić, Ante Bekić, Mladen Božović, Marko Damjanović, Vojo Šiljak, Ante Pešut, Muradif Kulenović, Marko Lehpamer, Momir Lukšić, in close collaboration with writers Dobriša Cesarić, Jure Kaštelan, Dragutin Tadijanović, Drago Ivanišević, Vesna Parun and actors Marija Crnobori, Zlatko Crnković, Fabijan Šovagović and Sven Lasta.
A wider circle of people consisting of poets, reciters and artists of all kinds, quickly became involved in the activities of the “Goran’s Spring,” and over the years, this event has become one of the most important cultural events that brings together all generations. Soon enough, the “Goran’s Spring” became an international literary festival which hosts world renowned poets who read their poems, mingle with the audience and learn about with the literary legacy of Ivan Goran Kovačić, the anti-fascist fighter and poet.
Considering the development and the undisputable value of this manifestation, the organizers took a step further by establishing an award in 1971 under the name of “Goran’s Wreath” awarded for the complete poetic oeuvre. The award is given at the manifestation and it has been received by the most prominent Yugoslav and Croatian poets. The award is the most distinguished guarantee of poetic quality in the Croatian context, and in addition to the monetary grant, it consists of a sculpture designed by a great modern sculptor, Vojin Bakić.
Over the years, the “Goran’s Spring” increased in its size and significance, and thus, in 1977, the award “Goran” was established, which has been awarded ever since to young poets up to 30 years of age without a previously published book. This award is a kind of an entry-ticket into the world of poetry – the award-winning poets get their debut poetry books published, and many of the winners today are distinguished names of Croatian poetry.
Even during the Yugoslav wars, the “Goran’s Spring” managed to endure and maintain its status as the most prestigious poetry event. In time, it developed into an international poetry festival which hosts around thirty, mostly European, poets each spring. The “Goran’s Spring” collaborates on a regular basis with similar manifestations from other countries. Since the onset of this collaboration in 2003, bilingual collections of poems have been published on the basis of mutual exchange and foreign poets have been hosted by the festival.
Nowadays, apart from its tradition and rich heritage, the “Goran’s Spring” symbolizes and preserves the very best when it comes to the poetic word – the right to freely write and read, to freely work and cooperate with the whole world. Notwithstanding the poetic and generational differences, at every “Goran’s Spring” , thirty poets come together and travel around Croatia performing in various cities and in front of different audiences.
Members of the Programme Board of the Goran's Spring are:
Ivica Prtenjača, the President