Ana Svetel

Slovenia

Ana Svetel (Maribor 1990) is a poetry and prose author, writing also essays, columns and anthropological texts. Her first book, poetry collection Lepo in prav (LUD Literatura, 2015) was shortlisted for the literary debut of the year, sold out and reprinted in 2017. It was warmly received both amongst readers and critics. Milan Vincetič described it as a »bright comet in the sky of contemporary Slovenian poetry«, while Martina Potisk pointed out that her language is »melodic, delicate and innerly freed«. Diana Pungeršič similarly recognized her »clear, unobtrusively warm and gentle poetic voice«.

At the end of 2019 she published Dobra družba, a collection of short stories, thematically framed by the phenomenon of car-sharing. The book got immediate attention and appeared on some of the annual reading recommendations.


She has published poetry, prose and essays in the major Slovenian literary and cultural magazines (Sodobnost, Literatura, Dialogi, Razpotja, Outsider, Airbeletrina, etc.) as well as on the national radio. Both her poetry (Grad oslikan balonima i kišom, 2019) and prose (Petdeset izbranih kratkih zgodb, 2019) are included in anthologies. She won the first prize at the literary competition Straniščne spletke in 2019.

As a poet she collaborated in the theatre project Nemo mesto (Glej theatre, 2014), while nine of her stories from Dobra družba have been recently adapted for the radio plays and will be broadcasted in 2020 on the national radio. Her works have been translated into English, Portuguese, Croatian and Bosnian and published in foreign literary magazines (Poezija, Observador, Ós Pressan). She has been hosted at the literary festivals both in Slovenia (Živa književnost) and abroad (Stih u regiji – Zagreb; LeV – Matosinhos). For Slovene ethnographic museum she translated a selection of contemporary Afghan poetry of Nadia Anjuman and Fereshta Nilab Sahel Noorzayi.

Educated as an ethnologist and cultural anthropologist she is a junior research fellow at the University of Ljubljana, where she is working on her PhD dissertation about the socio-cultural aspects of light, darkness and weather in Iceland. She conducted a 6-month ethnographic fieldwork in north-eastern part of the island in 2019. She is focusing also on the imaginations and perceptions of the North.

Besides, she is active in the field of contemporary storytelling. In 2018 she gained a residency within FEST (Federation for European Storytelling) at the Norwegian Storytelling Festival, in July of the same year she performed in Greece, at the Kea Storytelling festival. For the 2020 edition of the festival Pravljice danes (Ljubljana) she is preparing a solo performance 'But it’s nothing there', where she is combining the ethnographic experiences from Iceland with the artistic approaches. As one of the leaders of the Deveta dežela collective she is regularly doing storytelling for both children and adult audiences across Slovenia.