Foreign guests at Vilenica 2018 

Yuri Andrukhovych, Ukraine

Yuri Andrukhovych: Photo © Yana Stefanyshyn

Yuri Andrukhovych was born in 1960 in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. He studied at the Ukrainian Printing Academy (1977–1982) and at the Moscow Literary Institute (1989–1991). In 1985, he founded the literary performance group Bu-Ba-Bu (Burlesk – Balahan – Bufonada, i.e. Burlesque–Bluster–Buffoonery). He has published five poetry collections, six novels, and four books of essays. The newest novel, published in 2018, bears the title Darlings of Justice. His oeuvre has been recognized with sixprestigiousinternationalliteraryawards, in 2017, also the Vilenica Prize.


Clare Azzopardi, Malta

Clare Azzopardi: Photo © Giola Cassar

Clare Azzopardi (1977) is an award-winning writer who writes for both children and adults. She lectures in Maltese Literature at the University of Malta Junior College. Many of her works have been translated into different languages, and in 2015 she was selected as one of the Ten New Voices from Europe.


Petre Barbu, Romania

Petre Barbu: Photo © privat archive

Petre Barbu was born in 1962 in Galaţi. He writes short stories, novelettes, novels, and plays, while in everyday life he is the editor-in-chief of Forbes România. In 2003, his play Tatăl nostru care eşti în supermarket (Our Father Who Art in Supermarket) received the UNITER Award for the best theatre drama of the year, presented by the Theatre Union of Romania. Barbu is not fond of talking about his work and prefers to let it speak for itself.


Norbert Bugeja, Malta 

Norbert Bugeja: Photo © Institute for Mediterranean Studies, BUFS

Norbert Bugeja (1980) is the author of two poetry collections, Bliet (Cities, 2009) and Nartici (Narthex, 2016). His work has been published in several anthologies internationally and in Malta. He is Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Studies at the Mediterranean Institute, University of Malta, and has lectured at the Universities of Warwick (UK), Kent (UK), and Malta.


Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Ireland

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne: Photo © Hazel Coonagh

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne (1954) obtained a PhD in Irish folklore at the University College Dublin. Her opus includes novels, short stories, plays, children’s literature, and academic works. She writes both in English and Irish and she experiments with different genres. A recognizable feature of her writing is her nterweaving folklore and myths into stories with contemporary themes. She is one of the leading Irish authors; she was awarded the Irish Pen Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature and Hennessy Hall of Fame Award for Lifetime Achievement. 


Wioletta Grzegorzewska, Poland, Great Britain

Wioletta Grzegorzewska: Photo © Joanna Sidorowicz

Wioletta Grzegorzewska (1974) was born in Poland, but has been living in Great Britain since 2006. She writes poetry and prose, her most famous work being the autobiographical novel Guguły (Swallowing Mercury, 2014), which came out in English translation in 2017 and was nominated for the Man Booker International Prize among others. The story is told through the eyes of a little girl named Wiola growing up in the Polish countryside during communist times when life was marked by state restrictions on the one hand and by the superstitions and Christian beliefs on the other.


Brian Henry, USA

Brian Henry: Photo © Susan Worsham

Brian Henry (1972) lives in Virginia, where he teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of Richmond. He is the author of ten poetry collections, the latest being Static & Snow (2015). He is a great connoisseur and promotor of Slovene poetry in the US and in Great Britain. He has translated collections by Tomaž Šalamun, Aleš Debeljak, and Aleš Šteger to English, and has received Best Literary Translation into English Award from AATSEL for translating Šteger’s The Book of Things (Knjiga reči, 2010).


Shota Iatashvili, Georgia

Shota Iatashvili: Photo © Maka Gogaladze

Shota Iatashvili (1966) is one of the most important Georgian literary authors. He writes poetry, prose, essays, literary criticism, and translates as well. Twice he received the most important Georgian literary prize – the SABA: in 2007 for the best poetry collection (სანამ დროა (Until it’s Time)) and in 2011 for the best collection of literary criticism (დალაგება (Tidying Up)). He is the editor of the biggest Georgian literary magazine ახალი საუნჯე (New Treasure). His works have been translated into most European languages as well as into Chinese. 


Noémi Kiss, Hungary

Noémi Kiss: Photo © Nóra Halász Budapester Zeitung

Noémi Kiss was born in 1974 in the town of Gödöllő and belongs to the top-level literary voices of her generation. In her work, she uncompromisingly addresses topics that are rarely talked about in public, for example, the social construction of gender, the unpleasant sides of motherhood, domestic violence, etc. Kiss, who is lecturer in creative writing and in contemporary literature at the University of Miskolc, is the author of many works of fiction, the latest being the novel Sovány angyalok (Thin Angels, 2015) and the short story collection Ikeranya (Mother of Twins, 2013).


Uršul’a Kovalyk, Slovaška

Uršuľa Kovalyk: Photo © osebni arhiv

Uršuľa Kovalyk (1969) lives in Bratislava. A writer, a social worker by profession and a feminist by conviction, she mentors drama therapy for the homeless people, addicts, and the handicapped. She has published several plays, two short story collections, and two novels. This year her short story collection Čisté zviera (Pure Animal) will be published. The focus of her literary interest are women, their position in the modern patriarchal society, she problematizes roles and norms assigned to women, as well as women’s sexuality, so her works are often a source for discussions.


Andriy Lyubka, Ukraina

Andriy Lyubka: Photo © Andrij Dejvis

Andriy Lyubka (1987), poet, writer, essayist, and translator, lives in Uzhgorod. He graduated from Mukachevo Military School and then studied Ukrainian philology at Uzhgorod University and Balkan studies at the University of Warsaw. His most well-known work, also abroad, is the novel Карбід (Karbid, 2015), about contemporary Ukrainian smugglers. He is the recipient of many awards and literary scholarships (CEI Fellowship). Lyubka is very politically engaged (Orange Revolution, Euromaidan) and is striving to bring Ukraine closer to Europe.


Immanuel Mifsud, Malta 

Immanuel Mifsud: Photo © Jana Novomeska

Immanuel Mifsud (1967) lectures in Maltese Literature at the University of Malta. He has published a many prose works and much poetry as well as books for children. He also composed a collection of original lullabies in the Maltese language. His oeuvre has been recognised with major domestic and international literary prizes, including the 2011 European Union Prize for Literature. Many of his works have been translated into different languages, including into Slovenian (the poetry collection A Handful of Leaves (2013) and the novel Jutta Heim (2014)).


Karin Peschka, Avstrija

Karin Peschka: Photo © Dominique Hammer

Karin Peschka (1967) lives in Vienna. After studying at the Academy of Social Work in Linz, she, among other undertakings, worked with alcoholics and unemployed youth and wrote various columns. Her first novel, Watschenmann (Scapegoat), was published in 2014 and was awarded several Austrian literary prizes. She has also gained the attention of readers and critics with her last two novels, FanniPold (2016) and Autolyse Wien (Vienna’s Autolysis). The latter received the audience award at the literary competition for the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize and was nominated for the Austrian Book Prize. 


Stuart Ross, Canada

Stuart Ross: Photo © privat archive

Stuart Ross (1959) is a writer, poet, essayist, editor, and professor of creative writing living in Cobourg (Ontario). He has been active in the Canadian literary scene since the 1970s, and has published 20 works to date, the latest being a novel in prose poems Pockets (2017) and the poetry collection A Sparrow Came Down Resplendent (2016), for which he received the Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry in 2017. Ross established the publishing house Proper Tales Press and is a big promotor of the alternative publishing scene and of small presses.


Loranne Vella, Malta

Loranne Vella: Photo © Sephora Gauci

Loranne Vella (1972) is a writer, translator and a performer. She is the author of two novels – namely, MagnaTM Mater  and Rokit–and several short stories. She also co-wrote the young adult fantasy novel The Fiddien Trilogy and has translated several books for children into Maltese. For her work she has received several Maltese literary awards. She lives in Brussels.