The 2016 Crystal Vilenica award announcement,
delivered by jury president Martin Dyar on behalf of his fellow judges
Les Wicks, Suzana Tratnik, Neil Astley and Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel.

The jury of this year’s Crystal Vilenica award enjoyed its work. Each of the judges has expressed that they found it a privilege and a pleasure to be engaged in the process of reading and assessing the work of the nineteen candidates.

All of the samples and excerpts conveyed originality, artistic seriousness, and a commitment to narrative and lyrical truths. In many cases these virtues were bolstered by compelling examples of social, political and ethical focus.

The decision was not easy: the judges pushed each other and listened to each other at length. However, in the end, the winner was selected on a unanimous basis.

And so, the result. For writing that left the jury with the sense of a dynamic and innately beautiful poetic voice, and for poems that moved us through a series of imaginatively-charged questions relating to the spheres of historical consequence, human intimacy, and the negotiation of loss; as well as questions with metaphysical and even spiritual tones; and, perhaps above all, for poems whose compelling national character also transmits an unmistakable universal resonance, a humanity at once borderless and fearless,
the 2016 CrYstal Vilenica award goes to Kateryna Kalytko.

Martin Dyar, September 10th  2016, Štanjel, Slovenia.


Kateryna Kalytko was born in 1982 in Vinnytsia, Ukraine. She graduated in Political Science and Journalism. She regularly publishes poetry, short stories, literary criticism and translations in Ukrainian magazines, newspapers and online. She has published six collections of poetry: Посібник зі створення світу (Manual on the Creation of the World, 1999), Сьогоднішнє завтрашнє (Today’s Tomorrow, 2002), Портретування асфальту ­(Portray­ing the Asphalt, 2004), Діалоги з Одіс­сєем (Dialogues with ­Odysseus, 2005), Сезон штормів (Season of Storms, 2013) and Катівня. Виноградник. Дім (Torture Chamber. Vineyard. Home, 2014), which was chosen as the Best Ukrainian Book of the Year in 2014. In addition to poetry, she also published a collection of prose titled М.Істерія (M(h)ysteri(a) in 2007. She is known as the initiator of Intermezzo – the first Ukrainian short story festival, which was launched last year. Kalitko is an acclaimed translator from Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, having translated works by authors such as Adisa Bašić, Nenad Veličković and Miljenko Jergović. She received the META­PHORA award in 2014 for translation of Jergović’s works. She has been the recipient of many literary fellowships, among them the Central European Initiative Fellowship for Writers in Residence in 2015.