Struga Poetry Evenings

Struga Poetry Evenings (SPE) (Macedonian: Струшки вечери на поезијата, СВП; tr. Struški večeri na poezijata, SVP) is an international poetry festival held annually in Struga, North Macedonia. During the several decades of its existence, the Festival has awarded its most prestigious award, the Golden Wreath, to some of the most notable international poets, including: Mahmoud Darwish, Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayan Agyey, W. H. Auden, Joseph Brodsky, Allen Ginsberg, Bulat Okudzhava, Pablo Neruda, Eugenio Montale, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Artur Lundkvist, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Nichita Stănescu, Ted Hughes, Ko Un, Adunis, Makoto Ooka, Miroslav Krleža, Yehuda Amichai, Seamus Heaney, Tomas Gösta Tranströmer, Bei Dao, Amir Or and domestic authors such as Blaže Koneski and Mateja Matevski.

Golden Wreath Awards
Златен венец.svg
Country North Macedonia
Presented byStruga Poetry Evenings
First awarded1966
Last awardedpresent


Office of Struga Poetry Evenings in Struga, Republic of North Macedonia
Andrey Voznesensky's memorial board in the Park of Poetry in Struga
Yiannis Ritsos's memorial board
Rafael Alberti's memorial board
Hans Magnus Enzensberger's memorial board

The festival began in 1961 in Struga, then People's Republic of Macedonia with Macedonian poets only, while in 1963 it expanded its list of participants with poets from all around the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.[1][2] The Miladinov Brothers Award was established for the best poetry book published between two consecutive festivals. By 1966 the event turned into an international cultural festival. The Golden Wreath international award was established in the same year and its first recipient was Robert Rozhdestvensky. In 2003, in close cooperation with UNESCO, the Festival established another international award called The Bridges of Struga, for a best debut poetry book by a young author. During its long successful existence, the festival has hosted about 4,000 poets, translators, essayists and literary critics from about 95 countries of the world.

The festival has awarded some of the world's most eminent literary figures, including several Nobel Prize for Literature winners such as Joseph Brodsky, Eugenio Montale, Pablo Neruda and Seamus Heaney, the first African member of the French Academy Léopold Sédar Senghor who was also a President of Senegal, the official royal Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, W. H. Auden who is regarded by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century and many others.

A point of interest is that the festival often awarded foreign poets who were considered dissidents in their countries, including for example the Russian exiled poet Joseph Brodsky, the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, the American beatnik Allen Ginsberg, the Soviet bard Bulat Okudzhava and many others.

In memory of the laureates, the Park of Poetry featuring memorial boards dedicated to each of them was established near the Struga Cultural Center.


The festival has offices in Struga and in Skopje (an office director, an executive and a technical secretary) and is organized by a Festival Board, which consists of knowledgeable professionals in the field of poetry (poets, literary critics, translators, and professors in comparative literature and culture).[citation needed]


The festival consists of several events held at different locations:[citation needed]

  • Opening ceremony on the plateau in front of the Cultural Centre in Struga including a traditional reading of Taga za Jug (Macedonian language: Т’га за југ, A Longing for The South),[3] the famous nostalgic lyrical poem written by the Struga-born poet Konstantin Miladinov during his life in Imperial Russia.
  • Meridijani (Меридијани, Meridians) a poetry reading by various international poets in the Cultural Centre following the opening ceremony.
  • Portret na Laureatot (Портрет на Лауреатот, Portrait of the Lauerate) an event devoted to the year's main award recipient traditionally held in the church of St. Sofia in the nearby city of Ohrid usually accompanied by classical music, opera or domestic or foreign ethnic music performance.
  • Noći bez interpukcija (Ноќи без интерпукција, Nights without Punctuation) multimedia artistic events featuring experimental forms of poetic presentations, which can also include other arts like music and video art.
  • Daily poetry picnic at Sveti Naum springs near the Ohrid Lake including Ethnic Macedonian music and dances.
  • Mostovi (Мостови, Bridges) the closing ceremony held at the Bridge of Poetry on the river Drim in Struga including poetry readings and the awarding ceremony.

Other events include workshops, round-table discussions on various social topics and their influence on poetry, etc.

Another event in the so-called Caravan of Poetry, which consists of poetry performances around the country. Usually, after the end of the Festival, the Festival also organizes poetry readings in the national capital, Skopje.


  • Zlaten Venec na Poezijata (Златен Венец на Поезијата, Golden Wreath of Poetry), the main international award given to a world-renowned living poet for life achievement in the field of poetry. The recipient's name is publicized usually several months in advance.
  • Brakja Miladinovci (Браќа Миладиновци, Miladinov Brothers Award) for a best book published between two festivals.
  • The Bridges of Struga, for a best debuting author.
  • Iselenička gramota, for poets from the Macedonian diaspora.

Golden Wreath laureatesEdit

Bridges of Struga laureatesEdit


The Struga Poetry Evenings organization is also involved in book publishing.

Poetry anthologiesEdit

  • 1971 Contemporary Italian Poetry
  • 1972 Contemporary Soviet Poetry
  • 1972 Anthology of Romanian Poetry
  • 1973 Contemporary Polish Poetry
  • 1974 Contemporary Chilean Poetry
  • 1976 Finnish Poetry
  • 1977 Contemporary Algerian Poetry
  • 1978 Contemporary Palestinian Poetry
  • 1978 German Poetry of the 20th Century
  • 1979 Modern American Poetry
  • 1980 New Hungarian Poetry;
  • 1980 Contemporary Indian Poetry
  • 1981 Contemporary Greek Poetry
  • 1982 Austrian Poetry of the 20th Century
  • 1983 Contemporary Venezuelan Poetry;
  • 1983 Contemporary Poetry of Czechoslovakia
  • 1984 Contemporary Egyptian Poetry
  • 1985 New Chinese Poetry
  • 1987 Contemporary Australian Poetry
  • 1988 Contemporary Swedish Poetry
  • 1989 Contemporary Belgian Poetry
  • 1990 Contemporary British Poetry
  • 1991 Contemporary Swiss Poetry
  • 1992 Contemporary Poetry of Luxembourg
  • 1993 Contemporary Italian Poetry
  • 1994 Contemporary German Poetry
  • 1995 Contemporary Danish Poetry
  • 1996 Contemporary Albanian Poetry
  • 1997 Contemporary Korean Poetry
  • 1998 Spanish Poetry of the 20th Century
  • 1999 Contemporary Bulgarian Poetry
  • 2000 Contemporary Russian Poetry
  • 2001 Contemporary Portuguese Poetry
  • 2002 Contemporary Tunisian Poetry
  • 2003 Contemporary Indian Poetry written in English
  • 2004 Contemporary Dutch Poetry
  • 2005 Contemporary Israeli Poetry
  • 2006 Contemporary Caribbean Poetry
  • 2007 Contemporary Turkish Poetry
  • 2008 Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry
  • 2009 Contemporary Norwegian Poetry
  • 2010 Contemporary Azerbaijan Poetry
  • 2011 Poetry from Slavic countries
  • 2012 Contemporary Mongolian Poetry
  • 2013 Contemporary Slovenian Poetry


  1. ^ History, Struga Poetry Evenings, People's Republic of Macedonia.
  2. ^ Ljubica Jančeva; Aleksandar Litovski (2017). "Makedonija i Makedonci u Jugoslaviji: uspostavljanje sopstvenog identiteta" [Macedonia and Macedonians in Yugoslavia: Establishing Their Own Identity]. In Latinka Perović; Drago Roksandić; Mitja Velikonja; Wolfgang Hoepken; Florian Bieber (eds.). Jugoslavija u istorijskoj perspektivi [Yugoslavia in Historical Perspective]. Helsinki Federation for Human Rights Serbia. pp. 149–171. ISBN 978-86-7208-207-4.
  3. ^ Greene, Roland; Cushman, Stephen, eds. (2016). The Princeton Handbook of World Poetries. Princeton University Press. p. 379. ISBN 9780691170510.
  4. ^ "Struga | Online Betting Malaysia Legal".
  5. ^ "Ko Un is the winner of the "Golden Wreath" 2014". Struga Poetry Evenings. 21 February 2014. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Chinese poet Bei Dao is the winner of the "Golden Wreath" 2015". Struga Poetry Evenings. 20 March 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Margaret Atwood is laureate of the "Golden Wreath" Award for 2016". Struga Poetry Evenings. 21 March 2016. Archived from the original on 5 April 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2016.

External linksEdit