Ars Poetica 2011

The Ars Poetica Festival will welcome the American author Catherine Bowman.

The 9th Ars Poetica International Poetry Festival is a multi-genre festival connecting contemporary poetry to other forms of art. The city of Bratislava will welcome poets from Italy, Spain, France and Great Britain.

The audiences will have a chance to see performances by poets from the USA, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany and the surrounding countries. One of this year's most notable stars is the renowned American author Catherine Bowman, a winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award in 1994, and the Irish poet Gabriel Rosenstock, an author of 13 poetry and haiku collections written predominantly in Gaelic.

Visitors will surely be surprised by the experimental poet and London-based professor Jeff Hilson, Gian Mario Villalta from Italy or the Polish poet Zbigniew Machej. Slovak poetry at the festival will be represented by Mila Haugová, Marián Milčák, Michal Habaj and Vlado Janček with his improvised performance and his virtual poetry project Generátor X.

The Ars Poetica festival starts on Thursday September 29th and lasts until October 3rd, with events taking place at the A4 Space for Contemporary Culture and the Mladosť film theatre. Apart from contemporary poets, it will host concerts of independent artists and both feature and experimental films. The off program includes lectures and round table talks which will take place at the Slovak Radio building, at the Comenius University's Faculty of Arts and at the SAV Institute of Slovak Literature.

Festival program


International Poetry Festival
September 29th – October 3rd

Bratislava / A4 Nultý priestor / Mladosť Cinema

poetry / films / concerts / lectures

Thursday 29. 9.

18.00 Sheltered area / SK / 2010 / film / Mladosť Cinema
18.00 Poetry and Science / moderator Zuzana Belková / discussion / Slovak Radio
19.00 Marcin KUREK / PL / Stefania LUBRANI / IT / Michael DONHAUSER / AT / Stefan SCHMITZER / AT / Gabriel ROSENSTOCK / IR / Antoni PAWLAK / PL / Mila HAUGOVÁ / SK / Claude FAVRE / FR / poetry evening / A4
20.00 Howl / USA / 2010 / film / Mladosť Cinema
21.30 Towary Zastępcze / PL / concert / A4

Friday 30. 9.

18.00 Česká RAPublika / CZ / 2009 / film / Mladosť Cinema
19.00 Marián MILČÁK / SK / Márió Z. NEMES / HU / Daniela SEEL / DE / Tristan MARQUARDT / SUI / Vlado JANČEK / SK / Chus PATO / ESP / Michal HABAJ / SK / Zbigniew MACHEJ / PL / Jeff HILSON / GB / poetry evening / A4
20.00 Mr. Nobody / BEL / FR / CAN / DE / 2009 / film / Mladosť Cinema
21.30 Tu v dome / SK / concert / A4

Saturday 1.10.

18.00 The Doors – When You're Strange / USA / 2010 / film / Mladosť Cinema
19.00 Dániel VARRÓ / HU / Tamás JÓNÁS / HU / Gian Mario VILLALTA / IT / Catherine BOWMAN / USA / Ana GORRÍA / ESP / Tom SCHULZ / DE / Generator X / SK / poetry evening / A4
20.00 Loong Boonmee Raluek Chat / THAI / GB / FR / DE / ESP / 2010 / film / Mladosť Cinema
21.30 Abusus / SK / concert / A4

Sunday 2. 10.

18.00 Prague – The Restless Heart of Europe / CZ / 1984 / film / Mladosť Cinema
18.00 Lahola / ISR / 2001 / film / A4
19.00 Anna Akhmatova / RU / USA / 2008 / film / A4
20.00 Prague 5 / CZ / 1988 / film / Mladosť Cinema
21.00 Desire / Touha / ČSSR / 1958 / film / A4

Monday 3. 10.

11.00 Jiří Trávníček / Central European Novel – Does Something Like This Exist? / lecture / USlL SAV
12.30 Jeff Hilson / Comic Moments in British Poetry / lecture / FF UK / Room M236

Poetry reading Lucia Rózsa Hurajová & Marek Majeský

VJ Zden Hlinka
Poetry evenings moderator Martin Solotruk

Another information



Tu v dome / PL / concert

The group was established in 1991. It explores the unexplored corners of acoustic music, unburdened by the conventions of genres while not giving up on the form of song. It makes songs using the poems of Slovak (Krasko) or world classics (Seifert, Morgenstern) as lyrics. The band also likes folks songs and poems, treating them not with piety, but with an effort, trying to reintroduce them in a new context.

The band: Ďurko – guitar, keyboards, mandolin, vocals, Šútovec – banjo, banjitar, mandolin, Mišo Šulek – contrabass, vocals, Ozo - percussions (ex-members: Mrázko – percussions, percussions, Burger – contrabass, vocals) Albums: Naposledy (The Last Time, 1994/1996), Nechoď proti noci (Don't Go into the Night, 2003), Neskorý zber (Late Harvest, 2008)


Towary Zastępcze / PL / koncert

The music band from "The three towns" (Gdańsk-Gdynia-Sopot) counts members P. Czerski, S. Draczyński, B. Kossakowski, J. Marciszewski, M. Piotrowski, and K. Świątek. Their first album Quiet days (2006) was a consequent implementation of the idea of using specific poetic convention. A variety of genres, but also melancholy, which is characteristic of their music, is complemented by depressive lyrics. The album Down Town OST represents fun shifted even further by convention : a classic story of black crime novels becomes the base of further plot layers ; what was imagination becomes a kind of reality; what is an appearance suddenly starts existing in the real world; what exists in the real world is heading towards becoming imagination.


Abusus / concert / SVK

Koncert hudobníka menom Branislav Jobus, ktorého baví všetko okolo. Abusus je jeho najmladšia kapela, ktorá vznikla v roku 2005 v momente, keď začal abstinovať a prestal si sám sebe hádzať polená pod nohy na ceste nie len za umením.



Anna Achmatovová / RU / USA / film

Anna Akhmatova / director: Helga Landauer / Russia / USA / 2008 / 105 min.

Fate granted Anna Akhmatova immense poetic talent, beauty, fame and a brilliant generation. Then came the executions of her loved ones, hunger, wars, revolutions, Soviet terror, isolation, betrayal. Yet Akhmatova emerges victorious, armed with mere words of poetry that-too dangerous to commit to paper-had to be memorized to be preserved. A Film follows this story reminiscent of an antique tragedy. Its participants, aside from the heroine, include Apollo and the muses, Dido and Aeneas from her beloved record of Purcell, Amedeo Modigliani, witches and visitors, statues and sovereigns, portraits and artists, armies and gardens, Paris and Leningrad, the storyteller and eternal chorus of milling crowds. The poet Anatoly Naiman, talks about Anna Akhmatova he knew and travels to the places she has left.


Česká RAPublika / CZ / film

The Czech RAPublic / directed by: Pavel Abrahám / 2009 / 87 min.

The first feature film about Czech Rap music. Orion, James Cole and Hugo Toxxx on the stage but, even more visibly, off it. Three prominent Czech Rappers, ten songs, ten vivid film situations. And in them, the articulate female professor of linguistics, cheeky children from the Gipsy ghetto in Karvina, the harsh female civil registry officer, primary school pupils in the Južné mesto (Southern Town) of Prague, the saviour of the Czech language Josef Jungmann himself or „daredevil" Hana Hegerová. Hip-Hop breaks free from the narrow sub-cultural ghetto and explodes in the big world. Orion explains to the linguist what „charáč" is. DJ jams with the chamber trio, James Cole declares before the registry officer his love for the Twelve Monkeys movie and Hugo Toxxx explains to the Radio Express listeners that Czechs are, so to speak, Metal lovers at heart. Citizens of the Czech RAPublic and Republic find themselves together and attempt at a joint „freestyle".


Chránené územie / Sheltered Area / SVK / film

Sheltered area / directed by: Adam Hanuljak / 2010 / 84 min.

Actors and actresses from Theatre from the Passage are living their dreams and love it. They were offered an opportunity to step out of anonymity of institutions for mentally disabled. The documentary captures a three-week dream tour of the theatre around the U.S. The journey of this unusual ensemble poses numerous traps and obstacles which it has to overcome and the best way to do so is improvisation, detachment, patience and, above all, the enormous effort of all members of the troupe. The other dimension of the film is the theme of the play in which each actor is enacting his/her own idea of the protected and unprotected worlds and borderlines between them.


Lahola / ISR / film

Lahola / directed by: Dalia Karpel / 2001 / 57 min.

The legendary film which was discussed by many, but seen by few. In Slovakia, Lahola is recognized as a playwright and short story writer, but he was also a poet, script writer and director who made his films in Israel, France, Germany and former Yugoslavia. As a director, he participated in the wave of spaghetti western movies and was also to take on directing Old Shatterhand starring Lex Barker. Lahola (Leopold Arje Friedmann) was born in Prešov in 1918. For racial reasons, he was banned to complete his studies at the Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava. He found himself in the Novaky concentration camp and fought in the Slovak National Uprising. After WW II, he wrote drama. He applied for a permission to settle in Israel, but later left for Germany, working as a screenwriter and director. In the mid 1960s he returned to Slovakia where he unexpectedly died in 1968 while shooting his film, The Sweet Time.


Mr. Nobody / BEL / FR / CAN / DE / film

Mr. Nobody / directed by: Jaco Van Dormael / 2009 / 137 min.

In 2092, Mars is a holiday resort and Nemo Nobody lives his everyday life with his wife and their three children. Mr. Nobody is a 117-year old man, the oldest human being in the world and the last mortal in the world in times when, thanks to science, nobody has to die anymore. Nemo is reminiscing on his three lives he probably spent with three different women... Dormael creates beautiful images, making an ingenious use of assorted visual effects, underpinning the atmosphere with old hit melodies appearing repeatedly in the film in the same way as other motifs are. There are three main and a number of auxiliary realities intertwining, the orientation is made easier by the characters' hairdos and colours – each of the Nemo's femmes fatales sports a different one.


Prague – The Restless Heart of Europe / CZ / film

Prague – The Restless Heart of Europe / directed by: Věra Chytilová / 1984 / 59 min.

The artistic documentary was commissioned by RAI to become one part of the Cultural Centres of Europe series. In the strictly personal film, Prague became a mere springboard "element". The city is a concentrated "stage" set for the crisis of history and individual. In the fast fly-by, the individual components always appear for only a split second, either in motion or otherwise deformed, only to disappear, continuously carried away in a wild torrent of the observer's vision, losing their otherwise unchanging moorings. The commentary is interspersed with extracts from Sapho, Kosma, Charles IV., extracts from songs and choruses... J. Malíř's camera perfectly reflects the rhythm, cut, and colour – a wild maelstrom of metaphors.


Prague 5 / CZ / film

Prague 5 / directed by: Tomáš Vorel /1988 / 97 min.

The debuting director who made a big splash with his early amateur and later student films created in collaboration with Prague amateur theatres with their typical dramatic gestures an outwardly disparate patchwork flamboyancy: an intellectual theatre accentuating action scenography (Merrygoround), dance show in an abstract Post-modern bloc (Seizure), pantomime grotesque parodying family adventure and educational trips (Mimosa), ironical morality in verses (Forward), or a garish satire slamming films made in the 1950s (Cellar).


Loong Boonmee Raluek Chat / THAI / GB / FR / DE / ESP / film

Loong Boonmee Rauek Chat / directed by: Apichatpong Weerasethakul / 2010 / 114 min.

Imagine that one day the ghost of the greatest love of your life appears before your eyes and your son returns home in the form of a weird feral creature... Welcome to the world of uncle Boonmee, where the present time is not the only reality and the past lives want to call shots again. The film is full of fantasy, humour and emotions; it draws on the enchanting natural scenery, Thai horror production of the 1970s, as well as comic strips. It won Palme d'Or at the 2010 Cannes Film festival.


The Doors – When You're Strange / USA / film

The Doors – When You're Strange / directed by: Tom DiCillo / 2010 / 86 min.

The rockumentary about The Doors rock band was written and directed by Tom DiCillo and the commentary is read by Johnny Depp. The authors present heretofore unseen shots of the famous four-member rock band. The film is based on shots made between 1966 and 1971, and covers the bands history from its formation to Jim Morrison's death. The documentary shows us what The Doors had been and what they have become. DiCillo peeps into the world of fame, drugs and alcohol associated with the band. At the same time, he focuses on the band's commitment to Rock music. In addition to Jim Morrison's pranks, it is also the story of Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmor – musicians, whose emphasis on artistic freedom and rejection of compromises inspired many young generations.


Desire / ČSSR / film

Desire / directed by: Vojtěch Jasný / CSSR / 1958 / 90 min.

About a boy who was looking for the end of the world. It is springtime and little Joska with his friends is looking for the end of the world. He is curiously observing the miracles of nature and waits for his father to bring his mother home with a newly born sister. Although he imagined his sister differently, he welcomes his mother with a bunch of primulas.

People on the Earth, stars in the sky. In a hot summer, Lenka, who is very young, meets Jan who is thirty. Jan had already seen a fair share of disappointments, but Lenka believes that life would give her anything she wished for.

Andela. Aging Andela is alone and works at a farm. It is only during harvest that she is helped by Michal who wants to marry her. Ailing Andela winds up in hospital. Weakened, she returns home but would not change her attitude.

Mum. Sixty-year old teacher Hynkova lives alone in a large family house. Her sons have their own lives and rarely visit their mother. Their mother falls ill and dies. After the funeral service, her sons are wandering around their family winter garden and reminisce about their youth.


Howl / USA / film

Howl / directed by: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman / 2010 / 90 min.

It is San Francisco in 1957 and the poem Howl is put on trial. The film recounts the momentous days using three interwoven threads: the tumultuous life of Allen Ginsberg who tried to find his true expression as an artist, society's reaction to the "obscenity" trial and hallucinatory animation evoking the surprising originality of the legendary literary masterpiece. All three levels coalesce in hybrid, brilliantly capturing a key moment – the birth of alternative culture.



Jeff Hilson / Comic Moments in British Poetry / GB / lecture

Monday 3 / 10 / 2011 / 12.30 / FiF UK Gondova 2 / G236


Poetry & Science / SK / moderator Zuzana Belková

Thursday / 29 / 9 / 2011 / 18.00 / discussion / Slovak Radio

A discussion about the inspiring conjunction of two seemingly contradictory disciplines – poetry and science moderated by Zuzana Belková, dramaturge and editor of the Slovak Radio in Bratislava who focuses on shows dealing with literature and art. Her guests will include the poet Ján Buzássy; IT Prof. Jozef Kelemen; mathematician Prof. Pavol Zlatoš, and the poet Ivan Štrpka.


Jiří Trávníček / Central European Novel – Does Something Like This Exist? / CZ / lecture

Monday 3 / 10 / 2011 / 11.00 / Institute for Slovak Literature, Slovak Academy of Sciences / Konventná Street 13

Jiří Trávníček (1960), literary theoretician, historian, critic and editor, university teacher and a professor of literature. He studied Czech literature and history at the Faculty of Arts University of J. E. Purkyně (today's Masaryk University) in Brno. He works at the Institute of Czech Literature of the Academy of Sciences in Brno and lectures at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague. He publishes theoretical studies on interpretation, follows Czech poetry – Poezie poslední možnosti (Poetry of the Last Possibility, 1996); Na tvrdém loži z psího vína (On the Hard Bed Made of Dog Wine, 1998, together with Z. Kožmín), reflects on the changes of the Czech and the world novel (Příběh je mrtev? – Is Story Dead? 2003). He has edited the collection of selected works from the poetic legacy of Jan Zábrana and of the collected publications by Ivan Jelínek. What is considered a probe into cognitive narratology is the work Vyprávěj mi něco... Jak si děti osvojují příběhy (Tell Me a Story... How Children Learn Stories, 2007). He performs extensive research into reading habits and readers in the Czech environment, the first results of which were presented in the publication titled Čteme? Obyvatelé České republiky a jejich vztah ke knize (Do We Read? The Inhabitants of the Czech Republic and Their Relation to Books, 2008).