Michal Habaj, the Ars Poetica Versopolis nominee, has recently attended the event Pasado común, compartido futuro (Joint Past, Shared Future) in Madrid and Toledo. The aim of the joint project of the Visegrad countries was to present new poetry approaches and artistic styles that emerged in Central Europe after the political events of 1989, as well as to inform the Spanish audience on the situation of poetry in the respective countries. The topics of the discussions ranged from e.g. the specifics of the national forms of the Central European poetry, conditions for writing poetry, publishing and distribution conditions, poetry sales and PR opportunities, all the way to the situation of a poet in the society. On this occasion, Michal Habaj presented his piece Letter to the Developer. Other participating poets included Petr Borkovec from the Czech Republic, Marcin Kurek from Poland, and Ferenc Szőnyi from Hungary. The event was organized by the Slovak Embassy in Madrid in cooperation with the Czech Centre in Madrid, the Polish Cultural Institute in Madrid and the Hungarian Embassy in Madrid.
In his response to Ars Poetica questions, Michal was quite vocal of his inspiring stay in Madrid and Toledo: “In both of the venues, poetry was present everywhere – that very poetry that comes into our lives and transforms the profane reality to a wonder and sacrum. There, I felt again poetry doesn’t deserve restraint… you just need to let yourself get liberated by it…”