World’s most prestigious, oldest and continuously running poetry festival, the Struga Poetry Evenings, has invited poet Sonnet Mondal to represent India in its 61st edition. The festival will be held primarily in the city of Struga, with other events in Skopje and Ohrid from August 24th to August 29th, 2022.
The festival began in 1961 in Struga, then People's Republic of Macedonia with Macedonian poets only, while in 1966 it turned into an international cultural festival. The prestige of this festival can be understood from the fact that the literary figures honored here later also became Nobel Prize winners. This high-profile list includes stalwarts such as Pablo Neruda, Joseph Brodsky, and Eugenio Montale.
This festival also has a special connection with India dating back decades. Sachchidanand Hiranand Vatsyayan Agyey, a pioneer of Hindi literature, has also been honored with the Golden Wreath Award of the festival.
Earlier this year, Sonnet Mondal’s latest book of poetry, ‘An Afternoon in My Mind', was released by Copper Coin Publishing, New Delhi. "I will be reading poems from my latest collection at this festival," Mondal said.
Prior to this, in 2016, he led the Indian delegation to the Ars Poetica Festival in Slovakia and to the Lviv International Book Fair and Literature Festival in Ukraine in 2019. He also represented India in the 10th-anniversary edition of the Istanbul International Poetry and Literature Festival in 2018 and has read at several international literary festivals including Cork International Poetry Festival, Ireland, Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka, and Berlin International Poetry Festival Germany among others.
During the course of this festival, Sonnet’s poems will be translated into Macedonian and presented alongside his readings in English.