The Centre of Poetry Named After Slovenian Poet Tomaž Šalamun Is Opened in Ljubljana

The Centre of Poetry named after an outstanding Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun is opened in Ljubljana. The Centre has a large collection of books placed on the 100-meter long shelves. The poet’s wife Metka Krašovec donated to the Centre a number of rare publications. She believes that Tomaž Šalamun himself would support this cultural institution, as he was always happy to share his works. A number of guests including the Minister of Culture of Slovenia Tone Peršak addressed the audience at the opening ceremony.

The Centre is located on the Cankarjev Street. It was opened just two years after the death of Tomaž Šalamun. The institution will operate in the premises of the Public Fund for Cultural Activities of Slovenia (JSKD). As the JSKD Director Igor Teršar stated at the official opening, the Centre of Poetry named after Tomaž Šalamun is not only a place, where all the books of the Slovenian poet are gathered, but also a platform for regular meetings of poetry lovers.

According to the Minister of Culture of Slovenia Tone Peršak, Tomaž Šalamun was a poet who destroyed many stereotypes and prejudices about the Slovenian poetry and its importance. Šalamun’s activity as a Slovenian poet was a real breakthrough, “so it took me some time to understand the personality of Tomaž Šalamun,” the Minister of Culture of Slovenia admitted. Tone Peršak also noted that among the Šalamun’s merits was the promotion of the Slovenian poetry to the world level and the demonstration of great poetic talent of the Slovene people. The Minister drew attention to the simplicity of the Slovenian poet, his openness and sincerity in communicating with people. “Wherever he went, he always felt at home,” Tone Peršak explained.

The Centre of Poetry will work as a library, where people can get acquainted with the works of Tomaž Šalamun. Each of these books has an engraved bookplate. The Centre will hold presentations, meetings with Slovenian poets and other cultural events. The architectural firm “Dekleva-Gregorič arhitekti” designed the Centre. It also exhibits glass objects made by master Maje Pak.

Tomaž Šalamun (1941–2014) was one of the leading Slovenian poets and left a rich literary heritage. He noted his entrance to the poetic scene with a collection of poems called “Poker” (1966). Tomaž Šalamun was the chief literary representative of the Slovenian neo-avant-gardism and conceptualism. He worked on various art projects and was a member of the OHO group of writers and artists. For almost half a century of his literary activity, the Slovenian poet published about 50 collections of poems. His works were published in various anthologies and translated into many languages.