Gjekë Marinaj Honored with Pro Poet Award in Serbia

American poet, translator, and writer Gjekë Marinaj has been honored with the Pro Poet Award at the Inđija Pro Poet International Poetry Festival in Serbia. Known for his extensive contributions to poetry and literary translation, Marinaj's recognition at this annual event underscores his significant impact on the global poetry scene.

Gjekë Marinaj Honored with Pro Poet Award in Serbia
Dallas, TX, June 19, 2023 --(PR.com)-- The American poet, writer and translator Gjekë Marinaj has received the Pro Poet Award at Serbia's annual Inđija Pro Poet International Poetry Festival.

Directed by the poet Miodrag Jaksic, the festival is held annually in the town of Inđija, Serbia, and represents a cross-section of the world's best literature. This year's seventh festival garnered participation from writers, literary translators and singer-songwriters hailing from more than 20 countries.

Festival director Jaksic said, "Marinaj was a very important guest at this year's festival. We are proud..." he continued, "to have had the opportunity to hear him read his poems live in Serbia and to present him with our special award."

Assessing the purpose and impact of the literary celebration in Inđija, festival director Jaksic noted, "I am very satisfied with the love provided by all participants and the messages of peace that we send from the festival. Such a gathering of writers, exchange of knowledge, texts and new manuscripts, as well as translations into many world languages, is of great importance. New partnerships were established and plans for the future were made."

The people of Serbia have shown Marinaj welcome many times throughout his literary career. Serbian has been among the many languages into which his poems have been translated. His collection Dolazim da pozelenim (I Come to Leaf Out) was released in 2014 by the publisher Prosveta, based in Belgrade, Serbia's capital. He has also frequently participated in literary events and conferences in the Balkan nation.

In his acceptance speech, Marinaj expressed his high regard for the significance of the Pro Poet Award, which he received with feelings deepened by its context of precious literary and personal relationships that have grown over many years of his life as a writer:

"This distinction may, in the eyes of some, merely represent an ordinary commendation, inscribed upon paper and displayed within a frame, corresponding to this solemn occasion. Yet for me it signifies a great deal more; indeed, it encompasses an entire world of emotions, primarily due to its origin, Serbia — a locus of personal significance, a crossroads where an abundance of pivotal moments and blessings in my life have converged and found meaningful resonance.

"I have been privileged to be associated with this splendid nation for over three decades, donning multiple hats — those of a Serbian son-in-law, a devoted friend, and an ardent admirer of the multitude of virtuous Serbian souls who have crossed my path. My life's trajectory in this country has been punctuated by countless rewards — tangible and intangible. I have been the recipient of bountiful affection, immense respect, and a sense of familial integration that transcends mere blood ties.

"Yet, today is indeed a singularly unique occasion. It is the inaugural instance when I am the recipient of a literary accolade on Serbian soil. The Pro Poet award — this esteemed honor — has been previously conferred upon a distinguished lineage of Serbian and international luminaries from the realms of literature, music and beyond. Today, I am profoundly humbled to be joining this illustrious cohort, this pantheon of intellectual giants.

"I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Mr. Miodrag Jaksic, for his significant role in facilitating this prestigious moment. My sincere thanks extend to the beautiful town of Inđija, and the heartwarming nation of Serbia, for their exceptional hospitality and boundless affection that have graced my life for the past three decades.

"Let this moment serve as a testament to the enduring spirit of love, the power of words, and the boundless potential of human connections."

In Marinaj's writing and his cultural outreach, he has maintained a steadfastly international perspective, creating a body of work in dialogue with heritages throughout the world, while cultivating friendships through literary activity and professional travel.

The author of more than twenty-five books of poetry, journalism, criticism and translation, he has published works in more than two dozen languages.

Marinaj also serves as director of Dallas-based Mundus Artium Press and editor of Mundus Artium journal, organizations with more than a half-century of heritage in the promotion of the art of literary translation and international cultural exchange.

The many literary awards Marinaj has received in countries ranging from the United States to Italy, from India to Uzbekistan, from Vietnam to South Korea, bear witness to the fruits of his convictions.

So does his creation of Protonism Theory, a form of peace-oriented arts criticism formulated against the backdrop of conflict in the Balkans and subsequently integrated into numerous programs of higher education worldwide.

Through literary engagement, Marinaj aims to reaffirm the value of classic literary values, while also fostering recognition of the potential of literature as an inclusive societal good, for shaping the self and community and for harmonizing diverse cultures and voices.
Darla Spek