Ivan Štrpka: The Lone Runner
– Slovakia

Born in Hlohovec in 1944. After studying Spanish and Slovak at the Faculty of Arts of the Comenius University, he alternated between several editorial positions in literary magazines. He published his first poems in the Mladá tvorba magazine, making his debut with the collection Krátke detstvo kopijníkov [Short Childhood of Spearman] in 1969. Together with Ivan Laučík and Peter Repka, they formed a literary group Lone Runners and published manifests that protested against the then system. Due to his political views, he was not allowed to publish in the 1970s. He later held the position of editor-in-chief in several major media on literature, such as the Cultural Life or Romboide. His lyrical texts are also remarkable, the book Modrý vrch [The Blue Hill], which was created in collaboration with the musician Dežo Ursiny, became an important milestone in his work. To this day, he is an active writer, his last collection of poems Kam plášť, tam vietor [Where the Cape is, There Wind is] (2019) won the Golden Wave Award.