Kvarner newsletter / no 4

Goranovo proljeće, a traditional spring event

In memory of the great Croatian poet Ivan Goran Kovačić, his birthplace Lukovdol, located in the north-eastern part of Gorski kotar, traditionally celebrates the event called Goranovo proljeće (Goran’s Spring).

The traditional festival of poetry Goranovo proljeće, which begins in Lukovdol and continues in Zagreb, will take place for the 45th time in the period from the 16th until 20th of March.

The festival traditionally includes the award presentation ceremony: Goran’s Wreath for poetry and achievements in Croatian literature, Goran for young poets (awarded on the basis of a yearly competition for poets up to 30 years of age who have not published a book of poetry yet), and awards to schoolchildren for best literary works in the last year.

Ivan Goran Kovačić, born in 1913, was a famous poet, writer, essayist and critic.

As a supporter of the politics of the famous Croatian politician Stjepan Radić, he joined the partisans in 1942 together with the poet Vladimir Nazor, took part in marches in Bosnia, and wrote intensively; at the end of June or beginning of July 1943 he was killed somewhere near the Bosnian town of Foča. His grave is unknown, just like he wished in his epitaph poem “Moj grob” (My grave).