Zviad Ratiani among 8 poets nominated for the European Poet of Freedom 2020 Award
08 April, 2019
Zviad Ratiani among 8 poets nominated for the European Poet of Freedom 2020 Award
Georgian poet Zviad Ratiani has been nominated for the European Poet of Freedom 2020 Award. The sixth edition of the European Poet of Freedom Festival will take place in Gdańsk, Poland in March 2020. The 8 poets have been nominated for the award.

Zviad Ratiani is a poet and translator. He has published five collections of poetry. Among his many translations, Zviad Ratiani introduced Georgian readers to such prominent works as the poetry of T.S. Eliot, E. Pound, R. Frost, R.M.
Rilke, Paul Celan, etc. In 2005, Ratiani received the SABA – the most important Georgian literary award. His poems have been translated into English, German, French, Russian, Azerbaijani, Ukrainian, and Latvian, among others.
zviad_ratiani
Zviad Ratiani, Photo courtesy: www.dirk-skiba-fotografie.de

The European Poet of Freedom’ Literary Award aims at honoring and promoting phenomena in poetry that deal with one of the most crucial subjects for contemporary readers – freedom – and, at the same time, are characterized by outstanding artistic values.

Zviad Ratiani’s case


In 2017, Zviad Ratiani was detained in Tbilisi. Ratiani claimed the police officers, who were carrying out police control, arrested and then physically and verbally abused him. The poet said the police officers were irritated by the color of his jacket so they stopped him and took him to the police department. Ratiani was under the influence of alcohol when he was detained.

The Georgian Public Broadcaster published the video of drunken Zviad Ratani. Zviad Ratiani’s lawyer said according to Ratiani’s explanation, the police officers were video-recording some episodes of his arrest by mobile phone and not by the surveillance camera. The mobile phone videos cannot show the entire incident non-stop. This fact caused the protest of writers and poets of Georgia.
zviad_ratiani_protest
People protesting the arrest of the poet, Photo courtesy: www.sapari.ge

The Tbilisi City Court recognized the poet Zviad Ratiani as an offender. According to the decision of the judge, Zviad Ratiani, who accused the law enforcers of verbal and physical abuse had to pay 2,000 GEL as a fine. The prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into the possible misconduct from the side of the police officer.

In 2018, Zviad Ratiani left Georgia.

First photo courtesy: www.dirk-skiba-fotografie.de

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