10th Anniversary Celebration of Posonium Awards

Pozsony (Bratislava) – The tenth presentation of the Posonium Literary and Fine Arts Awards was a festive occasion held on September 7, 2010, in Pozsony (Bratislava), Slovakia. A short musical program by Imre Németh featured Hungarian songs from the 16th and 17th centuries, and was followed by a reading of poetry.

Front, from left: Laszlo Dobos, Katalin Misad, Edith Lauer, Gyorgy Matyasfalvi, Aniko Polgar;
Back, from left: Lajos Varga, Zoltan Szenassy, Elemer Toth, Laszlo Toth, Lajos Grendel

In his opening remarks, Madách Publisher’s President, László Dobos spoke of the continued struggle for Slovak government support by Hungarian cultural organizations, and of the significance in these difficult circumstances of the Posonium Awards for Hungarian writers and artists of Slovakia. László Koncsol, Posonium Literary Award recipient in 2004 and 2007, summarized in both English and Hungarian the ten year-long history of the Posonium Awards. On behalf of Madách, he presented to the three sponsors – Edith and John Lauer and György Mátyásfalvi – a beautiful bronze medallion created by sculptor János Nagy, a 2004 Arts Award recipient.

Edith Lauer thanked László Dobos for inspiring her through his own example to establish the Posonium Literary Awards. She commended the Award Selection Committee Chair, Gyula Duba, and his fellow members for having remained true to their original ideals when choosing recipients. As a written reminder of this anniversary year, Ms. Lauer presented to the audience a brochure with the Awards’ history (attached), including a list of the 68 Literary and 10 Fine Arts Award winners in the past ten years.

The Posonium Literary Awards, a project of the Hungarian American Coalition, were founded by Edith and John Lauer ten years ago for the purpose of giving long-overdue recognition to Hungarian writers and artists for outstanding contributions to the literature, art and cultural heritage of the 526,000-strong historic Hungarian community in Slovakia. The Fine Arts Award is sponsored each year by György Mátyásfalvi, a Budapest businessman. The monetary value of the awards is between 300 and 1,150 Euros.

Gyula Duba and Edith Lauer Source: Felvidék Ma

The Selection Committee of prominent Hungarian writers chooses the winners in several categories of achievement and provides an insight into their work through comprehensive laudations delivered at the awards ceremony. The Grand Prize for best original work was presented to Anikó Polgár for her book of poetry, “Archeologist in Pumps.” Life Achievement Awards were received by writer Lajos Grendel for several decades of producing award-winning prose and Elemér Tóth for his many outstanding volumes of poetry published since the 196Os. Two Special Achievement Awards were presented, one to László Tóth for “Notes of a Private Collector,” the other to linguist Katalin Misad, for her book of applied linguistic studies, entitled “Linguistic Contacts.” This year’s Homeland Award was won by Zoltán Szénássy, whose book, “The Siege of Komárom in 1849,” provides the complete history of this last big battle of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution. The recipient of the Posonium Fine Arts Award was graphic artist, Lajos Varga, whose fine graphics have enriched thousands of Hungarian books and publications.

The September 7th awards presentation was attended by former Posonium Award recipients as well as leaders of the Hungarian community, Miklós Duray, Ágnes Biró and Erzsébet Pogány of the Hungarian Coalition Party. Guests from Hungary included Coalition Treasurer Zsolt Szekeres, founding member Nóra Szabó and writer-journalist Valéria Kormos. Journalists from local Hungarian newspapers and TV and radio stations interviewed the sponsors and award recipients and provided full coverage of a memorable occasion in the cultural life of Hungarians in Slovakia.

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