Hungarian Writers and Artists In Slovakia Receive Posonium Awards

Hungarian American Coalition Sponsors Recognition of Minority’s Cultural Achievements

Bratislava – Seven Hungarian writers and two artists received the Posonium Literary and Fine Arts Awards in Bratislava on June 9, 2003. The Posonium Awards, a project of the Hungarian American Coalition, were founded by Edith and John Lauer 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 Hungarian minority in Slovakia.  The Fine Arts awards are sponsored by György Mátyásfalvi, Budapest businessman.

Since the establishment of the awards in 2000, a committee of respected writers has selected the winners in several categories of achievement.  The 2003 Grand Prize was awarded to Lajos Grendel for The Magic of Facts, a study of writer Miklós Mészöly.  Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to László Dobos, writer, essayist and founder of literary institutions; Judit Mayer, translator and publisher; and György Dénes, poet and editor.

The Posonium Fine Arts Lifetime Achievement Award was granted to János Nagy, sculptor, and József Nagy, painter and graphic artist.

Otto Mészáros received the Best First Book Award with Poemateria, a book of modern poems, while Special Awards were given to József Liszka for his comprehensive Folk Art of Hungarians in Slovakia, and to Zoltán Csehy for his work, The Body of the Hermaphrodite Text.

Since the inception of the Posonium Awards, a total of 19 Literary and 3 Fine Arts prizes have been granted.  The awards are accompanied by monetary prizes ranging from $300 to $1,000 each.  Gyula Duba, prominent writer and Chairman of the Selection Committee, remarked before the presentation ceremony:  “These awards represent the first attempt since 1920 to give special recognition to Hungarian artists.  They are long overdue.”  Each prize winner was introduced by a contemporary writer or art critic with a laudation focusing on the merits of the awardee’s work.

The Posonium Awards presentation was held in the ballroom of the Csemadok building in downtown Bratislava, headquarters of the largest Hungarian NGO in Slovakia.  Among the attendees were Zora and Martin Butora, Slovak Ambassador to the U.S.; Edith and John Lauer; Zsolt Szekeres, President of the Hungarian American Coalition, writers, journalists and representatives of several publishing houses.

The Hungarian American Coalition is a nationwide non-profit organization that promotes public understanding and awareness of Hungarian American issues.

Contact: Mr. Janos Szekeres
Tel:  (202) 296-9505

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