The Circle of Rusyn writers of Slovensko has been creating for already 15 years of their functionality. Within the years, many people have had the post of the head, but what is the most positive – the organization has published many Rusyn books, its members published books in other publishers and all the time, new young members are joining, there is a good perspective for the future.
New works were published also last year
As it has become a good habit in the last few years, also this year in February a membership meeting of the Circle of Rusyn writers of Slovensko took place. It was related to a further seminary of Carpathorusyn studies. The meeting took place on 22 February 2017 in the Consilium maius, vice-chancellor’s office in the Presov University, Presov. Old and new members came to discuss what they succeeded to do in 2016, as well as inform about activities that are planned for 2017. The meeting was to choose their new head as well.
It is positive that the Circle of Rusyn writers of Slovensko could celebrate also this year that its members in 2016 enriched the Rusyn library by their new works. New books published last year were written by people such as: Helena Hicova-Micovcinova, Lyudmila Shandalova, Jurko Charitun, Stefan Suchyj, Stefan Smolej, Mikolaj Kseniak, Milan Gaj or Josif Kudzej. Although the members of the circle published a lot, there was the biggest number of good quality works. The head of the organization, Kvetoslava Koporova, emphasized that the committee that decided on division of grants for Rusyn national minority within the Culture of national minorities 2016 programme, did not appreciate all the books that were to be published.
The situation is similar when it comes to publishing plans for 2017. The head of the Circle emphasized that everything will be dependent on the committee’s decision. What will be published is dependent on whether a book will get a donation. What has been already started within the plans for this year is further publishing of the Rusyn newspaper supplement entitled Greetings of Rusyns, that is concerning Rusyn literature. The editor of this column is Michal Pavlich who is a postgraduate of the Centre of languages and cultures of national minorities – the Institute of Rusyn language and culture of the Presov University in Presov. During the meeting there was also information that Pavlich is to deal with production and updating of the internet website that is to serve the Circle of Rusyn writers of Slovensko.
New members and candidates
It is a big positive that the membership of the organization is expanding, mainly that also young members are joining. During the meeting, two new members joined. The first one was the mentioned postgraduate of our university who is dealing with literature there – Michal Pavlich. The second new member became Miroslav Zolobanic, a cartoonist of Rusyn background who has already published his works in paper. The evidence for the fact that the membership composition is getting younger, is that there are further young candidates to join.
If the project for publishing book by Jana Stashkova was not passed – a postgraduate of the Rusyn institute who writes prose, also this year she would stay in the circle as a candidate. Svetlana Shkovranova, a long-term actress of the Alexander Duchnovic Theatre, as well as writer for children, suggested Zuzana Kovalcikova as a candidate – her colleague from the theare who also writes for children, and her work has already been presented on a theatre stage. Another candidate was Dominika Prockova who is finishing studies at our university this year, Valerij Padiak suggested also Peter Medvid as a candidate. The decisions on the candidatures will be made next year at the meeting.
Koporova remains at her post
One of the most basic points of the agenda was choosing a new head of the Circle of Rusyn writers of Slovensko. The statutes of the organization allow to keep this post only for two seasons. In this way, Kvetoslava Koporova was the head for a further time which, as she said, was not in harmony with the statutes. After a short discussion, the circle approved Koporova for the function provided that it be marked that the members have made an exclusion so that she can remain at the post. The second possibility was changing of the statutes so that it allow for more seasons, but this would cause a lot of administrative work, also financial support would be necessary in such a case.
Not enough propagation
Mikolaj Kseniak epmhasized the fact that our writers are little (or not at all) promoted in the Slovak environment. He suggested that the Circle of Rusyn writers of Slovensko contact their magazine Literárny týždenník and that a cooperation be established with the weekly that would aim to inform the Slovak literary circles on the works of our Rusyn writers living in Slovakia. Kseniak emphasized that books published by Ukrainian writers in Slovakia always have their place in the weekly, so far no one has written about our penmen. The head said that appropriate steps are to be made regarding this issue to meet the demands suggested by Kseniak.
Seminary and granting premium
After the meeting, the programme was continued with a seminary on the Carpathorusyn studies which was also dedicated to our literature. Michal Pavlich gave a lecture entitled The Red shore of Lyudmila Shandalova. It is one of the recent Rusyn books published in 2016. It is composed of six short stories that take place in the times of the II WW in a country near Dukla where the author comes from. Pavlich gave positive commentary on the publication, as well as Valerij Padiak did during the following discussion, emphasizing that the book has also beautiful cover.
Then, granting premium took place to the writers who were distinguished in the Literary competition of Maria Malcovska for 2016. Let us remind that in 2016 the third award was given to Daniela Kapralova, the second award to Lyudmila Shandalova and the lead to Stefan Suchij. After the seminary, the participants could acquire books published last year, as well as the authors’ autographs that were present at the event.