The EBRD Literature Prize – Connecting the Western Balkans

Sala 101, Level 1, Parliamentary Assembly Building

The annual EBRD Literature Prize is awarded to the best work of literary fiction in English translation from across the EBRD’s regions of operations. The Prize is one of the few international literature prizes which recognise both author and translator.

The panel will showcase the growing importance of the literature in translation and explores the role that the EBRD Literature Prize and other literary prizes play in promoting contemporary writers. The discussion will also touch upon the state and impact of contemporary literature in Bosnia and region and showcase some of the recent literary works translated into English.

Ferida Duraković

Writer, Freelance

Ferida Durakovic is a Bosnian writer. Her published titles include 16 books of poetry, prose, columns, essays, and literature for children. Books of her selected poems have been published outside Bosnia Herzegovina: in the USA (1999), Bulgaria (2015) and Italy (2015). Ferida is the recipient of various awards. Her first collection of poems, published in 1977, earned her two literary awards for ‘best young author’. She received the Fund for Free Expression Award USA in 1993, the Vasyl-Stus Freedom-to-Write Award in 1999, and her children’s book was nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Book Award in 2002. Between 1992-2013 Ferida held the position of Executive Director of the PEN Centre in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is a graduate of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Sarajevo.

Rosemary Goldsmith

Director, European Literature Network

Rosie Goldsmith (Chair of the Judging Panel, EBRD Literature Prize) is an award-winning journalist specialising in arts and foreign affairs. In twenty years at the BBC, she travelled the world and presented several flagship programmes. Rosie is a linguist and has lived in Europe, Africa and the USA. Today she combines journalism with chairing and curating literary events and festivals for leading cultural organisations. Known as a champion of international literature, translation and language learning, she is Founder and Director of the European Literature Network


Mirza Purić

Director / Editor, Plamen Publishing

Faruk Sehic

Novelist, BH Dani

Faruk Šehić was born in 1970 in Bihac. Until the outbreak of war in 1992, Šehić studied Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb. However, at 22 he voluntarily joined the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in which he led a unit of 130 men as a lieutenant.

After the war he studied literature and, since 1998, has created his own literary works. He is regarded as one of the most gifted young writers in the former Yugoslavia, a shining light of the so-called “knocked-over generation”. His debut novel Knjiga o Uni (2011; translated as Quiet Flows the Una) was awarded the European Union Prize for Literature in 2013, and was published in 14 countries.

Based in Sarajevo, Faruk works as a columnist and journalist for the respected political magazine BH Dani.

Lawrence Sherwin

Former Dep. Director, Communications, EBRD

Lawrence Sherwin worked for many years as EBRD Deputy Director of Communications in London. Previously, he held management positions in corporate communications at Novartis and Syngenta in Basel, Switzerland, after nearly 15 years as Deputy Director of Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and its Russian Broadcasting Department in Munich, Germany.  He has an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a Masters degree in Politics from Harvard University.