Kolyo Kolev wins the Vladimir Bashev National Prize for Poetry

By tradition, NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ presents the winner with a painting


Kolyo Kolev, from Burgas, is the winner of the 2021 Vladimir Bashev National Literary Prize for Poetry. For his anthology of poems, ‘The Riot of the Sand People’, he was awarded the prize by a jury chaired by writer Georgi Konstantinov. By tradition, NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ presents the winner with a work of art. This time, Slava Ivanova, the Fund’s Executive Director, gifted a graphic by artist Vasil Kolev – Vassillo, a participant in the ‘River of Tolerance’ International Youth Art Festival organised by NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ under the auspices of UNESCO.


The prize for a flourishing young poet was awarded in the Vladimir Bashev Literary Office. The official ceremony opened with addresses of welcome given by Slava Ivanova, Executive Director of NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’, and Atanas Kapralov, Director of the National Literary Museum. The poet Dimitar Hristov and Krasimira Sankiyska, representative of the Literary Office, provided guidance and words of encouragement.


Ivan Landzhev, bearer of the 2019 Vladimir Bashev Prize, had ‘escaped’ from work to congratulate the next winner.


The jury, consisting of Georgi Konstantinov, Valentina Radinska, Nadia Popova, Dimitar Hristov, Mincho Minchev, Atanas Kapralov and Krasimira Sankiyska, found it extremely difficult in making its eventual choice.


Stamena Datseva received an honorary diploma from the Vladimir Bashev Literary Office at the National Literary Museum for her poetry collection, ‘Garden on the Edge’, whose figurative conciseness was praised by Georgi Konstantinov. The other awardees were: Kaloyan Hristov for his anthology of poems ‘Salt Molecules’; Sofia Mileva for her book, ‘102 Minutes’, and Alexander Gabrovski for ‘Locusts Also Dream’. The prize for the youngest author went to Daniel Lukanov for ‘… And I Dedicated a Short Verse to You’. He was unable to attend and watched the celebration online.


The award winners recited their poems, while Georgi Konstantinov read out a page of Stamena Datseva’s book. Music to Vladimir Bashev’s lyrics, recordings of his poems and recollections of the poet and his wife, Vera Gancheva, who was the driving force behind the idea of his home becoming a museum, complemented the artistic atmosphere of the ceremony.


The Vladimir Bashev National Literary Prize was established in 1969 and is awarded every two years for an anthology of poems by a young poet. Kolyo Kolev is the thirty-second poet to win the prize.


The previous winners of the prize were: Voimir Asenov, Kalin Donkov, Dragomir Shopov, Andrey Andreev, Viktor Samuilov, Yanislav Yankov, Mincho Minchev, Ivan Golev, Emil Simeonov, Georgi Borisov, Alexander Tomov, Dobromir Tonev, Parush Parushev, Nadia Popova, Dimitar Hristov, Zlatomir Zlatanov, Roza Boyanova, Yasen Ustrenski, Boyko Lambovski, Balcho Balchev, Tsanko Lalev, Nikolay Lukanov, Elitsa Videnova, Rositsa Angelova, Sonya Nikolova, Milen Kamareva, Maria Kalinova, Ivanka Mogilska, Martin Spasov, Rosen Karamfilov and Ivan Landzhev.


Slava Ivanova presenting the winner with a painting by Vasil Kolev – Vassillo:


You can view Georgi Konstantinov awarding Kolyo Kolev here:


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