I had the chance to attend Krokodil through CROWD Literature’s Omnibus project, which takes 100 poets, on a bus, through Europe, changing poets with the countries and readings, on a weekly basis. And as I mentioned, my fifth visit to Serbia. It was one of my favourite places to explore when I was in my early twenties, twice I took public transport through the whole Balkans, from Slovenia into Greece. What charmed me then about the Serbia was the very things that wore me down on my last few visits – the bluntness, the brusqueness, the self-awareness, the intense historicism and the combustible nature of some of the people I met. This trip completely flipped that on its head, I benefited from some of the most generous hospitality I can recall, twice being given meals for free, many times engaging in conversations with strangers. And the whole atmosphere of the festival was an extension of these lovely experiences, the audience always patient, intelligent, intellectually lively and friendly. This with both nights of the festival running to over three hours, with many poets from all over Europe and interviews and music.
I've written a full travelogue here www.stevenjfowler.com/belgrade