Ivan Wernisch is the 2018 winner of the Franz Kafka Prize. The aim of the prize is to is to “reward artistically exceptional literary production of a contemporary author whose work addresses readers regardless of their origin, nationality or culture, like the work of Franz Kafka.” Four Czechs have received the award in the past (Ivan Klíma, Arnošt Lustig, Václav Havel and Daniela Hodrová). Other notable winners of the prize include Philip Roth, Elfriede Jelinek, Haruki Murakami and Margaret Atwood.
Ivan Wenisch (b. 1942) is a poet, author of prose poems, translator, journalist. As an editor he has compiled a number of anthologies. He is the winner of the Jaroslav Seifert Prize (1992), the State Prize for Literature (2012) and the Magnesia Litera (2013). His work has been published in many languages including English, French and Polish. He himself translates from German, French, Italian, Flemish, Russian and Latin.