Marketa Goetz-Stankiewicz is a professor emerita in the Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies at the University of British Columbia. Among her impressive list of publications are essays on Czech, German and Polish literature as well as introductions to plays and theatre programmes. Her work focuses on the samizdat publication movement as well as on the work of such Czech playwrights as Pavel Kohout, Josef Topol, Ivan Klíma, and Václav Havel. In 1988, she received the Order of the Scriptores Bohemici in Prague. She was born in Liberec.
The prize, named after the man who for many years was editor-in-chief of the magazine Index on Censorship, is awarded by Book World Ltd., a company of the Association of Czech Booksellers and Publishers, to a living person or institution operating abroad whose initiatives and/or long-term endeavours contribute to the dissemination and promotion of Czech literature abroad.