Pavel Mučaji

the poet and high school professor
Pavel Mučaji
Pavel Mučaji
( 11. October 1929 )

Pavel Mučaji was born in October 11, 1929 in Bački Petrovac. Four grades of elementary school and eight grades high school he finished in his birth town (1949). After graduation he worked in the newspaper company Hlas ľudu (Voice of People) as a redactor of children magazine Naši pionieri (Our Pioneers) until the autumn of 1950, when he started to study in the Philosophical Faculty of University of Belgrade. He graduated in the spring of 1955. During his study he worked in Czech and Slovak redaction of Radio Yugoslavia as a journalist, translator and speaker. In the autumn of 1956 he started as a professor of High school in Bački Petrovac where he worked for two school years. In the year 1958 when elementary school was transformed in eight grades and high school study was reduced to four grades, he was transferred into elementary school, where he worked until the end of the school year 1961/1962. Since the autumn of 1962 again he worked in high school, where he taught Slovak language. In the years 1965-1970 he was the principal of this high school and in the years 1970-1986 its professor. In parallel, in the years 1980-1990 he worked in Pedagogical academy in Novi Sad. In the year 1986 he was for the second time elected to be the principal of the high school Ján Kollár in Bački Petrovac. In this position he lasted until the year 1990, when he retired.

For many years he worked as an advisor for Slovak language and literature in Educational-pedagogical bureau in Novi Sad. In the years 1965-1970 he was a member of Municipal assembly of the county Bački Petrovac and president of Self-management association for culture in this county. In the years 1971-1980 he was a member of Educational council of Autonomous province of Vojvodina. In the year 1995 he was president of the Selection of celebrations for 250th anniversary of Slovaks moving to Bački Petrovac and Vojvodina. He wrote a number of studies from the field of Yugoslav Slovaks culture. He is a member of Association of Writers of Vojvodina and Association of Slovak writers in Bratislava. For accomplished success, by the Union of amateur theatre association of Vojvodina he was included among twenty most meritorious pedagogues and organizers of the reciters movement in Vojvodina (Bečej, 1988). – His older brother Juraj Mučaji is as a poet also included into this anthology.

Pavel Mučaji published eight collections of poems Fighting heart (1952), Sunny shelter (1966), My Ithaca (1975), Duration of a poet (1985), By air line, selection (1989, an editor Miroslav Dudok), Sky blue sonnets (1990), Overhead gardens (2001) and Epiphany evening (2004). Also were published his ten books of children poems: Grains, little beasts, birds and kids (1956), A little spider hero (1958), Shine the sun merrily (1961), On a willow whistle (1970), Flies from a sling (1974), My small world (1979), Apricot, Mary, Mike and a cock (1988), Rope (1991), Holy child, shepherds and kings (1999), and If I were a bird (2004). It was published one his book of short prose for children, one anthology of the local Slovak writers creations in his own translation in Serbian language (My small world, 1991) and eight further books of varied topics. He translates mainly poetry in Serbian language.

He won the Prize of Slovak literary fund in Bratislava (1969), twice the Prize of magazine Nový život (New Life) (1973, 1980), the Republic prize Neven (1977), the Prize Vuk Stefanović Karadžić (1981) and the October prize of Bački Petrovac county Assembly (1983).

Víťazoslav Hronec, translation: Andrew Ušjak