Czech underground poet, busker, publisher Jaroslav Erik Frič dies

Jaroslav Erik Frič, a Czech poet, musician, publisher and organiser of underground culture festivals during communism, died on Friday at the age of 70.

A polyglot, he travelled extensively throughout Western Europe in 1968, before the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, working as a busker.

Unwilling to collaborate with the regime in any way, he worked published samizdat poems and other texts while working as a waiter.

Soon after the Velvet Revolution of 1989, he founded the Votobia publishing house. In later years, he founded NGOs to help racial, ethnic and religious minorities.

Since 2000, he had also organised an annual poetry festival in Brno.

Author: Brian Kenety