Cricoteka on International Book Fair in Krakow

LITERARY PHENOMENON

The Krakow Book Fair is a cyclical event dedicated to the publishing and bookshop sector – has been organized by Targi w Krakowie Ltd. in Krakow since 1997. The Fair, which falls into the category of readership promotion, is open to the general public. Exhibitors include: publishing houses, book warehouses, bookshops, cultural institutions, associations related to the Polish book market, distributors of electronic media dedicated to readers, printing companies and paper producers. In 2013 the event hosted 570 publishers (i.e. more than half of Polish publishing houses that issue several or more titles per year) and was attended by 40,000 book lovers. The Krakow Book Fair – the biggest event of this type in Poland – is an iconic event in the City, a promotion zone for good books, a venue for encounters, exchanges of thoughts and discussion. In 2013 Krakow was awarded the prestigious UNESCO City of Literature title as one of seven such cities in the world and only the second one located in a non-English speaking country. This makes Krakow the perfect location for an international publishing and readership event. The Book Fair in Krakow will gain this international dimension as of its 18th edition in 2014 and is known as The International Book Fair in Krakow.

The Book Fair in Krakow is famous for its diversity. The area of the fair will be divided into thematic sections: University Publishing Houses, Catholic Publishing Houses, New Media, Local Homelands (emphasizing the importance of micro-regions: their cultural and linguistic identity, tradition and specificity) and the Children’s Book Parlour. Year after year the Fair’s organisers has surprised exhibitors and visitors by initiatives aimed at making the event more modern and attractive. Such actions include book writing with Herta Müller, distributing booklets on trains, collective reading aloud of a poem by Czesław Miłosz, collaborative shooting of a film entitled “I read because…” and a reading marathon based on Julian Tuwim’s poem “Lokomotywa”.

 

KRAKOW – THE CITY OF LITERATURE

Krakow has long remained one of the most important academic centres of modern Europe. Today the city contains as many as 23 universities, including one of the oldest in Europe – the Jagiellonian University, whose library boasts outstanding resources. The collection includes manuscripts of unique value worldwide, incunables and old prints, including the original of the revolutionary work by Nicolaus Copernicus – De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. Moreover, the city has played an important role in developing literary currents at particular moments in time. Writers active in the city have influenced readers’ preferences and created particular literary fashions. Wisława Szymborska, a Nobel Prize winner, lived in Krakow. Czesław Miłosz, another Nobel winner, spent the last years of his life here. This was also the city where Stanisław Lem and Sławomir Mrożek lived and created. Krakow is a location for national scientific organisations, such as: the National Science Centre, the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Krakow Branch of the Polish Academy of Science.

The city is also home to popular publishing houses classified as key players on the national market – Wydawnictwo Literackie, Znak, Biały Kruk, and opinion-forming journals whose collaborators include the most important Polish intellectuals. Institutions dedicated to the promotion of literature and readership in Poland are also located in Krakow. These include the Book Institute, the key Polish organisation promoting Polish literature abroad, along with, among others, branches of the Polish Writer’s Union and the Polish Writer’s Association, as well as the Goethe-Institut in Krakow, the French Institute in Krakow, the Italian Institute of Culture in Krakow and the Austrian Linguistic Institute in Krakow.

A number of prestigious prizes are awarded in Krakow annually, including Transatlantyk (for translators of Polish literature), Jan Długosz Prize (organized by Targi w Krakowie for the author of a work in the area of humanities), Kazimierz Wyka Prize (awarded in the area of literary criticism and essays), Goncourts’ List: Polish selection and the most recent, the Wisława Szymborska Prize (for a poetry collection). The literary landscape of the City is enlivened by numerous festivals and literary events, such as the Miłosz Festival attended by poets and world-famous publicists, critics and translators as well as the Joseph Conrad Festival organized during the Book Fair in Krakow.

 

When? 23-26 October 2014

Where? EXPO Krakow International Fair and Congress Centre

ul. Galicyjska 9, 31-586 Krakow

 

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