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Details of the program



Irek Grin

European Literature Night, part of the European Capital of Culture 2016 program, is a project that has already taken root in the consciousness of the inhabitants of Wroclaw and literature lovers from all over Poland. The event owes its popularity to its unconventional, open formula, which enables a wide audience to become acquainted with the work of contemporary writers from many countries. It encourages reading and contact with other cultures, and also demonstrates that literature is in fashion. The project has been successfully run in Europe for many years, and each of its Wroclaw editions has attracted more than ten thousand Wroclawians, enjoying favourable comments from the press and participants alike.  


Read to me, Wrocław

The European Night of Literature, an opportunity to listen to the celebrities reading Shakespeare in the extraordinary urban spaces of Wrocław, meetings with Jo Nesbø, Filip Springer, Mariusz Szczygieł, and... the  keyboardist for Rammstein,  Christian „Flake” Lorenz, an inauguration of the Pan Tadeusz Museum [Master Thaddeus Museum], a walk along the Crocodile Street side-by-side with Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński and Stanisław Lem, a video-mapping with Mickiewicz. And there is plenty more—shows, concerts, exhibitions, meet-the-author sessions, happenings, and countless other artistic events—planned for the inauguration of a year-long term of office of Wrocław as the UNESCO’s World Book Capital, starting 23rd April 2016.

23 April 2016, 19.00-24.00
Diffrent places in Wroclaw
Entrance free

The European Literature Night has been running for many years in various European cities; the project presents the works of writes from different countries to a wide audience and popularizes reading as well as enhances mutual
cultural awareness. A special edition of the European Literature Night in Wrocław is going to take place on 23 April as part of the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016.

Many activities in Wrocław, both from the literary programme of the European Capital of Culture and the programme of UNESCO World Book Capital are long-term endeavours – especially in the area of innovative forms of development, education and international cooperation. It is indispensable to develop them continually. The UNESCO Network of Creative Cities, and especially UNESCO Cities of literature, are dream partners in this context, not only in designing projects, but most of all as experienced creators of culture which would help to develop activities already present in Wrocław, while Wrocław would strengthen and enrich activities of other cities in the network.

An action directed at a wide group of readers, inviting them to vote for the most important and the most popular Polish writers – both classic and contemporary. Voters can also introduce their own candidates. Voting takes place around Poland and on a special website, according to the schedule of political elections in 2014 and 2015. The aim of the action is to promote the richness of Polish literature and active readership, as well as to highlight the uniqueness of the community of readers.


The aim of the programme is to introduce books in the city space and transform the city into one huge library, where words are everywhere every day, and reading is fashionable. It will encompass a variety of small and large-scale activities, organized by cultural institutions and non-governmental organizations. We also want to involve the citizens, for example in the project implemented as part of the literary magazine
“Cegła”. For the whole 2016, drivers will stick to their cars fragments of poetry printed on magnetic stickers. Vehicles will become a
dispersed anthology, they will pass each other on the streets creating a huge moving poem, words will search for one another, raising interest and focusing the attention of citizens on literature. The programme will allow us to transform the city: people will read together at homes and in public space, see poetry engraved everywhere, organize family literary picnics, air home libraries, pick paper fruits with poems, exchange books, print poetry on cash machine receipts and do many other things together, but diversely, surrounding themselves with beauty.




An innovative solution for a city which, just as other European metropolises where literature is an important element of cultural life, needs a web portal devoted to readership and literature. It should combine a variety of functions and elements, answer the needs of different groups as well as technological challenges. The uniqueness of the project stems from the fact that it will be created by schoolchildren. They will create the Literary Web Portal themselves, and in the process develop their media competences through creative activity – young people will not just be receivers of imposed content but they will freely shape it – in accordance with the main assumption of the Internet. At the same time, the portal will become a meeting place for experts and young people with various interests, both scientific and artistic minds.


Three multimedia temporary exhibitions around Polish and European literary mementoes, organized in cooperation with the National Ossoliński Institute. The will be designed as a unique and innovative combination of tradition and game, an unconventional test. The first exhibition will
be dedicated to the period from Romanticism to Positivism, one to Young Poland to the 1930’s, and one to the period from World War
Two to now. Their aim will be to bring Polish and European literary heritage to the young generation, and they will be accompanied by a wide educational programme, with lectures, conferences and meetings with special guests invited to Wroclaw (writers, literary critics, etc.), as well as production and distribution at schools of auxiliary materials for teaching Polish.

January – October 2016

A natural continuation of the Writing Forum for Children and Young Adults will be yearlong workshops organized in schools and libraries around Wrocław. The participants will learn about the process of bookmaking: from paper production, writing and editing, to printing and the use of new technologies. The workshops will be organized for a wide group of young people (from kindergarten pupils to high school students) who are interested in the art of writing and publishing books, who want to acquire new skills and knowledge from specialists. The culmination of the project will be a presentation of works created during workshops.


April 2016 – April 2017

A series of books within the framework of the literary programme, which will fill gaps on the book market. Prepared on the highest editorial and graphic level by an editorial team with extensive experience, often in several language versions, they will be published in the years 2015–2016. The first publication, entitled Street Art and Poetry of Wrocław has already been published – it juxtaposes murals from Wrocław streets and backyards with new poetry. This year, we will also publish an anthology of literary works by art brut artists as well as a selection of poetry and prose by young authors. In 2016, we will publish, among others, The Canon. Rhyming Polish Fairy Tales in the Languages of Minorities, presenting a selection of literature for the youngest in over a dozen language versions, an anthology of authors connected with the artistic literary magazine Helikopter and a
bibliography of translations of the works by Tadeusz Różewicz.



The book, as opposed to visual arts or music, is limited by language – without translation it will not exist abroad. And if it is translated, it becomes a new work of art – a joint creation of the author and the translator. It is a long and expensive process. The programme supports translations to increase the number of foreign editions of Polish books, especially by authors from Wrocław. To achieve this, we will create – together with the Book Institute, which is responsible for such activities in Poland – a mechanism supporting the presence of Polish literature in Europe and the world.

Literary criticism and research is indispensable for the development of literary and readership life. We will support and cooperate with research initiatives in the area of literature – for example the international conference Child and the Book planned for 2016 – but we also want to inspire new research activities related to literature. During International Crime and Mystery Festival Wroclaw, for example, we traditionally organize conferences on crime fiction. The research programme will also include a system of scholarships for Polish researches, which will allow them to more intensively participate in foreign sessions and conferences.

Till 1989, the world of European literature for children and young adults was tightly divided in accordance with political influences. The literature of East and West was developing separately. We want to rediscover the heritage of children and young adult literature written during communism, we want to reclaim those forgotten characters, their times, their creators and the social situation of those times, analyse them critically in cooperation with cultural institutions from the former Eastern bloc countries and present this heritage in the form of a compendium. This will be done by creating an international web portal, administered by the most important organizations and environments in particular countries, in English and in national languages. It is one of many attempts to face the history of Central and Eastern Europe through the lens of literary works. This initiative will also allow readers from other areas of the Old Continent to better understand the times during which the current creators of the culture of the new world were raised.

A distinction promoting works and creators of Polish poetry, awarded each year in three categories: lifetime achievement award, book of the year and debut of the year. The prize is a statue designed by Michał Staszczak and a cheque for 100 thousand PLN for lifetime achievement, 50 thousand for the book of the year and 20 thousand for debut of the year. in 2016, the SILESIUS award gala will be the highlight of the SILESIUS International Poetry Festival.


May 2016

A project unique in the scale of Europe, related to Wrocław SILESIUS poetry award. The originators of the workshop invite nominees and laureates of the award to present their vision of poetry in the form of a manifest, in this way making a contemporary diagnosis. The project is organized each year
since 2014, significantly extending the poetic discourse and helping to promote the award itself.



For 365 days, children from secondary schools in Wroclaw will be creating a unique book – sharing their stories and experiences, and fulfilling their literary ambitions. The book will be written in the form of a blog, and the authors will be pupils, coordinated by their teachers. The writing process will be accompanied by a series of workshops and lectures for children. The aim of the project is to promote children’s creativity, foster their interest in literature and projects devoted to the promotion of reading.

An event dedicated to young people, focused on promotion of children’s literature and active contact with books. During the book fair, there are meetings with authors and illustrators, debates, workshops, exhibitions and performances. There is also a prestigious Good Pages award sponsored by the Mayor of Wrocław for the publisher of the best book. The winner of the competition for schoolchildren for the best fairy tale has a chance to see his work published.

A festival focused in poetry, but open to other arts. It combines poetry reading with graphic art exhibitions, concerts and shows of multimedia poetry. It postulates a slightly different form of an author meeting – authors talk not only about their books, but the issues of art, politics and the publishing industry. It is first and foremost a festival of new poetry, but it includes in the programme the older generation of authors, showing the complex game of mutual inspirations.


For a whole year, we will invite restaurants in Wroclaw to create special “literary menus,” i.e. a selection of dishes coming from books and related to literature. They will be created by writers famous for culinary descriptions in their novels, and it will convey the richness of various national cuisines. We already know that one of the menus will be prepared by Camilla Läckberg. This project will further stress how books are related to all areas of everyday life.



The oldest and biggest festival promoting crime fiction in Poland. It encompasses meetings with authors, lectures, concerts, urban games, conferences, lessons for young adults as well as workshops, during which aspiring authors work with Polish masters of the genre. The Great Calibre Award for the best Polish crime novel or thriller, financed by the city of Wrocław, is presented during the festival as well as the Great Calibre of Honour Award for lifetime achievement. The special 2016 edition will be dedicated to European crime fiction.

The aim of the Festival is to create unusual events, seemingly incoherent, and link them in unique ways – urban games, happenings, murals and concerts with discussions on literature, culture and art. The patron of the festival, Bruno Schulz, forces us to reflect seriously on the contemporary times in the context of the terrible history of the 20th century and the role of works and biographies of artists in understanding what happened
and making diagnoses for the future. The 2016 edition will focus on the problem of the border and will introduce all the connotations carried by this word.

The most important distinction for Polish literature and works translated into Polish, awarded each year to writers from Central Europe, who write about the most crucial contemporary issues, force us to reflect and expand our knowledge about other cultures. The award is a statue designed by Ewa Rossano and a cheque for 150 thousand PLN, and it is presented to the author of the best book published in Polish in the previous year. Since 2014 the gala of ANGELUS award takes place during Bruno Schulz. Festival.

A series of international seminars organized by the Book Institute. The aim of the seminars is to work on premises and directions for the development of Polish public libraries. The seminars are thematic: new challenges, new concepts, new architecture, new offer, new librarian. Wrocław will host two meetings – the last one will coincide with the congress of International Federation of Library Associations in 2017.

A unique literary festival promoting contemporary prose and poetry, linking local traditions to those from outside the region and introducing an interdisciplinary approach to literature (concerts, exhibitions). The aim is to make contemporary literature available to local communities, counter the decrease in readership, and integrate local literary communities (community centres, public libraries, clubs). The festival is organized in various towns of the region.

A series of multimedia readings organized by Rita Baum Foundation since 2011. During the performances, actors read in complete darkness, allowing the audience to experience literature in a new, unique way. In 2016, the series will be accompanied by therapeutic workshops, during which participants from various centres for the visually impaired will become the actors themselves, and in this way, they will share their own way of reading, experiencing and understanding literature.

An Internet platform created to present and promote polish humanities in the Spanish-speaking world. It will include texts by Polish authors from many domains and generations – from Tatarkiewicz and Ingarden to Markowski, Ulicka or Staniszkis. There will also be descriptions and tables of contents of the most important Polish periodicals in the area of humanities as well as reviews of new books, and writings on the situation of a given discipline or research in Poland – from theatre and musical studies to gender studies and others. The platform will be a key tool for dissemination of Polish humanistic thought in Spanish-speaking countries and around the world.

There are around 60 artistic festivals a year in Wroclaw – to celebrate the World Book Capital City, we will invite them to create special literary themes and enrich their programme with a literary aspect. As a result we will present the interrelations betweenbooks and other arts, but we also will remind that very often literature is the creative material for those arts. It will also help to realize lovers of music, film or visual arts the great importance of literature for the development of other creative fields. Already in 2015, such a literary aspect will be present at the T-Mobile New Horizons festival.

In 2016, all cyclical events related to book in Wrocław will have a unique, celebratory character. It will be additionally strengthened by the participation of eminent writers from abroad, whom we want to invite to for important events and literary festivals, in this way making them attractive also for audience from around Europe.

A project organized together with UNESCO, international associations as well as previous World Book Capitals and European Capitals of Culture to celebrate the book and readers around the word. The aim is to create a book anthem. The lyrics will be a poem by Tadeusz Różewicz, a famous poet from Wrocław, which will translated into several dozen languages. Music will be composed as a result of an open competition for musicians and composers from Wrocław and Lower Silesia. The culmination of the whole project will be a unique flash mob: the book anthem will be sung on one day and hour in several dozen cities around the world. It will mark the end of Wrocław term as UNESCO World Book Capital.

ICORN is a network of cities from around the world advancing freedom of expression, and defending writers persecuted for political reasons – in hiding, in prisons or unable to publish in their countries. Each city offers long term, but temporary, shelter to one of the writers, providing security, good living conditions and the possibility for unlimited creative work. It is a practical contribution to the defence of freedom of expression. Wrocław plans to join ICORN at the beginning of 2016.

A new municipal cultural institution aiming at promotion of reading, cooperation with various literary environments in the city, Poland and Europe, an operator for longterm readership, educational and editorial programmes – from Wrocław, national and international. Called for by organizers and
literary circles for some time, it will be an important coordinator of municipal support for ambitious literary and readership life, as well as book creative industries.


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