Romania is the 2019 guest of honour at Authors’ Reading Month, the largest literary festival in Central Europe.
Held for the first time in 2000, in Brno (Czech Republic), as a local-only event, the Authors’ Reading Month grew and spread to four other cities: Ostrava (Czech Republic) in 2011, Wrocław (Poland) and Košice (Slovakia) in 2012, and Lviv (Ukraine), in 2015. As it is still debated if a literature of Central Europe does indeed exist—several top-ranked Google pages debate the topic—festivals such as Authors’ Reading Month are not only welcome, but necessary.
While the organisers don’t focus on the capitals—the participating cities are second or third largest in their countries—the scope of the festival is quite impressive: it lasts for a whole month, starting on July 1st each year and it has numerous events dedicated to literature for the upcoming month. The festival spotlights not only the national literature of the hosting countries, but also a guest of honour, a different country each year. Two authors are introduced each day—a local and a guest—and overall sixty-two authors are hosted along the month, accompanied by hundreds of readings and related events, such as new translations and documentary series presenting the writers.
As the guest of honour for the festival’s 20th anniversary, Romania is represented by some of its most prominent authors—novelists, poets, historians, and playwrights—Adrian Cioroianu, Cătalin Dorian Florescu, Dumitru Crudu, Andrei Dósa, Simona Popescu, Adrian Schiop, Filip Florian, Ana Blandiana, Iulia Militaru, Svetlana Cârstean, Miruna Vlada, Claudiu Komartin, Ioana Pârvulescu, Varujan Vosganian, Vlad Zografi, Lucian Boia, Lucian Dan Teodorovici, Ioana Nicolaie, Dan Coman, Dan Lungu, Marin Mălaicu-Hondrari, Gianina Cărbunariu, Lavinia Branişte, Cosmin Perţa, Ştefan Baghiu, Doina Jela, Adina Rosetti, Octavian Soviany, Alina Nelega, Gabriela Feceoru, Florin Lăzărescu, and Tatiana Țîbuleac.
For those wanting to familiarise themselves with the authors, on the festival’s webpage there are short presentation videos of all the participants.
The venues for this year’s events are:
Brno – Divadlo Husa na provázku, Zelný trh 9;
Košice – Kasárne/Kulturpark, Kukučínova 2;
Ostrava – Divadlo „12“, Čs. legií 12;
Wrocław – Mediateka, pl. Teatralny 5 a Proza/Wrocławski Dom Literatury, Przejście Garncarskie 2 (every Thursday);
Lvov – Divadlo Lesji Ukrajinky, Horodecka street (вул. Городоцька) 36.
It is also worth mentioning that all readings are broadcasted live and the recordings will available online.
Featured image: Art Lasovsky / Unsplash