International Literature Festival Berlin Calls for a Day of Ukrainian Readings

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International Literature Festival Berlin’s day of Ukrainian readings is scheduled for September 7, the festival’s opening date.

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By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Reading Registrations Requested by August 2
September 7, a Sunday, has been chosen by the International Literature Festival Berlin as a day of “Worldwide Reading of Ukrainian Literature.”

This is a program organized by the festival in cooperation with Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 19 to 23), the newly formed PEN Berlin, and the older organization, the German PEN Center.

Specifically, the project calls on schools, universities, cinemas, cultural institutions, various media organizations as well as engaged citizens to become involved in reading Ukrainian literature on September 7—the opening of this year’s festival, which runs September 7 to 17.

In its call to action, the organization’s messaging reads, “On the occasion of the war in Ukraine and its devastating effects, we would like to shine a light on Ukrainian literature through this worldwide reading, to highlight its content and stylistic facets and to give Ukrainian authors an international forum.

“Even in times of distress, literature can and must function as a medium of criticism, [attempting] to find words and linguistic forms for the unspeakable.

“At the same time, the readings will focus not only on current works, but also on historical ones.”

The program is asking organizations and people who would like to participate with a reading to register their interest by Tuesday (September 2). The program will need to know who is organizing a given event, the venue and time, who is to read, the language in which they’ll be reading, and a link to a site. This information can be sent to worldwidereading@literaturfestival.com . “The organizers must acquire the rights to the [reading] texts themselves from the publishers or authors,” the announcement points out, adding, “We are happy to provide support in this matter.”

The festival plans to announce events registered with the project on its site, through various social media, and in the news media.

The program includes a proposed list of writings for the project, and there are downloads of the proposed writings in German here (PDF) and Ukrainian here (PDF).

War Diaries

  • Natalka Woroshbit
  • Olena Stiazhkina
  • Serhiy Zhadan
  • Yuriy Gurzhy
  • Serhij Zhadan
  • Oleh Kozarew

Prose

  • Oksana Zabuzhko
  • Yurii Andrukhovych

Poetry

  • Daryna Gladun
  • Boris Chersonskij
  • Halyna Kruk
  • Ljubow Jakymtschuk
  • Iwan Kruschelnyzkyj
  • Leonid Zymnyj
  • Majk Johansen
  • Mykola Tereschtschenko
  • Iwan Kruschelnyzkyj
  • Mychail Semenko
  • Mychajlo Lebedynez

Again, basic information on this project is here.


Follow our coverage of Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine and its impact on the country’s publishing players and international industry reactions. 

More from Publishing Perspectives on the German book market is here, more on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here, more on PEN International and its chapters is here, more on the International Literature Festival Berlin is here, and more on literary festivals is here

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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