The multilingual Czech Literature Portal (Portál české literatury) is intended mainly for the promotion of Czech literature abroad. The aim of the Portal is to provide information on contemporary Czech authors and their works (novelists, poets, playwrights, essayists including authors of literature for children). It is not the purpose of the Portal to stand in for the comprehensive range of academic sources available in this area. The service we seek to provide is that of a modern, centralized source which is regularly updated, comprising information on the literary life of the Czech Republic in its broadest sense. The information is intended to reach abroad: scholars (including students), translators, editors, literary centres, organizers of literary events (festivals, fairs, readings, exhibitions), journalists, compatriots and general public interested in Czech literature.
What information can you find on the Portal
On the Portal you will find daily updated news mapping literary events in the Czech Republic such as author's readings, book launches, signings, festivals and conferences. Furthermore, you can find on the Portal interviews and articles about Czech literature and information on Czech literature abroad, such as the participation of Czech authors in book fairs and festivals, the awardings of prizes, and calls for proposals within the grant programmes of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, etc.
The New Books section provides annotations of new, both fiction and non-fiction. The Portal understands literature in a broad sense; it is not merely the written, printed word - it also includes, for example, audio books, works on the internet and intermedia experiments. The section covers both production from the Czech Republic as well as books by Czech authors and books about Czech literature published abroad.
The New Profiles section provides profiles of authors newly added to the site. These profiles contain a short CV and photograph, a list of prizes, a bibliography of works published at home and abroad, extracts from selected works, contact information (author or agent/publisher), and links (author's website, reviews, etc.).
The What Is On section provides information on readings, exhibitions, workshops, discussions, etc.
The Portal sends out a regular e-mail newsletter (in two versions − Czech and English), with information from the News, New Books and What Is On sections; the individual issues are archived.
Besides that you can find the Authors section, comprising information about (above all) living and presently writing authors and their works (writers, poets, playwrights, essayists, etc.); currently app. 250 authors are presented − the profiles contain brief biography with photography, list of awards, bibliography (books published in the Czech Republic as well as abroad), anotations, extracts, contact (author, agency/publisher) and links (author´s website, reviews). In the Literary links you find periodicals, awards, festivals/fairs, libraries/archives, various organizations, educational and research institutions, agencies, grants and scholarships, etc. Czech literature abroad offers an overview of the support for publishing of Czech literature, information about the promotion of Czech literature and information about Czech studies. Literature after 1945 presents the development of Czech literature in the recent period. Bibliography covers (in a selective manner) works of Czech authors in foreign languages (including the production in the Czech Republic).
Since March 1, 2009 the Portal is managed by the Arts Institute (Viktor Debnár) in co-operation with the editor-in-chief (Jaroslav Balvín), editor of the german mutation (Šárka Krtková) and editors (Erika Zlamalová, Lenka Růžičková). Members of the Editorial Board, which has a consultative role, are: Miroslav Balaštík, Dana Blatná, Petr Borkovec, Jaroslav Císař, Jiří Dědeček, Bohumil Fišer, Aleš Haman, Ivo Harák, Pavel Janoušek, Dana Kalinová, Vladimír Karfík, Radim Kopáč and Helena Kovaříková; the Board was in session for the first time in June 2009. Until the end of April 2009 the Portal was managed by this Board.
Furthermore, many other external contributors co-operate with the Portal; the translations are the work of leading Czech scholars and translators from abroad, including Anna Bryson, Marianne Canavaggio, Marcela Euler, Christina Frankenberg, Xavier Galmiche, Silke Klein, Mirko Kraetsch, Jana Kubišta, Branislava Kuburovič, Benoit Meunier, Andrew Philip Oakland, Jean-Gaspard Páleníček, Derek Paton, Christa Rothmeier, Catherine Servant, David Short, Kateřina Volná and Nathalie Zanello-Kounovsky. The compiling of the bibliography of works of Czech literature in translation was done mainly by Patrick Beslon, Jana Kubišta and Volker Strebel. We cooperate with translators Lucia Udvardyová, Graeme Dibble, Richard Olehla, Bernie Higgins and Jane Kirwan. Authors´ photographs are by Karel Cudlín, Přemysl Havlík and others.
The Portal co-operates with the Association of Czech Booksellers and Publishers (SČKN), the Czech Centres, Pluh, Aura-Pont, Dana Blatná and DILIA agencies, the Institute for Czech Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (for information on its Slovník české literatury po roce 1945 project, see www.slovnikceskeliteratury.cz), cultural and literary periodicals such as Host, A2, Respekt, Reflex or Týdeník Rozhlas, the daily press, and individual authors.
In case you want to inform our readers about your event (festival, reading, seminar), new book being published, etc., please feel free to write us.
Czech Literature Portal now has Web site in English, article by Stephan Delbos about the Portal in the Prague Post see here (January 13, 2010).