The eleventh year of the Warsaw Book Fair (Warszawskie Targi Książki) will run under the umbrella of the Czech Republic. Due to the pandemic, the event was moved from last year to this autumn and will take place from 9 to 12 September. In the first half of June, the Moravian Library in Brno, which traditionally organizes the Czech exhibit at four fairs (London, Bologna, Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main), was authorised to arrange the Warsaw fair by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.
“Warsaw is the first trade fair to physically take place after the end of the pandemic. And it is good news for Czech literature that it will be a guest country on an occasion that will attract a lot of international attention. Our expectations are more than great, but we can rely on the great position that Czech literature has in Poland. Thanks to Czech authors, but also to great translators,” said Tomáš Kubíček, Moravian Library’s director.
The fair will take place as physical event in an outdoor area in front of the Palace of Culture and Science in the city centre of Warsaw. The artistic administration panel, composed of experts from the literary setting, nominated eleven Czech authors. They are as follows: Michal Ajvaz, Bianca Bellová, David Böhm, Radka Denemarková, Petr Hruška, Petra Hůlová, Galina Miklínová, Iva Procházková, Jaroslav Rudiš, Marek Šindelka and Kateřina Tučková. Parallel with the book fair, the Warsaw of Comics (Komiksowa Warszawa) festival will take place, featuring Pavel Čech.
Visitors can look forward to a colourful agenda with Czech authors on the Czech Stage. They will be able to see the best of Czech literature in the 300 m2 national tent of the Czech Republic. During the opening ceremony on Thursday evening, 9 September, the Czech cellist and singer Dorota Barová will perform; the national programme will also commemorate 85 years since the birth and 10 years since the death of the Czech playwright Václav Havel.
“Mariusz Szczygieł, a Polish writer, journalist and promoter of Czech culture in Poland, will act as the ‘ambassador’ of the Czech hosting duties. He will also take on the role of the artistic administrator, as well as the moderator of several literary events. The role of the Czech Republic as the host of the fair in Warsaw would not be possible without a number of cooperating partners with whom we are preparing the accompanying programme; these include the Czech Centre in Warsaw, the Polish Cultural Institute in Prague, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Warsaw and Instytut Reportażu,” said Martin Krafl, the programme coordinator of the Czech Republic’s role of hosting the Warsaw fair.
The members of the artistic administration panel are: Radovan Auer, director, Svět knihy (World of Books); Joanna Goszczyńska, Slavist and Bohemian scholar; Martin Krafl, Head Coordinator of the Czech Literary Centre (section of the Moravian Library); Taťjana Langášková, director of the Czech Centre in Warsaw; Jakub Pacześniak, philologist and poet; Zdenko Pavelka, literary publicist and publisher; Julia Różewicz, Bohemian scholar and translator; Mariusz Szczygieł, writer and reporter; Tomáš Kubíček, Moravian Library’s director; Anna Wanik, translator; Lucie Zakopalová, Polish scholar and translator and Tomáš Zmeškal, writer.