Tag Archives: literature

The Network of Creative Cities got new members, also cities with strong heritage in literature

2017-11-04

Unesco, a United Nations organization, has an appealing initiative: Creative City. The organization wants to promote cooperation among cities that have introduced sustainable development as a key element into their strategies. In addition, if the city is supporting creative initiatives, it can be nominated into the Unesco Creative Cities Network. Literature is one of the seven creative themes that identify the network members.

city wall painting. photo by brillianthues
The Network covers seven creative fields: crafts and folk arts, media arts, film, design, gastronomy, literature and music. Recently, in October 2017, 64 new cities joined the network of creative cities. The total count is 180 cities in 72 countries.

Unesco has listed seven cities as literature-specific. They are:

Bucheon (Republic of Korea)
Durban (South Africa)
Lillehammer (Norway)
Manchester (United Kingdom)
Milan (Italy)
Québec City (Canada)
Utrecht (Netherlands)

Four out of seven cities are in Europe, but other than that, there are not many similarities between them. Lillehammer and Utrecht are not big cities, whereas the others are more or less large and busy cities.

Edinburgh joined the network of creative cities already earlier with literature as its key art form. The video below shows some literature specific activities and places in Edinburgh, but it also shows how wonderful travel destination the city is.

Unesco defines the creative city concept as follows:

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The 116 cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.

New cities that recently joined the Creative Cities Network (other than literature-related) are the following:

Alba (Italy) – Gastronomy
Almaty (Kazakhstan) – Music
Amarante (Portugal) – Music
Auckland (New Zealand) – Music
Baguio City (Philippines) – Crafts and Folk Art
Barcelos (Portugal) – Crafts and Folk Art
Braga (Portugal) – Media Arts
Brasilia (Brazil) – Design
Bristol (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) – Film
Brno (Czechia) – Music
Buenaventura (Colombia) – Gastronomy
Cairo (Egypt) – Crafts and Folk Art
Cape Town (South Africa) – Design
Carrara (Italy) – Crafts and Folk Art
Changsha (China) – Media Arts
Chennai (India) – Music
Chiang Mai (Thailand) – Crafts and Folk Art
Chordeleg (Ecuador) – Crafts and Folk Art
Cochabamba (Bolivia [Plurinational State of]) – Gastronomy
Daegu Metropolitan City (Republic of Korea) – Music
Dubai (United Arab Emirates) – Design
Frutillar (Chile) – Music
Gabrovo (Bulgaria) – Crafts and Folk Art
[City of] Greater Geelong (Australia) – Design
Guadalajara (Mexico) – Media Arts
Hatay Metropolitan Municipality (Turkey) – Gastronomy
Istanbul (Turkey) – Design
João Pessoa (Brazil) – Crafts and Folk Art
Kansas City (United States of America) – Music
Kolding (Denmark) – Design
Kortrijk (Belgium) – Design
Košice (Slovakia) – Media Arts
Kütahya (Turkey) – Crafts and Folk Art
Limoges (France) – Crafts and Folk Art
Łódź (Poland) – Film
Macao Special Administrative Region, China (Associate Member, UNESCO) – Gastronomy
Madaba (Jordan) – Crafts and Folk Art
Mexico City (Mexico) – Design
Morelia (Mexico) – Music
Norrköping (Sweden) – Music
Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) – Crafts and Folk Art
Panama City (Panama) – Gastronomy
Paraty (Brazil) – Gastronomy
Pesaro (Italy) – Music
Porto-Novo (Benin) – Crafts and Folk Art
Praia (Cabo Verde) – Music
Qingdao (China) – Film
San Antonio (United States of America) – Gastronomy
Seattle (United States of America) – Literature
Sheki (Azerbaijan) – Crafts and Folk Art
Sokodé (Togo) – Crafts and Folk Art
Terrassa (Spain) – Film
Tétouan (Morocco) – Crafts and Folk Art
Toronto (Canada) – Media Arts
Tunis (Tunisia) – Crafts and Folk Art
Wuhan (China) – Design
Yamagata City (Japan) – Film

Via Publishing Perspectives.

Barcelona, Spain selected as the city of literature 2016 by Unesco

2015-12-21

Each year Unesco, a United Nations organization that focuses on development of education, science and culture, nominates a number of cities for different fields of culture that constitute the Creative Cities Network. For instance, film, music, media arts, gastronomy, design, crafts and literature get their own global capitals. For 2016, the City of Literature is Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain.

barcelona la rambla on sant jordi, by nuria

La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain occupied by book lovers during Sant Jordi. Photo by Nuria.


Cities can apply Unesco for nomination. Barcelona focused its application on the city’s heritage in publishing literature in two official languages of Catalonia: Spanish and Catalan. The city also has a lively publishing scene and it is renowned as the place where the World Book Day was invented.

Barcelona already has plans for 2016 for a program that promote literature and literary trade in the city. Some already agreed activities are:

Villa Joana – Casa Verdaguer Literature (Verdaguer House of Literature) in Vallvidrera will open after renovation.
Additional subsidies to libraries.
Activities to promote the work of editors.
Sant Jordi day – The World Book Day started in Barcelona, and special celebration are planned.

La Vanguardia reported the news.

The Best Up-and-Coming European Fiction Authors 2015

2015-04-15

European Union has established an annual prize to promote European fiction authors who haven’t made a big breakthrough among big audiences yet. The prize, worth 5000 euros, is awarded to 12 authors who live in an EU country or in a number of non-EU countries in Europe. The winners in 2015 represent a great variety of European cultures and languages.

EU literature prize 2015

The European Union Prize for Literature is a joint effort by European book trade. The European Booksellers’ Federation, Writers’ Council, and the Federation of European Publishers all hope to encourage translations for books written in national languages. The winners were nominated by national juries.

The winners in 2015 were:

  • Carolina Schutti (Austria) for Einmal muss ich über weiches Gras gelaufen sein (Once I must have trodden soft grass). Otto Müller Verlag, 2012.
  • Luka Bekavac (Croatia) for Viljevo. Fraktura, 2013.
  • Gaëlle Josse (France) for Le dernier gardien d’Ellis Island (The last guardian of Ellis Island). Editions Noir sur Blanc, 2014.
  • Edina Szvoren (Hungary) for Nincs, és ne is legyen (There Is None, Nor Let There Be). Palatinus, 2012.
  • Donal Ryan (Ireland) for The Spinning Heart (Le cœur qui tourne). Doubleday Ireland, 2013.
  • Lorenzo Amurri (Italy) for Apnea. Fandango Libri, 2013.
  • Undinė Radzevičiūtė (Lithuania) for Žuvys ir drakonai (Fishes and Dragons). Baltos lankos, 2013.
  • Ida Hegazi Høyer (Norway) for Unnskyld (Forgive me). Tiden Norsk Forlag, 2014.
    Magdalena Parys (Poland) for Magik (Magician). Świat Książki, 2014.
  • David Machado (Portugal) for Índice Médio de Felicidade (Average Happiness Index). Dom Quixote, 2013.
  • Svetlana Zuchova (Slovakia) for Obrazy zo života M. (Scenes from the Life of M.). Marenčin PT, 2013.
  • Sara Stridsberg (Sweden) for Beckomberga – ode till min familj (The Gravity of Love). Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2014.
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