21 August 2018 Conrad in Bookstores – announcing the programme!

Recently, we asked Krakow’s booksellers to suggest events that would enrich the programme of the upcoming Conrad Festival with a belief that nobody can create the atmosphere of the 10th edition of the Festival better than the creators and animators of places that breathe literature all year round. They have proven us right. We proudly present the “Conrad in Bookstores” programme!

A series of afternoon readings of fragments of works that are still in-progress, a discussion summing up a century of voting rights for women in Poland, bloggers’ debates, discussions about instapoetry, pop culture, the resurrection of Slavic mythology, and even a literary duel of dog and cat lovers – all this and much more awaits readers in eight Krakow bookstores in October during the Conrad Festival.

The campaign prepared by the Krakow Festival Office – co-organiser and operator of the Krakow – UNESCO City of Literature programme – is a part of a long-term strategy of promoting small, independent bookstores as cultural centres, as well as activities aimed at supporting a sustainable book market. This time, however, it was not the organisers, but the booksellers who suggested events that will receive financial support and will be officially included in the programme of the Conrad Festival. Only independent bookstores from Krakow, not affiliated with any chains, were eligible to join the campaign.

The programme will open with a series of first readings of works-in-progress in the brick-and-mortar bookstore of the Karakter publishing house, which will open at the beginning of October at Tarłowska 12. The invited authors – Olga Gitkiewicz, Magda Heydel, Marcin Wicha, Wells Tower, Maciej Zaremba Bielawski, Dominika Słowik and David Vann – will read fragments of their yet unpublished books to the visitors for the first time!

On Tuesday, October 23rd, the Massolit bookstore (Felicjanek 4) will celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s voting rights in Poland together with the “One Hundred Years of Women’s Voice” Association – join us for a discussion on the long road to this element of equality, which we take for granted these days, as well as the impact of this event on today’s social and political reality.

On the same day, the Młoda ART BOOKSTORE (Plac Szczepański 9) will become a stage for an unprecedented confrontation between a representative of cat lovers (Olga Drenda) and Michał Cichy, speaking on behalf of dog lovers, which will be an opportunity to talk about our four-legged furry companions. Abecadło Antique Book Store will organise another meeting in an equally informal and intimate atmosphere. Join us at Kościuszki 18 for an encounter with Joanna Lech devoted to instapoetry and other contemporary forms of life of the oldest literary genre.

On Thursday, October 25th, you can attend two events – at Księgarnia Pod Globusem (Długa 1) at 5:00 p.m., where you will have an opportunity to listen to a bilingual Polish-Greek reading of a collection of short stories Nietoperze / Bats by Lena Kitsopoulou and a novel Why I Killed My Best Friend by Amanta Michalopoulou with authors and invited actors, and then you can go to Spółdzielnia Ogniwo (Paulińska 28), where at 7:00 p.m. you will be able to listen to a discussion about the popularity of pop culture in contemporary texts by Polish writers, featuring Anna Cieplak, winner of last year’s Conrad Award for her debut Ma być czysto and Jan Bińczycki.

Friday, October 25th will bring another two interesting events in the programme. At 6:00 p.m. the Bonobo travel bookstore (Maly Rynek 4) will host a discussion about the Slavic culture and its longevity – in public debate, in the media, in the consciousness of the youngest generation. Fans of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s cinematography can join us for an evening meeting in the De Revolutionibus bookstore (Bracka 14), featuring Katarzyna Surmiak-Domańska – the author of new biography of the director.

The bookstore propositions for the Conrad Festival will be concluded on Saturday (October 27th) with a debate of literary journalists and bloggers at Księgarnia Pod Globusem and a late afternoon reading of Thomas Reinertsen Berg’s Theater of the World with the author, during which we will explore the world of imagination of cartographers who lived in the days of old.

The Conrad Festival will be present in bookstores not only thanks to the events, but also through the books of festival guests. Specially arranged displays and shelves with a broad selection of publications by the authors joining us for the festival will be available at: Bonobo Księgarnia Kawiarnia Podróżnicza, De Revolutionibus Books & Café, Główna Księgarnia Naukowa. (Podwale 6), Księgarnia CUD (Mały Rynek 4), Księgarnia Karakter, Księgarnia Młoda ART BOOKSTORE, Muza II (Królewska 47), Pod Globusem, Massolit Books & Café and Spółdzielnia Ogniwo. Booksellers will receive additional support for arranging displays and shelves. This campaign is intended as an alternative to the practices of large publishing houses related to book promotions, which are mostly unavailable to independent bookstores.

The bookstore in the festival centre at Czeczotka House will be run by Lokator (Mostowa 1).

The Bookstore Programme of the 10th Conrad Festival was created with the support of the City of Krakow. Wiedzaksiegarza.pl – a project by the Legal Culture Foundation – is a partner of the Programme.