Yesterday, the International Book Fair in London, where Poland was featured for the first time as the market focus country – the honorary guest of the show – ended. The presentation of Polish literature would not be complete without some significant accents from Krakow, and there were many of them. First was the Conrad Seminar preceding the Fair, complemented by a discussion about translations of Conrad’s works, featuring Magdalena Heydel from the UNESCO Chair for Translation Studies and Intercultural Communication of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. The name of Joseph Conrad was mentioned many times and in a variety of contexts, since this year marks the 160th anniversary of the artist’s birth.
The meetings with Jacek Dukaj and Olga Tokarczuk – two artists published in Krakow – also enjoyed great popularity. Antonia Lloyed-Jones, one of the most prolific translators of Polish literature into English emphasised that being a market focus country during the LBF is a perfect opportunity to increase the recognisability of these artists in the world. Jacek Dukaj confessed that although he personally dislikes speaking publicly and considers all promotional activities as not befitting the profession of a writer, he fully understands and appreciates the significance of the activities in London.
Krakow – UNESCO City of Literature was also featured at the Polish exhibition stand, alongside Krakow Book Fair. The full range of literary events in Krakow, starting from Conrad Festival and Miłosz Festival, to campaigns such as ReadPL! was presented during the industry section. The representatives from the city of Nanjing were also interested in Krakow’s presence during the London Book Fair, since the Chinese city recently began its efforts to receive the UNESCO City of Literature title based on the Krakow model.
Next year’s LBF will see the Baltic States as the honorary guests of the event.
You can read more about the London Book Fair here.