An afternoon in Reykjavik at the Conrad Festival

On Sunday afternoon (the 27th of October, starting at 1 p.m.), we would like to invite you to literary Reykjavik in the centre of Krakow! You will have the opportunity to sit on a literary bench (identical to that in the Faxa Bay) and listen to poems read out by the most popular poets from Iceland, watch films from the Fabulous Iceland series, and above all – read. There will also be live poets and writers straight from Reykjavik, a UNESCO City of Literature. And on your way home, look around the city carefully – on billboards, buses, and walls, you will find sagas and little sagas. “Jokabokaflod”, i.e. the Icelandic literary flood, is slowly getting to Krakow. Sjaumst! (i.e. see you!). At the Conrad Festival, of course.

What awaits those who will come to Pałac Pod Baranami on Sunday afternoon?

From 1 p.m. – Poetic appetisers (from Icelandic sagas to the ORT project). The programme will include: a conversation about what happened to Icelandic poetry (and prose) since the era of the first sagas (so within the last millennium); the answer to the question of how many contemporary Icelandic poets there are and whether it is true that there are more of them than the island’s inhabitants. Additionally, there will be poetic attempts in the most authentic rendition, as well as a short story about the greatest poetry excavation in the history of Polish-Icelandic relations, i.e. the ORT: Poems from Iceland/Poems from Poland project. Participants of the meeting will include: Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl (the tallest poet in Iceland and the most popular Icelandic slammer), Þorgerður Agla Magnúsdóttir from the Iceladic Literature Center, Izabella Kaluta from the Book Institute, and Olga Hołownia. The meeting will be hosted by Szymon Kloska.

From 2 p.m. – As the first course: The architecture of a crime novel, i.e. a meeting with one of the best-known authors of crime novels, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir. Þóra Guðmundsdóttir was born in 2005. Before that, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir was a level-headed engineer, with several books for children and teenagers in her oeuvre. Ever since the character of her novels, lawyer Þóra (Thora) was born, Yrsa has been called the queen of the Icelandic crime novel. Her engrossing, gloomy, and mysterious books are really hard to put down. The meeting will be hosted by Marcin Wilk.

From 3 p.m. – As the main course: Suit and tie – a meeting with Hallgrímur Helgason, called the Charles Bukowski of Icelandic literature. Helgason is the author of the very popular, dramatised, and frequently quoted 101 Reykjavik. In Krakow, he will talk about his next thrilling novel, The Woman at 1000°C, written on the basis of the memories of the daughter of the first president of Iceland. In Iceland, the novel provoked a national discussion on whether there are no holds barred in literature. The meeting will be hosted by Szymon Kloska.

But this is not all. During the Conrad Festival, a new literary mural will be created in the urban space. After TYPOMURAL (2011) and Lem’s Mural (2012), literature will appear on the facade of the Salt Warehouse (on ul. Na Zjeździe 8). All those passing by Plac Bohaterów Getta will be able to read poems every day! The unusual library that the Warehouse facade will turn into thanks to the mural, will present quotations from poems by Polish and Icelandic poets: Ewa Lipska, Adam Zagajewski, Agnieszka Wolny-Hamkało, Sjón, Óskar Árni Óskarsson, Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir, and Ingunn Snædal. The mural is being created as part of the ORT: Poems from Iceland/Poems from Poland project carried out by the Book Institute. The capital of Iceland is the first non-English-speaking UNESCO City of Literature and a special guest of this year’s edition of the Conrad Festival. The ORT: Poems from Iceland / Poems from Poland project is financed from the EEA funds from Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway and from national resources.

Organisers: Instytut Książki, Fundacja Sztuki Nowej ZNACZY SIĘ, Fundacja Miasto Literatury, Krakowskie Biuro Festiwalowe.

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