Maarten van der Graaff and Ostap Ukrainiets are this year’s residents of the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature

Maarten van der Graaff from the Netherlands and Ostap Ukrainiets from Ukraine are this year’s residents of the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature. They will work on their latest texts during a two-month stay at the Villa Decius. For them, it is a time of intensive work, exploring the city and developing contacts in the literary industry.

Maarten van der Graaff has been working as a poet and writer in the Netherlands for 7 years now. His first collection of poems, Vluchtautogedichten (Getaway car poems), was awarded the C. Buddingh’-prize, a prestigious prize for debut collections. He teaches at the Radboud University in Nijmegen and ArtEZ in Arnhem. In recent years was a resident of the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht and read at bookstores and festivals in London, Lviv, Zagreb, and Sydney.

The second resident Lviv-bound writer and translator from Ivano-Frankivsk Ostap Ukrainiets finished National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, has a master’s degree in comparative literature studies. Started out as a writer in 2017 with a novel “Malchut”, which was dubbed as “Debut of the Year” by the Village magazine. Since then he published novels “Trance” and “Crusade Chancellery”, which both got a warm public reception. Ostap writes in genres of historical and weird fiction, often referring to cultural heritage and historical anecdotes.

Maarten van der Graaff and Ostap Ukrainiets will stay in the Łaski House, in the guest rooms of the Villa Decius Institute for Culture, a partner of the project. Their stay in Krakow gives them an opportunity to work on literary texts in the friendly environment of Decius Park and, at the same time, to participate in the literary life of the city and present their work to Krakow audiences.

The Krakow UNESCO City of Literature Residency Program is dedicated to writers, poets and translators from the Cities of Literature of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. It aims to promote the Cities of Literature Network, provide writers with a platform to showcase their work and talent to a Central European audience, support greater diversity of voices and literatures on the Polish and Central European book market and offer local writers the chance to create links with international writers as well. In the past, as part of the programme, Krakow hosted artists from such countries as Great Britain, New Zealand, Ukraine, Spain or Australia.

The Residency Programme for authors from UNESCO Cities of Literature is one of a bunch of such projects implemented by Kraków UNESCO City of Literature, along with the International Cities of Refuge Network ICORN, the Kraków-Angoulême exchange residency, a residency programme for translator and residencies for winners of literary prizes.

The programme is implemented by KBF – a cultural institution of the City of Krakow in cooperation with the Villa Decius Institute for Culture.

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