More guests coming to literary Krakow

Announcing our 2017 Krakow UNESCO City of Literature Residency Program Writers!

The Krakow UNESCO City of Literature Residency Program is dedicated to young and emerging writers from the Cities of Literature of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. The Program was created with the belief that the Network provides an excellent opportunity to develop interconnections, boost mobility, and offer professionalization services for writers. 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. As a result of the 2017 call for applications, three writers representing three different Cities of Literature were selected for the program!


Sarah Herman, Brynjar Jóhannesson, Sarah Stewart

In May, Krakow will welcome Brynjar Jóhannesson from Reykjavik UNESCO City of Literature. Brynjar is an Icelandic poet, with a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Iceland and currently studying for a masters degree in creative writing at the same university. In 2014 he was the winner of the annual poetry slam contest held by the municipal library of Reykjavík. In 2014, Brynjar worked with Drífa Thoroddsen on a poetry project as a part of Listhópar hins hússins, a program for funding young artists in the city of Reykjavík. As of March 2017 he has written and self-published four books of poetry. One, Biðstofuljóð, in 2014, as a part of his project with Drífa Thoroddsen, and the other three (Ég, Flugvél and Og) in 2017 as part of his ongoing poetry project tólf (e. twelve). During his residency in Krakow, Brynjar will work on a short book of poetry inspired by the city. Brynjar cites Wisława Szymborska, Ewa Lipska as well as Tadeusz Różewicz as inspirations; these Polish poets have been closely connected with Krakow, of course!

Sarah Stewart, poet and children‘s book author from Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature, will stay in Krakow in June 2017, just in time for the Miłosz International Poetry Festival. Sarah plans to work on a poetry series about Krakow from the Scottish perspective. She became interested in Polish poetry, especially that of Czesław Miłosz, while working on an international poetry project called „Written World“. Sarah started her career at comic publishers DC Thomson before moving to London to work as a magazine journalist and then editor. She was Fiction Editor at Scholastic Children’s Books and Senior Editor at Floris Books, and has written for Mizz, Bella, Time Out, The Skinny, The Herald, The List and The Guardian. She is Director of The Lighthouse Literary Consultancy, which offers editorial guidance to new writers. Sarah’s children’s books are published by Stripes under the pseudonym Sarah Forbes, and her poetry has appeared in Anon, Gutter, Mslexia, New Writing Dundee, The Pickled Body, The Scotsman and in the 2014 anthologies Be The First To Like This: New Scottish Poetry and Best Scottish Poems 2014.

Last but not least, Sarah Herman, hailing from Norwich UNESCO City of Literature and joining us in Krakow in October, has spent over 10 years writing, editing, and proofreading for advertising and marketing agencies, book publishers,and magazines, both in-house and as a freelancer. She has written copy for the likes of Topshop, Fuller’sBrewery, Brighterkind Care Homes, and Red Tractor, produced web copy for a daily deals site,was the staff writer for an arts and fashion magazine, and worked as a marketing agency proofreader, where theclient list included Barclays, Aviva, Mazda, and Pret A Manger. She has interviewed filmmakers and farmers, spoken about Facebook on Polish TV, and written over 20 books aboutsubjects as varied as famous assassinations, LEGO models, and The Archers. While in Krakow, Sarah will be working on her new literary project which involves a short story collection that centers on the lives of three women. Readers and audiences will have a chance to meet with Sarah at the Joseph Conrad International Literature Festival.

The Residency Program is a strategic project of the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature Program, operated by the Krakow Festival Office, which will fulfill the priority of strengthening international cooperation in the field of literature and the creative industries.

Willa Decjusza

Writers will receive the opportunity for a one-month stay at the Villa Decius, official partner of the project with years of experience running international residencies, including the Visegrad Literary Residency and the ICORN residency program.

The Krakow Festival Office will guarantee residents the opportunity to participate in the literary life of the city and help to develop opportunities for them to promote their works in Poland.



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