Granada, an iconic city for literature, has always been a semillero for poets, writers and intellectuals of great significance, from Yehudá Ibn Tibón (1120-1190) and Ibn Zamrak (1333-1394), to Ángel Ganivet (1865-1898) and Federico García Lorca (1895-1936). With close cultural links to Latin America and North Africa, Granada had the honour of being the first Spanish-language UNESCO City of Literature.
Granada is, above all, the city of Federico García Lorca, who, after Cervantes, is the best known Spanish writer, with his works translated all over the world. Built around his figure and his legacy, the city has constructed a large network of facilities, events and institutions, including the Federico García Lorca-City of Granada Poetry Prize, International Poetry Festival (FIB), Huerta de San Vicente (Federico García Lorca House and Museum), and the new Centro Federico García Lorca.
The Huerta de San Vicente was the summer home of the García Lorca family from 1926 to 1936. Federico García Lorca wrote there some of his main works and sept the days just previous to his arrest and assassination at the onset of the Spanish Civil War. Opened to the public as a House-Museum in 1995, today the Huerta de San Vicente is a living cultural center within the city of Granada.
The new Centro Federico García Lorca aspires to welcome a benchmark in contemporary culture, preserving and disseminating objects and assets held by the Federico García Lorca Foundation, exhibiting international artworks, and undertaking extensive initiatives with children and young people to foster their engagement with the arts.
There are hundreds of literary events, poetry recitals, book launches, round tables, writers’ meetings, celebrations, conferences, seminars and more held in the city every year; these events are the result of all sorts of private and public initiatives. Granada's literary vitality is demonstrated by the fact that four winners of the Spanish National Poetry Prize currently live in the city: Rafael Guillén, Luis García Montero, Antonio Carvajal and Ángeles Mora.
WITH OTHER CITIES
WORLD POETRY DAY PROJECT
World Poetry Day was first declared by UNESCO on 21st of March,during its 30th General Conference in Paris in 1999, with the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard.
On March 21, 2017, Granada UNESCO City of Literature programme celebrated World Poetry Day organizing a big public poetry reading involving 18 city bookshops and 44 poets living in Granada. The experience was so positive that we decided to repeat the public celebration of World Poetry Day, with the intention for it to become an annual event.
The project proposal for the annual celebration of World Poetry Day was presented by Granada to the UNESCO Cities of Literature at its meeting in Barcelona in April 2017. The cities warmly welcomed the possibility of jointly and simultaneously holding this event.
On March 21, 2018, 14 UNESCO Creative Cities of Literature of Granada, Baghdad, Barcelona, Krakow, Dublin, Edinburgh, Heidelberg, Iowa City, Ljubljana, Nottingham, Óbidos, Prague, Reykjavik and Tartu have coordinated across the world to commemorate this event in an extraordinary way.
The WPD project, on the proposal of Granada, involved 14 Creative Cities of literature who prepared the initiative, connecting different celebration with each others cities through social networks and a common communication strategy. In Granada, 25 bookshops held a long-range poetry recital led by 60 poets with personal or professional experiences in the city. In addition, Nottingham sent to Granada its poet Georgina Wilding; while Ljubljana did likewise with its poet Anja Golob. Moreover, the opening event had the special presence of Ms. Francesca Merloni, the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Creative Cities.
The City of Granada International Poetry Festival (FIP) is a cultural event dedicated to poetry which is held annually in the city of Granada, in mid-May. The best authors from the international literary scene participate in the festival, and it takes place mainly at the Federico García Lorca Center and other emblematic places in the city. Each year, the cycle closes with the award ceremony of the prestigious Federico García Lorca International Poetry Prize.
This festival was founded in May 2004 by the poets Daniel Rodríguez and Fernando Valverde Rodríguez, involving many important writers, such as the Nobel Prize winners Wole Soyinka, Herta Müller, Mario Vargas Llosa or Derek Walcott, together with national and international outstanding authors such as Gonzalo Rojas, Ángel González, Juan Gelman, Ernesto Cardinal, Francisco Brines, José Manuel Caballero Bonald, Joaquín Sabina, Claribel Alegría, Mark Strand, Richard Sanger, Adonis, Piedad Bonett, Enrique Morente, among others. This event also encompasses other cultural activities, such as concerts (offered by the Granada City Orchestra), shows, and various entertainment.
The Festival Granada Noir, focused on the noir genre, celebrated its fourth anniversary in 2018. It is usually held at the beginning of October and consists of a wide and varied fusion of cultural proposals that includes literature, cinema, theatre, cabaret, music, gastronomy, journalism, comics, puppetry, photography, etc. It is an open, ludic, free and participative cultural festival with a strong social component.
Granada UNESCO City of Literature, in partnership with the University of Granada, in 2017 launched a new international Granada Writers in Residence Programme. The purpose of this programme is to strengthen international partnerships in the arts sector in general and in the field of writing in particular, as well as to foster contacts and forge bonds between writers from Granada and those from other cities and countries all over the world, to extend the international reach of Granada-based writers, to build international awareness of the cultural fabric of the city of Granada, and to promote Granada as a city of the arts that welcomes talent from abroad with open arms.
The Granada Writers in Residence Programme is targeted at emerging writers, residing in any country in whichever language they write. A month’s stay (30 nights) in Granada for two writers, between the 1st of November to the 1st of December. Granada UNESCO City of Literature covers the travel expenses of each of the writers that are selected. The University of Granada arranges and covers the costs of accommodation for the two writers. Each have their own room with full board at the university’s hall of residence for visitors (Corrala de Santiago).
Granada UNESCO City of Literature and the University of Granada will provide the writers in residence with opportunities to participate in the city’s literary life, arranging contacts with local writers, involvement in workshops, teaching activities, and so on.
In addition to the personal writing projects that the writers in residence will be working on in Granada, they must also undertake to create a text (fiction or nonfiction), at least 8,000 characters long, on their experience of writing and living in Granada.