Lviv became a City of Literature in 2015 and then, as the summation of all the work done for the application the first edition of Lviv: City of Inspiration was published.
Lviv is famous as the city where first edition of Primer was printed in year 1547 by the first Ukrainian printer Ivan Fedorovich.
Since 2017, Lviv has had its own unique literature award “Lviv UNESCO City of Literature Award.” It’s the only award where prize goes directly to the author of the laureate book.
The Publishers Forum, held in Lviv, was the first book festival in Ukraine. It’s now 26 years old and still, every year, thousands and thousands of people from the whole word come to visit one of the biggest book festivals in Ukraine.
Lviv is open to the whole world, and in July 2019 Lviv hosted our first international translation workshop, LitTransformer, in which we invited translators from the Cities of Literature to participate.
The literary translation workshop LitTransformer set out to create an engaging cross-cultural environment where participants were encouraged to translate literary writings that represent their literary tradition and the contemporary context in which they work.
For 10 days, the project gave an opportunity to collaborate with participants from such UNESCO Cities of Literature as Reykjavik, Norwich, Barcelona and Utrecht and work with professional and emerging translators under the guidance of Aron Aji, the Director of MFA in Literary Translation at the University of Iowa, the largest program of its kind in the United States. The participants also benefited from a supportive and stimulating environment provided by the translation faculty members at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, who are committed to individualized mentoring and sharing their expertise in translation.
As a result of the project, nine art-works were translated into different world languages. Two of the works are very important for us as they are Ukrainian.
WORLD POETRY DAY
Together with the Cities of Literature Network, with the initiative of Granada City of Literature, we made a beautiful video for World Poetry Day. Famous Ukrainian poets Ostap Slyvynski and Olha Povoroznyk switched their roles as Ostap lived through Olha’s poetry and Olha fantastically declared Ostap’s poem.
UnderLitMove was an UNESCO City of Literature micro-gathering held in Lviv in September 18-22, 2019 in the framework of Lviv BookForum. The main aim was to gather and share experiences of informal literature events in different cities, spreading Ukrainian underground literature movement in an international arena and sharing the practices of implementation and functionality of common underground literature.
Additionally, Lviv UNESCO City of Literature provided a common City of Literature stand in the second biggest book fair during the BookForum.
The Book Forum and International Literature Festival, founded in 1994 and held annually in September, is the primary book event of the country and one of the largest in Eastern Europe. The goal of the Book Forum is to bring together all those who are interested in developing Ukrainian book publishing, expand cultural and educational offerings to Ukrainians, promote Ukrainian titles, and inspire all those who love to read.
The festival of Children’s Reading “BookMania” – is an unique festival of family time, where play and learning are combined. Writers and artists, scientists, sportsmen, musicians, inventors, museum workers, librarians and masters are among the many people who share their skills with children.
By producing both the Book Forum and Book Mania, the NGO “The Publisher’s Forum” popularizes reading, develops the book market, and increases the cultural and educational level of Ukrainian society.
The largest literary festival in Central Europe, Authors’ Reading Month was first held in Brno in the year 2000. While starting out as a Brno-only event, it soon spread to other cities, most recently, in 2015, to Lviv.
The focus of the festival is twofold. On one hand, it concentrates on presenting the national literature of the hosting countries; on the other, it selects a fifth country each year to become the ‘Guest of Honour’ to present its literature as well.
The festival starts on July 1st every year, and the participating cities host various events for the following 31 days. Two authors are introduced each day – one visiting and one local.
All in all, Lviv hosts sixty-two writers throughout the month of July, and the festival, as a whole, hosts more than three hundred authors' readings and accompanying programmes across the various cities.
The Lviv Literary Residency is a unique opportunity for writers from Ukraine and worldwide to visit our city and draw inspiration for creating new masterpieces. Everyone who wants to participate in the literary life of Lviv can fulfill their dream and become a resident of our City of Literature. Residency is a joint project of the Development Department of the Lviv City Council, Hnat Khotkevych Palace Of Culture (that hosts Lviv UNESCO City of Literature office) and Ivan Franko Literary and Memorial Museum of Lviv.
In 2018, in collaboration with the foreign cultural institutions, Lviv UNESCO City of Literature project team hosted two residents in Lviv: writer and sociologist Barbara Thériault from UNESCO City of Literature Quebec (Canada), assisted by German Culture Forum for Eastern Europe in Potsdam; and young writer and journalist Marie Gamillscheg from Graz (Austria).
Lviv was a source of writers' inspiration for a few months. During their stay, writers took part in various events in Lviv and other Ukrainian cities, such as Kyiv, Mariupol, and Zaporizhzhia.