• Monday, June 24, 2024

Seven Foreign Publishers will join the International Book Arsenal Festival in Kyiv

Discover the vibrant literary exchange at the International Book Arsenal Festival in Kyiv, connecting foreign publishers with Ukrainian counterparts.
on May 24, 2024
Seven Foreign Publishers will join the International Book Arsenal Festival in Kyiv | Frontlist

Publishers from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Italy, and Poland will attend the 2024 Book Arsenal in June as part of a new Fellowship Program. The International Book Arsenal Festival intends to host the program annually, with the goal of bringing together foreign and Ukrainian publishers.

During Kyiv's International Book Arsenal Festival, Ukrainian and international publishers and literary agencies will connect to develop and grow their professional networks. Foreign guests will be presented to and educated about opportunities in the Ukrainian book market, industry, and institutions. Attendees will also have the opportunity to engage in festival events and B2B meetings with Ukrainian publishers.

Oksana Karpiuk, Curator of the Book Arsenal's Professional Program, explained that the Fellowship Program follows the style of international book festivals. She emphasized the significance of developing personal connections, communication skills, and collaborations in the publishing sector.

"Any Fellowship Program focuses on being acquainted with the country's book market, institutions, and general literary scene, as well as Ukrainian colleagues, because the business of buying and selling rights is heavily reliant on personal ties and cordial relationships. The International Book Arsenal Festival now offers such a platform, and we hope Ukrainian publishers take advantage of it," she said.

The festival's selection committee received applications from 17 countries. Seven publishers will participate in the program:

Francesca Varotto (Italy): It is the editor-in-chief of the foreign fiction list at Marsilio Editori, a Feltrinelli Group subsidiary.

Nestoras Poulakos (Greece): Publisher and co-founder of Vakxikon Publications; secretary general of the Association of Book Publishers from 2016 to 2019.

Anna Schmidt Andersen (Denmark):  The Editor at Forlaens Publishing since 2018.

David Kakabadze is a Georgian journalist, translator, and publisher. Since 2021, I have served as the editor-in-chief of Siesta Publishing.

Frank Henseleit-Lucke: It is a publisher and translator from Germany. His publishing business, Kupido Literaturverlag, released German translations of Sofia Yablonska's writings. In addition, Henseleit-Lucke will publish the first German translation of Oksana Lutsyshyna's "Ivan and Phebe".

Beata Stasińska (Poland): Literary agent, co-founder of W.A.B. Publisher, and manager of the editorial and rights department.

Jan Kravčík (Czech Republic): Author and translator. Krawchyk, in addition to his job as a senior counselor to the Czech Government Office on regulatory policy, has 25 years of publishing experience as an author, translator, book designer, editor, and publisher at Gorgona Books.

Participants were chosen from an open call for foreign publishers, agencies, and rights managers.

"I was pleased to learn that the International Book Arsenal Festival will feature a scholarship program. It is a gift to be able to learn more about Ukrainian literature, which I know very little about and deserves to be translated and studied more in Italy. It matters a lot when a country decides to invest in and create room for books and cultural interaction during a time of crisis. I can only think how much culture and vitality I'll be able to absorb throughout my time in Kyiv," Francesca Varotto said.

David Kakabadze believes Ukraine is fighting not only for itself, but for the entire civilized world. "Two years ago, shortly after the outburst of Russia’s brutal war, Siesta Publishing translated and published Serhiy Rudenko’s “Zelenskyi without Makeup,” which became the first Ukrainian book published in Georgia after the start of the full-scale invasion,” David Kakabadze stated. "We did not stop there; a year later, we gave Georgian readers with the best examples of current Ukrainian literature: "Point Zero" by Artem Chekh and "My Grandfather Danced Better Than Anyone Else" by Kateryna Babkina. The next Ukrainian book we intend to publish is "Home for Dom" by Victoria Amelina. I am delighted to have been accepted for the International Book Arsenal Festival scholarship program, which will allow me to meet Ukrainian colleagues and exchange experiences and ideas with them," he added.

Anna Schmidt Andersen displayed a strong interest in Ukrainian children's books and illustrated literature in general. Anna Schmidt is confident that Ukraine has much to offer in these areas.

Jan Kravčík's principal professional goal is to conduct a "field study" of the Ukrainian publishing landscape. He hopes to meet publishers and authors, as well as Ukrainian illustrators, particularly for children's books. I can't wait to visit Kyiv again, explore bookstores, and try to speak Ukrainian, which I've been learning for two years."

Kravčík is not the first publisher to visit the Ukrainian capital. Frank Henseleit-Lucke visited Ukraine in 2016 and translated a novel by Manuel Chavez Nogales about Kyiv between 1917 and 1922. He later authored a book on his experiences traveling around Ukraine.

Foreign cultural personalities seek professional contact with the following publishing houses: Old Lion Publishing House, Komora, Folio, Local History, Meridian Czernowitz, Komora, Vivat, Kalamar, Nora-Druk, Anetta Antonenko Publishing House, Discursus, Vikhola, and others.

Previously, the International Book Arsenal Festival launched a Literature for Export Program to help overseas corporate partners make productive relationships. Oksana Karpiuk noted that the Book Arsenal Fellowship Program is a continuation of the organization's international efforts.

"First and foremost, the decision to undertake this initiative during a full-scale invasion was tough given the hazards. Despite widespread interest in Ukraine, many foreigners have other opportunities to connect with Ukrainian publishers at European fairs. Visiting Ukraine during a full-scale invasion has proven to be a difficult decision for many," she said, adding that she hopes the program will become established following a good first season. She wants the Book Arsenal Fellowship Program being a well-known and valued program among many international partners.

There will be 160 events at the International Book Arsenal Festival. In addition to the professional program, there will be events focused on the subject "Life on the Edge," the literary program "Bridging the Gap," the children's and adolescent program "With Eyes Wide Open," and special programs "The Continuation of the Voice" and "Cities on the Edge."

The festival will begin on May 30 and extend until June 2.

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