We live
literature here.

Ljubljana is among 42 UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Annual events
  • March

    World Poetry Day in the city

    On March 21, declared World Poetry Day by UNESCO, poetry is in full swing in Ljubljana with a 24-hour-long reading of poetry.

    Stories Today Festival

    The storytelling festival takes place in Cankarjev dom Cultural and Congress Centre and at other venues in Ljubljana and Slovenia. It is the central event of this kind in Slovenia.

    Vzkrik Festival of Drama Writing

    The Vzkrik Festival of Drama Writing provides mentors for authors to develop their drama writing, and their resulting work is later presented in the form of reading performances, followed by discussions with the artists.

    Fabula

    Fabula, organised by the publishing house Beletrina, is the largest and most important literary festival, not only in Ljubljana, but in the whole country, if not an even wider region.

  • April

    Slovene Book Days

    Slovene Book Days is an all-Slovenian festival taking place in early spring in Ljubljana and partner towns.

    Book Night

    Book Night is the largest event aimed at popularising reading and reading culture in Slovenia. The national and international project is based on voluntary work and self-organisation and has marked every night of April 23, the World Book Day, for several consecutive years.

    Book Fair in Zvezda Park on World Book Day

    On April 23, the World Book Day, Zvezda Park hosted a traditional book fair, which in the recent years has changed its location as well as timing in the scope of the Slovene Book Days.

    Etc.

    Etc., a festival of socially engaged literature for young people, is conceived as a web of events, focused on a chosen collection of books, authors and topics. Every year, a wide team of high school pupils, students, experienced editors and other stakeholders in the field of literature strive to find new and fascinating approaches of presenting their books, authors and topics to the public.

  • May

    Liber.ac Academic Book Fair

    The fair calls attention to the variety and high quality of Slovenian academic publishing, the latest achievements in science and interdisciplinary development direction in higher education, while it also strives to introduce academic books to a wider audience.

    Library under the Treetops

    Library under the Treetops is a recognised and well-attended parade of free reading, browsing and enjoyment on different public spaces around the country, popular among all generations of Slovene and foreign visitors.

  • June

    Children’s Book Festival

    The one-day-long Children’s Book Festival is a day of books for children.
     

    Bookstore Night

    On the Bookstore Night, which has been taking place since 2014, bookstores keep their doors open long into the night, while the visitors can also enjoy a varied cultural programme and take advantage of special offers: for every book purchase they receive a book as a gift. The Bookstore Night includes bookstores from Ljubljana, with several bookstores from Koper, Celje and Maribor also taking part.

    Pranger Festival in Ljubljana

    The Pranger Festival is a unique confrontation of critics and poets which strives to strengthen a cultured yet critical dialogue about literature, with the aim of safeguarding the dignity of art and a professionally balanced reception.

    Ljubljana City Library Day

    During its open day, the Ljubljana City Library organises day-long socialising activities in the Oton Župančič Library, with guided tours from morning to evening, as well as a variety of workshops for all generations, reading actions, bestowment of recognition awards to all participants of the Reading City project, literary and other plays and a closing concert.

    Literature Alive (Živa književnost)

    This small, but charming and cherished international festival, blends literature with music.

    Kresnik Award Ceremony

    At midsummer, the Cankar peak of Rožnik hill in Tivoli Park is transformed into a magical
    celebration of literature.

  • August

    Summer on the Silver Screen and between the Book Covers

    The Poletje na platnu in med platnicami (Summer on the Silver Screen and between the Book Covers) Festival focuses on the meeting point of film and literature and has taken place at the open-air cinema of the Slovenian Cinematheque at the Metelkova Museum Plaza since 2018.

    Days of Poetry and Wine Festival in Ljubljana

    The largest and the most recognisable international poetry festival in this part of Europe has been successfully bringing together poetic verse and promotion of Slovenian wines of the highest quality for twenty years.

  • September

    Vilenica International Literary Festival in Ljubljana

    The Vilenica International Literary Festival is a traditional meeting of poets, novelists, drama and essay writers from Central Europe, organised since 1986.

  • October

    Tinta Comics Festival

    The Tinta Comics Festival brings together diverse authors from the Slovenian comics’ scene with the intention of popularisation of comics’ art, it presents the highest achievements and the diversity of contemporary Slovenian comics’ production, as well as project going beyond comics and entering the vivacious dialogue with simultaneous art.

    Ignor Festival

    The Ignor Festival connects literature, sound, visual arts and performance.

  • November

    Slovene Book Fair

    Since 1972, the fair has, in 35 editions, brought together more than a hundred publishers, tens of thousands of visitors, international guests, local and foreign authors, and schools.

  • December

    December Illustration Fair

    The sales illustration fair brings together illustrations of the most prominent Slovenian authors across generations and artistic styles.

PastUpcoming
  • Events | Thu, 0.0.0 | .

World Poetry Day in the city

Readings take place in numerous locations around the city, and as UNESCO city of literature, Ljubljana cooperates with other world cities of literature on this day.
News | Tue, 6. 2. 2024

Writer in the Park 2024: Herlina Suhesti and Valeska Angelo Torres

The Ljubljana UNESCO City of Literature is thrilled to announce the two writers selected for this year’s Writer in the Park residency: Herlina Suhesti (Jakarta) and Valeska Angelo Torres (Rio de Janeiro). The two writers were chosen by a selection committee from an impressive pool of 100 applicants from 30 cities of literature. As the committee mentioned, the overall quality of applications was rather remarkable. The Ljubljana UNESCO City of Literature office and the selection committee would like to express their delight in being able to invite a writer from Jakarta, which stood out as one of the cities with the highest number of submissions, and Rio de Janeiro, a recently added member city of the network.

 





Herlina Suhesti, Jakarta, Indonesia

 

Herlina Suhesti (1982), pen name Herlinatiens, is a writer from Indonesia. She has published several novels and volumes of poetry. Her first novel, The Edge of a Lesbian (2003), is considered transgressive of sexual and religious norms in Indonesia. It is a controversial “coming out” of Indonesian gay and lesbian writing, becoming a local bestseller and a reference source for researchers from other countries studying LGBT groups in Indonesia. Her poetry debut was nominated for the best book of poetry in Indonesia in 2020.

 

Herlina Suhesti is also a dedicated researcher, particularly interested in identity politics. Her unique background in Indonesian culture, coupled with solid training in social movements and Indonesian literature, allows her to navigate seamlessly between Western and Indonesian perspectives, as well as between social movements and cultural contexts. She has been active in the Witness and Victim Protection Agency of Indonesia and is currently a consultant for the Manuwani Foundation, which provides assistance to sex workers in Indonesia with the support of Women’s Fund Asia.

 

“I have always been interested in art, culture, and women and social issues,” she says. “I saw how Eastern women looked at European women. How women in our country consider the standards of intelligence, prosperity, and beauty to be in Europe. Therefore, I am interested in doing research to write a novel about how European women view women in the East, especially Indonesia.”

 

*

 

Valeska Angelo Torres, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Valeska Angelo Torres (1996) is a poet, writer, performer, assistant editor at 7Letras, educator, curator at the CEP 20.000 (Centro de Experimentação Poética) poetry collective, and Library Science student at UNIRIO. She participated in the Poetic World Championships in Montevideo (Uruguay) and in the International Poetry Festival in Rosario (Argentina), where she was a writer-in-residence. In 2017, she was a finalist of the Slam das Minas. She is the author of O coice da Égua (7Letras, 2019) and Plutônio-239 (7Letras, 2022). Her work is featured in the anthology 29 Poets of Today (Companhia das Letras, 2021).

 

O coice da égua presents itself with the urgency of poetry that translates the urban reality of the outskirts and exposes the experience faced with everyday violence in a naked and raw perspective. Valeska Angelo Torres describes it as “a strong and faithful portrait of our contemporary society, the brutality of the streets, and the experience of moving through the city of Rio de Janeiro as a black woman.”

 

Plutônio-239, on the other hand, captures scenes from an inflamed world. In Valeska Angelo Torres’ words, “the reader is faced with a harsh reality from the great fire in Australia to the oil spill on the coast of northeastern Brazil, passing through groups that live on the social margins both in the outskirts of Rio and in the cities of Rwanda.”

 

Like the hybrid beings (half human, half machine) in her writings, Valeska Angelo Torres uses a language that is, in her own words, “at the same time raw like flesh and refined like metal, describing surveillance by drones, the voluntary incorporation of mechanical parts into human bodies, and even a call for a cyborg army.” Her poetic narrative visualizes climate change and social issues in the coming future, in which an ongoing war puts the poor population at risk. Her writing, including elements of cyberpunk, is very sensory because she chooses “not to spare the reader from the smells, sounds, and tastes of the dystopia that knocks on the door,” as she puts it.

 

“I was raised in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro,” Valeska Angelo Torres says. “At the age of 26, I started living in the city center, where I witnessed experiences related to territory, such as living close to the sea. Rio is my biggest inspiration in writing, as the city invites me to a dichotomy between brutality and beauty which I feel daily. In my works, I write about violence, landscapes, friendship, romantic and spiritual relationships. Currently, history and temporal aspects involving my ancestral relationship with the city are my interests, being the theme of my next book of poems.”



 

News | Wed, 29. 11. 2023

Writer in the Park 2024Now accepting residency applications



Deadline extended: January 10, 2024

Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, was a World Book Capital in 2010. After being awarded a UNESCO City of Literature in 2015, it joined a growing world-wide network of cities and committed to actively promote literature, reading culture, and engage in activities that would strengthen the collaboration in the field of writing and publishing. 

Ljubljana bursts with a vibrant art scene and offers an array of diverse literary events from alternative performances to big international festivals. The highly regarded residency, established in 2018, offers peace and quiet for uninterrupted writing, yet it also offers the possibility to actively engage in the city’s literary life.

Note: Part of the application is a mandatory letter of recommendation, signed by an organization from your chosen City of Literature. A Google account is required for the file upload to work.

Deadline for submissions: January 10, 2024.

APPLY HERE:
https://forms.gle/K7HZ8yWgKotfDrxT6


What
Ljubljana, a UNESCO City of Literature since 2015, offers two one-month residencies for writers at the Švicarija/Swisshouse Creative Centre, which is part of the International Centre of Graphic Arts.

When
One month per residency/applicant. Possible periods are as follows (dates cannot be changed, but a shorter stay is possible if necessary as a result of travel arrangements):

  • March 1–31, 2024
  • November 1–30, 2024 

Who

The residency is aimed at foreign published writers with a palpable, factual relation with any of the other UNESCO Cities of Literature that has to be apparent and described as part of the application. This means the applicant was or has been living in one of the other cities of literature or is related to a city of literature through work. For reference, consult the list of eligible cities.

The applicant must have published at least one book of fiction (be it prose, poetry or drama) in their language. There are no restrictions regarding age, race, gender, nationality or other personal/aesthetic preferences. Though writers of all genres are currently welcome to apply, a specific focus might be chosen for calls in the following years.

What we offer
Each resident will get a sum amount of the grant and travel expenses of €1250 gross in total (details regarding potential wire-transfer charges and other expenses can be found in the contract that can be sent to the applicant upon request). Each resident will stay in their own, separate and fully equipped apartment with a kitchenette at Švicarija, possibly along other residents, artists, and exhibitions hosted at the premises.

Local public transportation costs will be covered, including airport transfer (Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport). Access to the Internet will be provided. Through targeted activities and networking possibilities, suited to each resident’s profile, the organisers will help them get to know the vibrant art and literary scene in Ljubljana. If requested, opportunities for public presentation of the residents’ work will be made possible, as well as meetings with translators, editors, other writers etc. if necessary and/or applicable. During the resident’s stay, some group activities, such as meetings with the organizer, publishers etc., may be scheduled. 

Residents are required to take care of medical insurance and are responsible for their meals and household. Additional guests cannot be hosted.

What we expect
The resident is encouraged to show an interest, and partake, in local literary events and other related activities – which will be coordinated according to other local events as well as the needs and interests of the given resident. However, if the resident so wishes, they may request not to be distracted in order to use the time and space for writing. 

Location
Švicarija/Swisshouse Creative Centre is a cultural, educational and social hub located in the heart of Ljubljana’s central park – situated just a few steps from the city centre – which offers public programmes, studio facilities for local artists, and residencies for international artists and experts. Švicarija is part of MGLC – International Centre of Graphic Arts, a specialised museum, producer of printed and contemporary art, and provider of artist residencies, based on the heritage of the 20th century art of printing and Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, world’s oldest printmaking biennale which has been running uninterrupted since 1955.

The rather spacious building might seem empty at times or crowded at others, depending on current exhibitions and the number of residents or artists currently working in their studios. In general, Švicarija is marked by a creative, if particular, atmosphere. Peaceful and serene because of the closeness of nature, yet vibrat because of it’s artistic program and the proximity to the city centre.

Note: Downstairs, Švicarija hosts a restaurant which might host wedding receptions on Saturdays (particularly during summer months). If such events might interfere with your work, opt for the autumn timeframe, but be advised that some evenings might still get a bit noisy. 

Note: Švicarija is located at the edge of the forest. Though it’s very close to the city centre, it can be reached only on foot (except for prearranged arrival and departure). It’s a short walking distance, but requires walking uphill through the park.


 

News | Mon, 22. 5. 2023

LitTransformer 2023International translation workshop in Ljubljana



LitTransformer is an international translation workshop that fosters collaboration among translators from various UNESCO Cities of Literature (“CoL”), stressing the importance of literary translation and its power as a regenerative commons. The project was started by Lviv CoL and is being continued under the guidance of Ljubljana CoL. 

 

July 2–10, 2023, Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

Mentors: Aron Aji, the Director of Center for Translation and Global Literacy, and Translation Programs at the University of Iowa, and Matthias Göritz, professor of Practice of Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis. 

 

LitTranformer 2023 is organized by Ljubljana CoL with Lviv CoL as partners. The organizers would like to acknowledge that LitTransformer 2023 is a continuation of the LitTransformer project, developed by Lviv CoL.

 

*
 

 

Topic: Passages of Survival

 

Cities are living organisms, constantly reshaped by all forms of violence. However, cities are also creative transformation zones, capable of spurning creative anarchies with regenerative potential. Now, in times of world crises, and particularly one of the biggest wars since the Second World War in the center of Europe – the war in Ukraine – cities will once again speak and hear each other. LitTransformer aims to reflect on the recuperative possibilities of literature and foster translation as cross-cultural dialogue, thus emphasizing the opportunities for empathy.

 

Toward this aim, the workshop sets out to create an engaging cross-cultural environment where participants are asked to interact creatively by translating poetry from represented CoLs. 

 

Participants will work in pairs across three languages: their two native languages as well as English, the bridge between them. Each participant will be both a guide into their own urban imaginary (in their native language) and a novice traveler into a foreign one (in their partner’s language). Interrogating their own subjectivities, participating translators will be moving between familiarity and estrangement, experiencing both languages vividly and reflectively. 

More information in the application form.


 

News | Wed, 7. 12. 2022

Writer in the Park 2023Open call for a literary residency in Ljubljana

Writer in the Park
Ljubljana UNESCO City of Literature International Literary Residency

Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, was a World Book Capital in 2010. After being awarded a UNESCO City of Literature in 2015, it joined a growing world-wide network of cities and committed to actively promote literature, reading culture, and engage in activities that would strengthen the collaboration in the field of writing and publishing. 

Ljubljana bursts with a vibrant art scene and offers an array of diverse literary events from alternative performances to big international festivals. The highly regarded residency, established in 2018, offers peace and quiet for uninterrupted writing, yet it also offers the possibility to actively engage in the city’s literary life.

Note: Part of the application is a mandatory letter of recommendation, signed by an organization from your chosen City of Literature. A Google account is required for the file upload to work.

Deadline for submissions: January 7, 2023.

Apply here: https://forms.gle/DHhLMDmaAx65Y1KN9


 
What
Ljubljana, a UNESCO City of Literature since 2015, offers two one-month residencies for writers at the Švicarija/Swisshouse Creative Centre, which is part of the International Centre of Graphic Arts.

When
One month per residency/applicant. Possible periods are as follows (dates cannot be changed, but a shorter stay is possible if necessary as a result of travel arrangements):
June 1–30, 2023
October 17 – November 17, 2023 

Who
The residency is aimed at foreign published writers with a palpable, factual relation with any of the other UNESCO Cities of Literature that has to be apparent and described as part of the application. This means the applicant was or has been living in one of the other cities of literature or is related to a city of literature through work. For reference, consult the list of eligible cities.

The applicant must have published at least one book of fiction (be it prose, poetry or drama) in their language. There are no restrictions regarding age, race, gender, nationality or other personal/aesthetic preferences. Though writers of all genres are currently welcome to apply, a specific focus might be chosen for calls in the following years.

What we offer
Each resident will get a sum amount of the grant and travel expenses of €1000 gross in total (details regarding potential wire-transfer charges and other expenses can be found in the contract that can be sent to the applicant upon request). Each resident will stay in their own, separate and fully equipped apartment with a kitchenette at Švicarija, along with other artists-residents, artists, and exhibitions hosted at the premises.

Local public transportation costs will be covered, including airport transfer (Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport). Access to the Internet will be provided. Through targeted activities and networking possibilities, suited to each resident’s profile, the organisers will help them get to know the vibrant art and literary scene in Ljubljana. If requested, opportunities for public presentation of the residents’ work will be made possible, as well as meetings with translators, editors, other writers etc. if necessary and/or applicable. During the resident’s stay, some group activities, such as meetings with the organizer, publishers etc., may be scheduled. 
Residents are required to take care of medical insurance and are responsible for their meals and household. Additional guests cannot be hosted.

What we expect
The resident is encouraged to show an interest, and partake, in local literary events and other related activities – which will be coordinated according to other local events as well as the needs and interests of the given resident. However, if the resident so wishes, they may request not to be distracted in order to use the time and space for writing. 

Location
Švicarija/Swisshouse Creative Centre is a cultural, educational and social hub located in the heart of Ljubljana’s central park – situated just a few steps from the city centre – which offers public programmes, studio facilities for local artists, and residencies for international artists and experts. Švicarija is part of MGLC – International Centre of Graphic Arts, a specialised museum, producer of printed and contemporary art, and provider of artist residencies, based on the heritage of the 20th century art of printing and Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, world’s oldest printmaking biennale which has been running uninterrupted since 1955.

The rather spacious building might seem empty at times or crowded at others, depending on current exhibitions and the number of residents or artists currently working in their studios. In general, Švicarija is marked by a creative, if particular, atmosphere. Peaceful and serene because of the closeness of nature, yet vibrat because of it’s artistic program and the proximity to the city centre.

Downstairs, Švicarija includes a restaurant which might host wedding receptions on Saturdays during summer months. If you think such events might interfere with your work, opt for the autumn timeframe. 

Note: Švicarija is located at the edge of the forest. Though it’s very close to the city centre, it can be reached only on foot (except for prearranged arrival and departure). It’s a short walking distance, but requires walking uphill through the park.

Apply here: https://forms.gle/DHhLMDmaAx65Y1KN9