This year, the President of the Festival Michael March chose a theme that moves not only Europe but the whole world. The festival’s motto is the sentence – Only the future exists – which brings up a number of questions: What is Europe’s future? Western civilization‘s? Our way of life? The future of literature? Other topics are added by Michael March himself: “If the present is unresolved past, what kind of future can we expect? How was the future viewed in the past and what is it perceived today?” According to the President of the Festival, the festival should help to see the ethical dimension of human existence in both the near and the more distant future.
From Portugal to China
In line with the theme, a total of fourteen exceptional writers will give talks at the festival. The biggest star of the event is probably the Portuguese prose writer António Lobo Antunes, the author of the book The Land at the End of the World, who normally on principle does not attend festivals. Other writers include the Spanish experimental poet, essayist, and prose writer Juan Goytisolo, the renowned Indian woman writer Anita Desai or the poet and excellent performer Duo Duo from China, who visited Prague ten years ago.
There will also be the British writer Hanif Kureishi (often translated into Czech; Intimacy, Gabriel’s Gift, Love in a Blue Time), poet and composer Jan Erik Vold from Norway and the eccentric Dutch writer Arnon Grunberg. Two Middle East writers will not only discuss the future of the Middle East: the star of Turkish literature Gündüz Vassaf and the Egyptian writer Hamdy el-Gazzar. Visitors can also look forward to the Czech writer living in France Patrik Ouředník or one of the most interesting American poets, the inventor of etno-poetics Jerome Rothenberg.
Audio-visual adaptation of American poetry
The visual form of the festival resonates with the festival’s theme. The best representatives of contemporary Czech video-art and Prague Institute of Lighting Design work on the transformation of the New Scene. There will be both light and sound installations. On the programme of the festival’s gala evening is the discussion “Long Live the Future” and texts by the legend of American poet John Ashbery set to music by Monika Načeva and Tom Wright.
Writers’ festival live on the Internet
All programmes of the international Prague Writers’ Festival will be simultaneously translated into Czech and English and broadcast live on the Internet. For the first time in its history, the promoters are also preparing morning online press conferences with the authors. For more information, visit www.pwf.cz.