The Book Institute at the Lviv International Book Fair

Today marks the beginning of the 26th International Book Fair - Publishers' Forum in Lviv and the accompanying 14th Lviv Literary Festival. Next to the Kyiv ‘Book Arsenal’, this event is the largest book event in Ukraine. The Book Institute together with the Polish Institute in Kyiv and the National Cultural Centre have prepared a rich programme.

The Book Institute together with the Polish Institute in Kiev and the National Centre for Culture are organising a joint Polish stand where new works from the Polish publishing market and the latest translations from Polish into Ukrainian will be showcased.

The partner institutions in cooperation with the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Lviv and Ukrainian publishers have also prepared a rich accompanying programme.

At the fair and literary festival, Ukrainian audiences will be able to meet such authors as Joanna Siedlecka, Wojciech Jagielski, Rafał Kosik, and Julia Fiedorczuk, invited to Lviv by the Book Institute, as well as those invited by the Polish Institute: Łukasz Orbitowski, Aneta Prymaka-Oniszk, and Konrad Janczura.

Just like in previous years, the Book Institute will present to the Ukrainian public not only the most interesting new publications from Poland and the latest translations into Ukrainian, which we have supported under the ©Poland Translation Programme, but will also undertake activities that will inspire debate on important literature-related topics. This year, the Book Institute will also share its unique Polish experiences in creating a social campaign promoting reading among children and families with people from the Ukrainian book market and cultural managers.

What deserves special attention in the programme is a meeting with Joanna Siedlecka around her book Czarny ptasior ("The Ugly Black Bird"), in which, in the mid-1990s, the author was the first to reveal the true wartime story of Jerzy Kosiński. The discussion about his biography has come back to us in connection with the premiere of a Czech-Slovak-Ukrainian co-production of a film entitled "The Painted Bird" based on Kosiński's book under the same title. This book, widely received in the world as a testimony to the Holocaust, shocks with its descriptions of the barbarity of the inhabitants of Polish villages who were supposed to persecute a Jewish boy - his literary prototype was supposed to be Kosiński, although in reality, the author of "The Painted Bird" survived the war thanks to the heroic attitude of ordinary Poles. The translation of Joanna Siedlecka's reportage-book into English was published in the United States at the beginning of this year. On the occasion of the Lviv meeting, its fragments were translated into Ukrainian by Oleś Herasym.

The meeting with the author and the discussion on the limits of mystification in the world of literature, as well as permeation of stereotypes and false literary creations into mass culture will take place on Saturday, September 21st at 3:00 p.m. in the bookshop Vivat (23 Doroszenka Street). Apart from the author, Andrij Pawłyszyn and Oleś Herasym will participate in the event.

As part of sharing good practices with Ukrainian partners - policymakers and book market professionals - on Friday, September 20th, a presentation of the bookstart campaign "Small Book - Great Man", conducted in Poland by the Book Institute since 2017, will take place. As part of the project, every newborn baby in Poland leaves the maternity ward with a special ‘reading layette’, which is to direct whole families into the world of books and reading together. Last week, we launched another edition of the campaign addressed to pre-schoolers, thanks to which 300 thousand books will be distributed to children this year. These activities, appreciated also abroad, have a chance to break the unfavourable decline in reading in the long term. The presentation will take place on Friday 20th September at 12:00 pm (12a Gnatiuka Street, Hotel Rius, the small room).

The Lviv fair is also the time for the premiere of translations of books by Polish authors into Ukrainian, which have been supported by the Book Institute as part of the ©Poland Translation Programme. Wszystkie wojny Lary ("All Lara's Wars"), translated by Olena Szeremet (Choven publishing house), will be promoted in Lviv by Wojciech Jagielski during several meetings with readers and debates (Friday, September 20th, at 7:30 p.m. in a market tent at Prospect Swobody Avenue); Saturday 21st September at 1:00 p.m. at the Choven publishing house's stand in the Palace of Arts at 17 Kopernika Street; Saturday 21st September at 3:00 p.m. in the large hall of the Ethnographic Museum at 15 Prospect Swobody Avenue; Saturday 21st September at 4:00 p.m. in the Copernicus cinema at 9 Kopernika Street; Sunday 22nd September at 12:30 p.m. at 11 Serbska Street in the café L'amour de trois). Lviv will host a presentation of the Ukrainian translation of Bliskie kraje ("Close Countries", Books XXI publishing house) by Julia Fiedorczuk with the participation of the author and translator Wiktor Dmytruk (Saturday, September 21st at 11:30 am in the Copernicus cinema at 9 Kopernika Street).

The intensive programme will also be carried out by Rafał Kosik, who will play a double role: as the author of books for younger readers, presenting the series "Felix, Net and Nika" now debuting in Ukraine and as a fantasy writer talking about the achievements of Polish authors in this segment of literature in the face of the challenges of the information era (Saturday, September 21st at 1:45 p.m. at 11 Serbska Street in the café L'amour de trois; Saturday, September 21st at 6:00 p.m. at 9 Rynek Street in the Lviv Youth Library; Sunday, September 22nd at 12 p.m. at 2 Kołessy Street).

The Ukrainian audience will also have the opportunity to meet with Aneta Prymaka-Oniszk, the author of the book Bieżeństwo 1915. Zapomniani uchodźcy (“Exile 1915. Forgotten Refugees"), which was published with the support of the Book Institute as part of the ©Poland Translation Programme and from the funds of the Polish Institute in Kiev. The Polish Institute also invited to the Lviv festival Łukasz Orbitowski and Konrad Janczura, the author of Przemytnicy ("Smugglers").

A detailed programme of the Polish presentation is available in Ukrainian on the website of the Polish Institute in Kiev: and in English on the website of the organisers:

The fair and festival will last until September 22nd