photo: Daniel Bednarz / The Book Institute

The first day of the Polish presentation at the LIBER Book Fair in Madrid [photos]

The LIBER International Book Fair in Madrid, at which Poland acted as Guest of Honour, took place from 4 to 6 October. The Polish presentation at the most important trade fair in the Spanish-speaking world included five events. The programme was prepared by the Book Institute in collaboration with the Polish Institute in Madrid.

The LIBER International Book Fair is the most important event for the publishing industry in Spain and the Spanish-speaking part of Latin America. The event is held every year, alternating between Barcelona and Madrid. The fair brings together publishers, literary agents, and other participants not only from Spain, but from the entire Spanish-speaking publishing market. This year, Poland played a special role at the LIBER Book Fair as the event's Guest of Honour.

On the first day, 4th October, the Polish presentation programme included the following events:

10:00 - Meeting devoted to the presence of books by Polish authors in Spanish bookshops and libraries

Łucja Gawkowska, an expert from the foreign department of the Book Institute, and Lucía Moscoso from Babelio, a Spanish online literary website, talked about how books by Polish authors enjoy interest in Spain and ways to make it even greater.

11:00 - Meeting entitled "The publishing sector in Poland: current situation, data, trends".

The directions of development of the Polish publishing market, as well as the problems it faces, were discussed by Agnieszka Urbanowska - head of the Foreign Department of the Book Institute.

12:00 - Meeting dedicated to ways in which the state can support the book sector

Joaquim Bejarano (Director of the Book Department of the Catalan Institute of Literature), Jesús González (Deputy Director General for the Promotion of Books, Reading and Spanish Literature at the Ministry of Culture and Sport) and Dariusz Jaworski (Director of the Polish Book Institute) discussed ways in which the Polish and Spanish public sectors support the book market. The talk was chaired by Isabel Moyano (Deputy Director General of Books of the Community of Madrid).

13:00 - Meeting entitled "Why translate and publish Polish literature? Novelties, authors, inspirations".

Translating Polish literature into Spanish was discussed by translators Xavier Farré and Amelia Serraller. The meeting was chaired by Krzysztof Koehler, Deputy Director of the Book Institute for Programme Management.

19:30 - Musical and literary recital

Frédéric Chopin's works performed by the young pianist Wiktor Gąsior were interspersed with the reading of excerpts from Kazimierz Wierzyński's biography of the famous composer, whose translation into Spanish was recently published by Fórcola Ediciones.

A photo report from the meetings can be seen in the gallery below the article.

Designed by Jan Strumiłła's design studio, the Polish fair stand was also a space for talks with both publishers and representatives of the Book Institute. In the Polish pavilion, with a total area of 120 m2, 21 Polish exhibitors from the sector showcased their offerings. Among them were publishing houses, literary agencies, printing houses, cultural institutions, and other entities related to the Polish publishing market. The following came to Madrid with us: Adamada, ArtRage, BZGraf, the Centre for Contemporary Art "Znaki Czasu" in Toruń, Domirea, DTAgency, Grupa Wydawnicza Foksal, Fundacja, inkBOOK, the International Cultural Centre, Agencja KaBooks, Mamania / Grupa Wydawnicza Relacja, OZGraf, Papierowy Motyl, PKB GROT, Rosikon Press, Topo Sármata, Title, Wydawnictwo Kobiece, Wydawnictwo Literackie, and Wydawnictwo Poznańskie.

The LIBER International Book Fair in Madrid also unveiled the Spanish version of this year's “New Books from Poland” catalogue. The catalogue features 28 Polish books that were published within the last year. We were keen to have as much variety as possible in the titles we present, so the catalogue features novels, short story collections, non-fiction, and also comics. Among the authors whose works are presented in this year's catalogue are such names as Wiesław Myśliwski, Zyta Rudzka, Maciej Hen, Anna Goc, Rafał Kosik, Anna Piwkowska, and Andrzej Nowak. In view of the fact that Spanish publishers have also been interested in Polish literature for the youngest readers for a long time, a separate catalogue was also available at the Polish stand, which presents the most interesting achievements in the field of recent Polish children's books.

The main objective of Poland's presence as Guest of Honour at the LIBER Book Fair was to strengthen the presence of Polish literature in Spain. It was also an excellent opportunity to make new contacts in the Latin American market. It is worth noting that it is usually Latin American countries that are the guest of honour at LIBER, so the choice of Poland was a great recognition.

Participation as a Guest of Honour at LIBER is part of a strategy to strengthen the presence in foreign markets as part of a three-year cycle. Last year, the Book Institute took an active part in the Barcelona Fair, while further initiatives to consolidate the presence of Polish literature in Spain are planned for 2024.

This year, the Book Institute will also take an active part in another major event in the Spanish-speaking world - the International Book Fair in Guadalajara, Mexico, where the European Union will be the guest of honour.


The project was co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.