Sunday, December 06, 2009

On board the Word Express

In the Telegraph, Michael Prodger reports on a train journey that was part of Word Express, a new project for literary exchange in South-East Europe, organised by the UK-based Literature Across Frontiers in cooperation with Delta Publishing in Istanbul, Profil Books in Zagreb, Helicon in Tel Aviv and the National Book Centre in Bucharest and other partners based in 12 countries in the region.
[The project] saw some 20 young European writers embarking on trains in Ljubljana, Bucharest and Sarajevo and winding through the Balkans, stopping off along the way to give readings and supervise writing workshops. The three groups joined up in Thessaloniki before starting out on the last leg to Istanbul. Once there they met up with a cluster of Turkish writers and spent five day attending various literary events and taking part in the Istanbul Book Fair and the Tanpinar Literature Festival.
The project is part of the EU-supported Literature Across Frontiers Programme and of the British Council’s Creative Collaboration Programme which aims to enrich the cultural life of Europe and its surrounding countries and to build trust and understanding across communities by generating dialogue and debate.

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