In November 2021, Vilnius was granted the status of UNESCO City of Literature. Following this, the Municipality of Vilnius City established the Public institution of the Vilnius UNESCO City of Literature. In the past year, the institution has already been actively involved in the activities organised by other literary cities and has started running a number of joint projects with some of them. Alongside Lviv, it organises Young City Readings; participates in SlamOvision competition in Edinburgh; and in 2023 will organise discussions at the International Vilnius Book Fair with the city of Gothenburg. Also, in collaboration with the Vilnius City Museum, the institution took part in World Novel Week, where not only UNESCO Cities of Literature, but many other UNESCO-recognised cities participated.
The best gift for the first birthday of the institution, in celebration of this status, is the granting of the new premises at Šv. Jono St. 11-16. Previously, the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO worked here, making it symbolically significant that from now on, Vilnius UNESCO City of Literature will occupy these offices. On 17 November, we will open our doors to all Vilnius residents. We invite everyone who is interested in literature: everyone who reads, writes, translates, illustrates, or in any other way celebrates literature. After consulting the city’s literary community, we have decided to name the place as Vilnius Literary House. The place will host literary events, creative workshops, a book club, a bookstore dedicated to Vilnius, a children’s library, and a working area for writers, translators, and all those involved in literary activities.
On the opening day, we will host a number of events in which everyone will be able to share their ideas and visions about the future of our beloved city of literature. We kindly ask you to invite your friends and family, too!
11:00 Morning tale read by Daiva Rudytė, actress and creative director of the publishing house “Tikra knyga”.
12:00 A get-together with Tomas Dirgėla
13:00 Afternoon with Rimantas Kmita. Moderated by Marija Mažulė.
13:40 “VaizdO pOezija su O!” – A workshop organized by creative group O!. Hosted by illustrators Aušra Kiudulaitė, Ieva Babilaitė, and Rasa Jančiauskaitė.
15:00 The official OPENING of Vilnius Literary House
15:30 A discussion-conversation about the City of Literature. The event will be attended by panellists including the deputy mayor of Vilnius, Edita Tamošiūnaitė; Programmes Coordinator at Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO, Milda Valančiauskienė; and Chairperson of the Lithuanian Writers’ Union, Birutė Jonuškaitė. Moderated by Rūta Elijošaitytė-Kaikarė, Director of Vilnius UNESCO City of Literature.
17:30 Poetry readings: Poems from a soon-to-be-published book dedicated to Vilnius. Hosted and presented by Alvydas Šlepikas.
19:00 To Notice Diversity: Presenting the World Through the Language of Images. A conversation with picture book authors Linda Bondestam (FI) and Aušra Kiudulaitė (LT). Interview with Evelina Daciūtė (LT). The event is organised in cooperation with “Children’s Book Island” and will happen in English.
20:00 Slam readings. Read by the participants of an international “SlamOvision” event.