The 10th Young Writers’ Festival and the new, innovative Poetry Black Box, the 8th Translation Festival, the 3rd Young Book Designers Award, tributes and many more exciting meetings at the 20th TBF

Under the Auspices of H. E. the President of the Hellenic Republic,  
Katerina Sakellaropoulou 

20th Thessaloniki International Book Fair 
May 16-19, 2024

The 20th Thessaloniki International Book Fair is hosting this year as well festivals and tributes in collaboration with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, with important bodies and initiatives. These collaborations and actions not only attach international prestige to the TBF and breathe new life into the institution, but they also support creative, new people from the book sector by presenting their work to the audience and the book professionals. 

10th New Writers’ Festival 

“Always be a poet, even in prose”, Charles Baudelaire 

Within the framework of the 10th New Writers’ Festival, on Friday, May 17 (20:00-22:00) and on Saturday, May 18 (19:00-21:00) with the special care of the poet and publisher Yorgos Alisanoglou and in collaboration with the poet Alexios Mainas, the TBF hosts ten women and men poets of the new generation: Eleni Athanassiou, Christina-Kalliroi Garbi, Efthimia Yosa, Esmeralda Geka, Spyros Goulas, Alexandros Kordas, Valantis Mastoras, Vassilis Moschos, Stavroula Papadakis, Spyros Cheretis are presenting their work through interesting discussions on issues regarding modern poetry –on a personal and collective level– accompanied by readings of poems, personal interviews and poetic conversations, promoting the personal style of each participant, but also the possibility for proposals and approaches regarding how poetry talks and interprets today. Neo-Hellenist professor Vassilis Lampropoulos will be with them and will talk about the poetic landscape of young people in Greece today; the poet-editor Alexios Mainas will contribute with questions and observations on issues of modern poetic art. 

The 10th New Writers’ Festival introduces us to the innovative Poetry Black Box 

A surprise waits for the visitors of the TBF, because… “The place where you wonder about things you see for the first time […] There lies poetry…”1: Twenty poems will be constantly projected in Poetry Black Box (pavilion 14), a new initiative of the 10th New Writers’ Festival, giving the audience the possibility to isolate themselves in their tour among the stands and to get in touch with the creations of 20 women and men poets of modern Greek reality. In Veni Video Vici / Poetry at the time of the image action, videoartists, music producers, women and men poets produce all together new artistic creations and invite the spectator to press Pause, to stop running in the corridors and, being totally isolated in Poetry Black Box, to observe videopoems, to process the material and to recreate what they see taking place in front of them. 

The women and men poets that take part are: Alisanoglou Yorgos, Amanatidis Vassilis, Gioulos Dimitris, Gitsi Anastasia, Gogos Thanos, Doutsiou Sissy, Erinakis Nikos, Kallergi Lena, Koulouri Maria, Lalou Aggeliki, Lioutsia Ioanna, Mainas Alexios, Margariti Irini, Milia Penny, Panagiotou Eftichia, Papacharalampos Konstantinos, Pappa Irini, Rondini Patrizia, Stefaneas Petros, Chalkiadaki Niki. Coordination: Anastasia Gitsi, Yorgos Alisanoglou. Organization: Hellenic Foundation for Culture. 

3rd Young Book Designers Award: The award ceremony at an event at the 20th TBF 

On Friday, May 17, 20:00-21:00 there will be the announcement and award ceremony of the winner of Young Book Designers Award as well as a discussion with representatives of the institution. Speakers: Lia Fakinou (GVCDA), Beate Köhler (Director of Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki), Nopi Chatzigeorgiou (TBF Coordinator). 

Goethe-Institut Greece in cooperation with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, GVCDA (Greek Visual Communication Design Awards), Stiftung Buchkunst (Foundation of Book Art of Germany) and the Frankfurt International Book Fair grants every year an award especially for young men and women book designers. The competition addresses designers, printers and producers of creative book designs. 

The Young Book Designers Award aims at tracing original, new ideas for the printed book as an object of design and aesthetic creation and thus at spotting the developments in graphic art. By giving prominence to the talents of the new generation, the award aims at encouraging modernity in a traditional, but always timely medium. The award is granted by a five-member committee that is consisted of publishers and book designers from Greece and Germany and is appointed by Goethe-Institut, the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, Stiftung Buchkunst and GVCDA. The awarded titles are exhibited at the TBF, travel to Frankfurt and Leipzig, participate in world competitions and in tours, matchmaking and networking actions. Coordination: Lia Fakinou. 

8th Translation Festival 

Along with the Thessaloniki International Book Fair, this year the Panhellenic Association of Professional Translators Graduates of the Ionian University (PEEMPIP) also celebrates its 20 years and has always been present in the TBF since 2015. This year, PEEMPIP organizes a discussion regarding the translation tendencies of the last decade in the publishing sector through a cross-curricular feminist prism as well as the opportunities deriving from Women in Translation initiative. Dr. Olga Kastro from Spain, a Distinguished Researcher in the Autonomous University of Barcelona and Associate Professor of Translation at Warwick University, England, and Dr. Vassiliki Misiou, Assistant Professor of Literary Translation, Department of English Language and Literature, AUTH, will be the guests. 

Meanwhile, within the framework of the Translation Festival, Myrto Kalofolia (State Prize for Translation 2023) and Ioanna Andreou, with the coordination of Kleopatra Elaiotriviari, will reveal to us the secrets of the successful collaboration between translator and editor. Finally, PEEMPIP will organize at the Children’s Corner a special, interactive presentation for students of primary school entitled What is the job of a translator by the experienced translator Kleopatra Elaiotriviari. 

Institutes and bodies are also organizing events regarding translation, such as the translation of modern Slovenian and Croatian literature in the Greek language with Ivan Sršen, Marija Dejanović, Thanos Gogos etc., as well as relevant actions and events within the framework of Sharjah as the guest of honour. 

Events and discussions within the framework of the yearly meeting of the European Translation Programs Network (ENLIT) will play an important role as far as translation is concerned. ENLIT’s yearly meeting will take place in Thessaloniki during the 20th TBF. Greek publishers will have the opportunity to meet 13 members of ENLIT, which was founded during the Frankfurt International Book Fair, in 2016, with the aim to develop programs for the support of translation and the promotion of literature on a national and international level. During the TBF, the network will provide information on translation programs and will participate in panels regarding translation programs. The persons participating are: Ainhoa Sanchez (Spain), Tiia Strandén (Finland), Kotryna Pranckunaite (Lithuania), Olena Odynoka (Ουκρανία), Pavel Sibyla (Slovakia), Katja Urbanija (Slovenia), Sinéad Mac Aodha (Ireland), Paul Hermans (Belgium/Flanders), Marife Boix-Garcia (Germanuy – Frankfurt International Book Fair), Margit Walsø (Norway), Martin Krafl (Czech Republiv), Julià Florit Juan (Catalonia) και Alexandra Büchler (United Kingdom/Wales), while the Greek translation program GreekLit will be represented by Charis Meletiadis, a member of the program’s committee; through this program 39 books in 19 languages have already been published. 

Especially valuable is the presence, in panels, of writers that have won the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL), such as Martina Vidaić (Croatia, 2023 award), Marente de Moor (Netherlands, 2014 award, in Greek “The Dutch virgin”, Vakhikon Publications), Bianca Bellová (Czech Republic, 2017 award, in Greek “The Lake”, Vakhikon Publications) and Giovanni Dozzini (Italy, 2019 award, in Greek “And Baboucar led the line”, Enastron Publications). The Award promotes creativity and diversity in Europe as far as literature is concerned, promotes literature with the translations of awarded works and cultivates intercultural dialogue. The initiative is supported by Creative Europe program of the European Committee and its coordination is undertaken by the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), the European Writers Council (EWC) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP), while in Greece it is coordinated by the Authors’ Society.  

A tribute for the 100 years since Kafka’s death 

On the occasion of the celebration year 2024 about Franz Kafka, Goethe-Institut presents within the framework of the 20th TBF the poster exhibition KOMPLETT KAFKA in collaboration with the awarded artist Nicolas Mahler and Literaturhaus Stuttgart (Literature House of Stuttgart), giving the visitors the opportunity to immerse iconically in the mysterious world of Kafka’s novels, who, except for writing, had a great passion for drawing. In addition, on Saturday, 18/05, 13:00-14:00, Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki, within the framework of “Kafka-Talks” celebration events, is organizing Kafka Landscape, a panel of discussion, where writers, academics, political scientists and directors try to immerse in the work of the great writer and to his different and unknown “landscapes”. Dimitra Mitta, professor, philologist and writer, Yorgos Fragoglou, professor of theatre and director, Stelios Vrachnis, director, are the participants. Gianna Tsokou will coordinate the event. Actors of the Group of Protasi Theatre will read passages from the “Letter to the Father”. 

Tribute to Yorgos Ioannou 

The Hellenic Foundation for Culture is collaborating with Vafopouleion Cultural Centre of the Municipality of Thessaloniki for a multifaceted, interactive tribute to the important writer, who was part of the soul and life of Thessaloniki and his personal story meets the story of the city. Vafopouleion has had since 2014 the exclusivity and legal possession of Yorgos Ioannou’s Collection, part of which is his literary archive, with a high collective value. 

At Pavilion 15 of the TBF there is going to be an Exhibition of books, photographs and archive material of the Collection of Yorgos Ioannou. On Thursday, 16/05, 17:00, there will be an event entitled The writer Yorgos Ioannou “talks with” his city, coordinated by the President of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, Nikos Koukis. The participants will be: Anastasia Vakaloudis, Dr. of History – Dr. of Didactics of History and the exploitation of the Technologies of Information and Communication, a Consultant of Training of Philologists of Eastern Thessaloniki, professor at the Hellenic Open University, Elena Avramidou, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Greek Studies at the Institute of World History of Art, University of International Studies of Shanghai, China, member of the executive Committee of the headquarters of UNESCO at the Ionian University, member of the Coordinative Committee of the International Society of Friends of Nikos Kazantzakis, Stelios Koukos, journalist, writer and Anastasia Chatzis, writer. 

On Friday, 17/05, 21:00, at the Center of History of Thessaloniki, Rodanthi Dimitressi narrates the “Fairy tales of our people” of Y. Ioannou, while on 18:00 there will be an open tour for the audience at “Yorgos Ioannou Central Stage”, at Vafopouleion Cultural Centre. 

On Saturday, 18/05, 18:00, there is going to be a Walk at the center of Thessaloniki entitled With the marks on me. A “narration” of the city through the references, the descriptions, the experiences and the feelings of Yorgos Ioannou, as he depicted them in his literary work or as he commented on them in interviews or articles in the press. Planning-realization: Athanassia Mpountidou, Vafopouleion Cultural Center. 

Participation applications for the tour at Vafopouleion and for the Walk at: https://opengov.thessaloniki.gr/opengov/eservices/vafo, tel.: 231331 8687. 

Within the framework of the tribute, on Friday, 17/05, at 19:00, the Central Municipal Library of Thessaloniki organizes a lecture by Dr. Byron Pissalidis entitled Viability and sustainability of the literary archives of Yorgos Ioannou and Leonardo Sciascia. An intercultural perspective of literary heritage. 

Kedros Publications are organizing on Sunday, 19/05, 13:00-14:00, the event entitled Logos is a great need of the soul. Thomas Korovinis, writer-songwriter and Sophia Iakovidou, associate professor of Neo-Hellenic Literature at Democritus University of Thrace will talk about the great writer. On the same day, at 14:00, Eneken Publications-Epitheorisi Politismou with the speaker Yorgos Giannopoulos, publisher, analyze the way and the conditions in which the modern literary and cultural landscape was created at the event entitled History-Trauma-Delight: The case of Yorgos Ioannou and Ntinos Christianopoulos. 

More information and details about the program of the 20th TBF will be announced soon. Visit the TBF’s webpage https://www.thessalonikibookfair.gr/. 

Photos from the participants in the exhibition and snapshots of the various organizations can be found HERE. 

The Thessaloniki International Book Fair is organized by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in cooperation with Greek publishers, TIF-HELEXPO, the Central Macedonia Region and the Municipality of Thessaloniki, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. It is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the 2021-2027 Regional Operational Program (ROP) of Central Macedonia. The TBF is a member of the International Book Fairs Forum and of ALDUS UP – the European Book Fairs Network. 

With the support of the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.