The tenth HeadRead literary festival kicks off

© Dmitri Kotjuh

Tomorrow, 23 May, the tenth HeadRead literary festival will kick off, bringing many renowned international authors to Tallinn, hosting a public reading event at the Freedom Square with literature about Tallinn, and offering discussions on relevant topics, performances by young authors and an evening of savouring puns.

The kick-off events of the festival on Wednesday 23 May at 5 pm and 7 pm at the Estonian Writers’ Union showcase the very youngest literary talents who are just starting out. The same evening, Kuku Club is hosting Poetry Disco, where poetic texts are interspersed with sounds carefully selected by the Tartu writer and music aficionado Berk Vaher.

Conversations with authors begin on Thursday 24 May at the Estonian Writers’ Union with Daniel Galera (Brazil), Domenico Starnone (Italy), Sophie Hannah (United Kingdom) and Armin Kõomägi (Estonia). At 9 pm, an evening of four beloved pun masters will delight the audiences at the same venue. The Estonian Children’s Literature Centre will offer a programme on children’s literature as early as 10 am, and at 4 pm, you can meet the Scottish storyteller Janis MacKay.

On Friday 25 May, the Estonian Writers’ Union will host Kirmen Uribe (Spain), Peter Aleshkovsky (Russia), Henry Marsh (United Kingdom), Elina Hirvonen (Finland), Katrina Kalda (France), Vladimir Sorokin (Russia) and Joose Keskitalo (Finland). The Children’s Literature Centre is hosting foreign authors Timo Parvela (Finland) and Asa Lind (Sweden). The Maiasmokk Café is the venue for an evening of prose poetry, and at the Tallinn Central Library, panel discussions will look at topics like literature and cyberspace, the relations of culture and civil society and the links between nature and culture.  

The festival is celebrating its tenth anniversary in earnest on Saturday 26 May at 12 pm at the Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak), when the symbolic joint reading event “Literary Tallinn” will highlight the noteworthy locations around the Estonian capital that have inspired literary works. At the Estonian Writers’ Union, readers can meet Helen Rappaport (United Kingdom), Michael Katz Krefeld (Denmark), Michel Faber (United Kingdom), Eva Koff and Jüri Kolk (Estonia). Panel discussions will look at sacred texts of Estonia, and beloved actors will present a selection of their favourite drama texts. The Children’s Literature Centre is hosting their traditional children’s books exchange fair. The last event of the day is held at the Blackbox of the Kanuti Gild venue, where you can find out what the MASSIA Sound Poem is all about.

On the last day of the festival, Sunday 27 May, the programme includes P. I. Filimonov (Estonia), Marcelo Birmajer (Argentina), James Robertson (United Kingdom), Janis Jonevs (Latvia), Dan Mallory aka A. J. Finn (USA) as well as Peeter Volkonski and Lembit Peterson (Estonia). Poetry Mass is also held at the St Nicholas Church and the festival draws to a close at the Uus Maailm district at the so-called Estonian Poor Writers’ Union.

Other events include literary walks and screenings at the Sõprus cinema.

More information is available on the festival site, and on Facebook and Twitter.

Tõnu Karjatse
HeadRead 2018 media relations

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