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Nottingham Guest of Honour at Granada Book Fair

Fri 3 May, 2019

Granada has announced Nottingham as its first foreign Guest of Honour at the 2019 Granada Book Fair. We're treating them to some of our finest talents.

Facilitated by Granada and Nottingham UNESCO Cities of Literature, the programme of cultural events will celebrate authors and books, and a professional programme designed to enable and enhance cultural exchange opportunities between the two cities.

Granada is an iconic city of literature and has always been a semillero for poets, writers and intellectuals of great significance, from Ibn Zamrak (1333-1394), to Federico García Lorca (1895-1936). Granada has stimulated so much literary creativity and left its mark on the work of many highly diverse and well-known names, from St John of the Cross to Washington Irving, from Juan Ramón Jiménez to Malcolm Lowry, and from Marguerite Yourcenar to Derek Walcott.

This tradition has continued to this day; Granada is a front-rank centre for literary production and the management of literature-related activities. Hundreds of literary events, poetry readings, book launches, round tables, writers’ encounters, seasons, conferences, seminars, etc. are held each year in the city as a result of private and public initiatives of all kinds. Numerous independent publishers are based in the city, and an extensive network of bookshops provides spaces where events are always being held.

But Granada is, above all, the city of Federico García Lorca, who, after Cervantes, is the best known Spanish writer, with his works translated all over the world. Built around his figure and his legacy, the city has constructed a large network of facilities, events and institutions, including the Federico García Lorca-City of Granada Poetry Prize, International Poetry Festival (FIB), Huerta de San Vicente (Federico García Lorca House and Museum), and the new Centro Federico García Lorca, which aims to serve as a nexus for contemporary culture.

Jesus Ortega, Director of Granada UNESCO City of Literature, said:

“A book fair isn’t just about buying and selling rights to books; it represents an exchange of ideas and cultural values. We are lucky to have the opportunity of finding out more about Nottingham – the city, its people, its poetry and its publishing. I know they will make a great Guest of Honour and look forward to putting Nottingham at the forefront of Granada’s City of Literature activities over the next few years.

Director Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, Sandeep Mahal, said:

“We are very excited that Nottingham has been chosen as the first Guest of Honour at Granada Book Fair. We welcome the opportunity to curate a cultural programme with our partners, Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham, and showcase Nottingham’s creative partnerships.”

Ross Bradshaw, from Five Leaves Bookshop said:

“The UNESCO Guest of Honour programme is a fantastic opportunity for booksellers, publishers, translators, readers and writers in Nottingham and Granada to get to know each other and discover ways of working together in the future. International links are particularly important at a time when nationalist feelings are on the rise.”

Today, with an average of 80,000 new publications per year, Spain is among markets producing some of the highest output in the world. It’s estimated that as many as 500 million people speak, read, and/or write Spanish and it is, of course, the largest language second to English heard in the United States market.

Granada Book Fair, Granada (Central Stand) will be hosting a series of events featuring Nottingham academics, poets and a bookseller.

Friday 10th May, 8pm

Guest of Honour opening ceremony

Saturday 11th May, 1pm

Maximising the potential of UNESCO Cities of Literature, a discussion with Jesus Ortega and Sandeep Mahal

A Sense of Place - Lorca, Byron & DH Lawrence, their travels and relationship with landscape.

  • Simon Brown, Curator at Newstead Abbey
  • Carolyn Melbourne, museum and collections officer at the D.H Lawrence Birthplace Museum Stephen Roberts, Associate Professor and Reader in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies and Head of Department, Faculty of Arts at the University of Nottingham
  • Gregory Woods, Emeritus Professor of Gay and Lesbian Studies and a critically acclaimed poet

Sunday 12th May, 12 noon

'Changing The World, One Book at a Time' with Five Leaves bookseller and publisher, Ross Bradshaw, & Gregory Woods.

Re:Vision Creative Writing workshops with poet and researcher at Nottingham Trent University, Becky Cullen and poet, critic, editor and academic, Rory Waterman.

Monday 13th May, 9pm

A poetry evening celebrating Byron, Lorca and Lawrence with poets from Granada and Nottingham: Gregory Woods, Rory Waterman & Becky Cullen.


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The UNESCO Cities of Literature are a global network of cities which specialise in literature. The UNESCO designation recognises excellence and places obligation on cities to nurture and support culture & creativity.

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