“Reading is fun” is the motto of the first Reading Weeks organised in Bulgaria. The event will take place between May 11th and May 24th. May 11 is when the church commemorates Sts Cyril and Methodius, while it is May 24th when the Day of the Slavic Alphabet and Bulgarian Education is celebrated. The event is part of an ambitious initiative aimed at making young people more interested in reading. The Sofia Poetiki Festival, which is the platform for the new event has already existed for 5 years, combining various types of arts. It is also a part of the culture calendar of the Sofia Municipality.
Organizer of the festival is journalist and writer Yassen Atanasov. He says that during the 14 days of the forum, more than 20 different literature events will take place. The places of the readings are various and include even bars. Other venues will be the park in front of the Ivan Vazov National Theatre, Slaveikov Square, the Sofia Art Gallery, etc.
“There are three different groups of events. One includes events that used to take place in the past but are not organised any more. Such is the event City Readings, organised by Kmelia Spasova and Maria Kalinova. In City Readings people meet at a certain place, for example a station of the underground, and read excerpts of books, which they later put in a special box for other people to read. This event will open the Reading Weeks on May 11th. There will be poetic battles too. The Sofia Underground project, created in 1997 will also be part of the programme. It was created in 1997 and we decided to revive it in the memory of late critic Ruen Ruenov, who passed away during the past year. On May 19th the event VIP Poetry will take place. It is a poetic reality show, in which we literary fight with poetry. The second group of events includes extraordinary editions of various projects related to the Reading Weeks. Such a project is the League of the Storytellers by journalist Katya Atanasova, which has existed for 7 years now. This is a very pleasant competition in story telling. The special edition of the League of Storytellers will be on May 17th. Another event that is to take place in the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski draws parallels between fiction and scientific texts and modern music. Spanish guests will take part in this event while the music will be performed by Help Me Jones – one of the most interesting alternative bands in the moment. The third group of events during the Reading Weeks was created especially for the forum. It includes the attempt for longest literary reading, which would happen in a bar downtown Sofia on May 14. Popular people and guests will take part in it. On May 24th in front of the Ivan Vazov Theatre three of the latest novels by Bulgarian writers Milen Ruskov, Elena Aleksieva, and Georgi Gospodinov will be presented to the readers.”
Writer Yasen Atanasov says that in order for contemporary Bulgarian literature to take its right place, it must be more aggressively promoted among people. This is what the main goal of the Sofia Reading Weeks is.
English: Alexander Markov