UK publishers dive in Basque literature in Donostia and Durango

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.

2014-12-09

The Durangoko Azoka Basque book and literature fair finished yesterday,  and so did the three day stay of a select group of publishers from the UK, who visited the Basque Country at the invitation of the Etxepare Basque Institute. The representatives of the five British publishers - Parthian Books, Peter Owen Publishers, Comma Press, Seren Books and Maclehose Press-,  have also been joined by Elin HG Jones, director of Mercator Institute of the Aberystwyth University, responsibles for LAF, Literature Acoss Frontiers,   and Maya Jaggy, The Guardian journalist and literary critic. The purpose of the trip organized by the Institute was to inform them about Basque writers and publishing, in order to encourage works originally written in Basque to be published in English.

On December 6 guests had the opportunity to know the work of Etxepare, besides visiting some cultural places of interest in Donostia and surroundings, in a program designed by Golocal Tours: different libraries, Chillida Leku, the Victoria Eugenia Theatre, home of Victor Hugo in Pasaia ... In the afternoon the publishers enjoyed a unique literary reading, organized by the Institute in the library Garoa, and lead by Basque writers Rikardo Arregi, Kirmen Uribe, Harkaitz Cano, Karmele Jaio and  Iban Zaldua, after which they could meet and chat with tranquility.

December 7 started with a working session at the headquarters of the Institute and visitors had the chance to know first-hand the current reality of the Basque literature, to receive catalogs and samples of Basque literature and to document on the work carried by Etxepare regarding the promotion of Basque literature abroad.

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The Durangoko Azoka Basque book and literature fair finished yesterday,  and so did the three day stay of a select group of publishers from the UK, who visited the Basque Country at the invitation of the Etxepare Basque Institute. The representatives of the five British publishers - Parthian Books, Peter Owen Publishers, Comma Press, Seren Books and Maclehose Press-,  have also been joined by Elin HG Jones, director of Mercator Institute of the Aberystwyth University, responsibles for LAF, Literature Acoss Frontiers,   and Maya Jaggy, The Guardian journalist and literary critic. The purpose of the trip organized by the Institute was to inform them about Basque writers and publishing, in order to encourage works originally written in Basque to be published in English.

On December 6 guests had the opportunity to know the work of Etxepare, besides visiting some cultural places of interest in Donostia and surroundings, in a program designed by Golocal Tours: different libraries, Chillida Leku, the Victoria Eugenia Theatre, home of Victor Hugo in Pasaia ... In the afternoon the publishers enjoyed a unique literary reading, organized by the Institute in the library Garoa, and lead by Basque writers Rikardo Arregi, Kirmen Uribe, Harkaitz Cano, Karmele Jaio and  Iban Zaldua, after which they could meet and chat with tranquility.

December 7 started with a working session at the headquarters of the Institute and visitors had the chance to know first-hand the current reality of the Basque literature, to receive catalogs and samples of Basque literature and to document on the work carried by Etxepare regarding the promotion of Basque literature abroad.

In the afternoon the group  visited the  Durangoko Azoka, right from the hand of the organizers, of the director of the Etxepare Institute, Aizpea Goenaga, and of Mari Jose Olaziregi, director for the Promotion and Dissemination of the Basque Language at the organization. The guests were really impressed by the size of the fair, its dinamism  and the high attendance. They also showed great interest during the dates organized by the Etxepare Basque Institute for them to meet several Basque publishing houses:  Elkar, Pamiela, Susa, Txalaparta … 


This was not the only presence of Etxepare this year at the fair in Durango, since on December 8 Mari Jose Olaziregi  participated in a panel discussion on cultural transmission  along with actor Ander Lipus and Professor Jon Sarasua, with the writer Uxue Alberdi  in the role of moderator. Among other topics, they discussed in depth. the importance of cultural expressions, professionalism and amateurism in Basque culture and the relevance of infrastructure and cultural education.

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