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Two poets from Utrecht in a unique book made by UNESCO Creative Cities

15 June 2018

To mark the XII UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) Meeting in Krakow and Katowice, Utrecht City of Literature has contributed to the project ‘Poetic Encounters’, initiated by Heidelberg UNESCO City of Literature and Fabriano UNESCO City of Crafts and Folk Art, to produce a specially bound and printed anthology celebrating literature and its vital place in world culture.

51 poets from 28 UNESCO Cities of Literature have come together to celebrate the collaborative spirit which lies at the core of the UCCN and to support linguistic diversity through poetic expressions from around the world. From Utrecht, poets Onno Kosters and Hanneke van Eijken contributed to the project. The book is dedicated to all people worldwide valuing the power and richness of literature and advocating freedom of thought and speech. All texts have been written or printed on beautiful handcrafted, folio-sized paper from Fabriano UNESCO City of Crafts and Folk Art. The paper was sent from Fabriano via Heidelberg to all UNESCO Cities of Literature worldwide and, after being filled with literary works, was sent all the way back to Fabriano where the unique book has been bound.

Contributing to the book, the poetswere filmed as they wrote a literary piece of art on the Fabriano paper. The film was edited by Tel Aviv, UNESCO City of Media Arts, with music provided by Mannheim, UNESCO City of Music. The book was gifted to the Mayors of Krakow and Katowice by the mayors of Heidelberg and Fabriano at a special presentation during the annual meeting of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network on June 13th.

Follow the social conversation using #CitiesofLit #Krakowice2018 and #UCCN2018.

UNESCO Creative City Program

UNESCO’s City of Literature programme is part of a wider Creative Cities Network that was launched in 2004 and is currently made up of 180 UNESCO Creative Cities globally. As of 2017, the UNESCO Cities of Literature network of 28 cities represents 6 continents and 23 countries, and a combined population of over 26 million, 1250 libraries, 130 literary festivals and over 1200 bookshops. The Network is active in making the literary and creative sectors of cities thrive through the development and implementation of a shared global strategy, which aims to promote the network, share good practice, and ensure that literature reaches diverse audiences.


About UNESCO Creative Cities Network Meeting 

UNESCO Creative Cities Network Annual Meetings offer a unique occasion to strengthen the ties between cities from around the world and serves as a platform to define the strategic objectives of an expanded and well-balanced Network.


Enquiries to:

Akkie Groen
Head of communications Literatuurhuis/Utrecht City of Literature


Contributing authors from the UNESCO Creative Cities of Literature in alphabetical order:

Mohammed Hussein Al Yaseen (Baghdad)
Emily Zoey Baker (Melbourne)
Soffía Bjarnadóttir (Reykjavík)
Matilde Camphilo (Óbidos)
Claudia Castro Luna (Seattle)
Eiléan Ni Chuilleanáin (Dublin)
Jacques Côté (Québec)
Maurizio Cucchi (Milan)
Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill (Dublin)
Carol Ann Duffy (Manchester)
Ralph Dutli (Heidelberg)
Fatemeh Ekhtesari (Lillehammer)
Mireille Gagné (Québec)
Rhian Gallagher (Dunedin)
Sergei Gogin (Ulyanovsk)
Lauren Haldeman (Iowa City)
Helena Janeczek (Milan)
Jakub Kornhauser (Krakow)
Onno Kosters (Utrecht)
Hasso Krull (Tartu)
Ko Kyungsook (Bucheon)
Małgorzata Lebda (Krakow)
Christine De Luca (Edinburgh)
John McAuliffe (Manchester)
Christopher Merrill (Iowa City)
Pedro Mexia (Óbidos)
Gcina Mhlope (Durban)
Tomáš Míka (Prague)
Ángeles Mora (Granada)
Bragi Ólafsson (Reykjavík)
Maarja Pärtna (Tartu)
Ana Pepelnik (Ljubljana)
Ruby Pinner (Norwich)
Jakub Řehák (Prague)
Anastacia-Reneé (Seattle)
José Carlos Rosales (Granada)
Andrej Rozman Roza (Ljubljana)
Marjana Sarka (Lviv)
Gigory Semenchuk (Lviv)
Alan Spence (Edinburgh)
George Szirtes (Norwich)
Marion Tauschwitz (Heidelberg)
Terje Thorsen (Lillehammer)
Gala Uzryutova (Ulyanovsk)
Hanneke van Eijken (Utrecht)
Chris Wallace-Crabbe (Melbourne)
Rory Waterman (Nottingham)
Georgina Wilding (Nottingham)
Iona Winter (Dunedin)
Ester Xargay (Barcelona)
David Ymbernon (Barcelona)


English translators from the UNESCO Creative Cities of Literature in alphabetical order:

Sa’ad al-Hasani
Paul-Henri Campbell
Míriam Cano
Vitaliy Charnetsky
Marina Espasa
Hossein Fallah
Go Chang Soo
Katia Grubisic
Olivia Hellewell
Bernie Higgins
Ross Howard
Michele Hutchison
Brandon Lussier
W. Martin
Meg Matich
Amos Mattio
Askold Melnychuk
Tomáš Míka
Sadek R. Mohammed
Ana Pepelnik
Frederika Randall
Paula Ribeiro
Rod Rojas
Lytton Smith
Pablo Strauss
Jayde Will
Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese

Artists from Fabriano UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art

Paper and Watermark Museum – Fabriano

Project Curator: Giorgio Pellegrini

Paper makers: Luigi Mecella, Roberto Rapanotti, Federico Salvatori

Calligrapher: Maestro Amanuense Malleu

Book binder: Giuseppe Baldinelli


Idea and Concept:

Heidelberg UNESCO Creative City of Literature (Dr. Andrea Edel, Phillip Koban) & Fabriano UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art (Giorgio Pellegrini, Vittorio Salmoni, Carlo Pesaresi)

Overall Coordination: Heidelberg UNESCO Creative City of Literature (Phillip Koban)

Calligrapher in Heidelberg: Kornelia Roth

Part II with English translations has been designed by Bettina Bank (Heidelberg) and printed on the handcrafted Fabriano paper by Baier Digitaldruck GmbH Heidelberg.