The Third Odessa International Literature Festival

The Third Odessa International Literature Festival


The festival takes place for the third year in Odessa between September 28th and October 1, 2017.

Now In its third year, the Odessa Literary Festival (OFF) has proven that it is not a passing fad, and is on track to becoming an important institution for Odessa and a major platform for the Ukrainian literary world. Founded in 2015 by the Peter Weiss Foundation for Art and Politics in cooperation with the International Literary Festival Leukerbad, the OFF has quickly become a core part of the Odessa Literary scene. In fact it has also very quickly become one of the most important destinations on the Eastern European literary circuit. The founders of the festival intended it to become a cultural bridge between east and west and it it surely plays that role very well.

This year, in addition to the annual literary readings, the festival will pay a special focus to “Black Sea connections” with a series of events dedicated to the international literary connections of the cultures surrounding the Black Sea (Georgian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Russian authors will all be represented at the festival. The festival will take part in the German-Ukrainian Language Year 2017-2018 festivities.

A special section on “The Future of Odessa: Urban Life and Urban Planning” will also take place, casting a focus on the many complexities of the possible future development of Odessa’s urban fabric. This year’s iteration of the festival will also feature more panels than usual on the particularities of the Odessa literary world, including “Memory, Speak: readings on Isaak Babel, Mikhail Bulgakov, Ivan Bunin, Vladimir Jabotinsky, and Mikhail Koltsov.”

The main venues for readings will be the Odessa Literature Museum, the Puppet Theatre, and Terminal 42.

Though tastes are different and there will be a wealth of events to choose from for every taste and interest, we do recommend attending the reading of Polish poet Adam Zagajewski, which will be hosted by The Odessa Review’s chief editor Vladislav Davidzon.

A review of Adam Zagajewski’s latest book by the American poet and critic Adam Kirsch can be found in this issue of the journal.

The indomitable Victor Erofeyev loves the festival and will be back for the third year in a row. His Russian countryman Mikhail Shishkin, considered by many to be the most interesting Russian writer of his generation, will attend this year as well.

The renowned German bard Wolf Biermann, a legend in his time will take part this year as well.

Our own Evgeniy Demenok, who in this issue writes about the Russian-Greek poet Pericles Stavrov is always worthy of attention. And the presence of both Serhij Zhadan, Andrey Kurkov and Halyna Kruk ensures that some of Ukraine’s most prominent writers will take part.

Also be sure not to miss what promises to be a great event: Andrei Malaev-Babel, the grandson of Isaac Babel will take part in the festival.