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The Book Institute

The Book Institute is a national institution established by the Polish Ministry of Culture. It has been up and running in Kraków since January 2004.

The Institute’s basic aims are to influence the reading public and to popularise books and reading within Poland, as well as to promote Polish literature worldwide. These aims are accomplished by:

popularising the best Polish books and their authors;

educational activities designed to highlight the advantages to be gained from regular book reading;

introducing Polish literature abroad;

organising study visits for translators and foreign publishers;

increasing the number of translations from Polish into foreign languages, with the help of the ©POLAND Translation Programme and Sample Translation ©POLAND;

making information on Polish books and the Polish publishing market accessible to foreign consumers.

The Book Institute organises literary programmes to promote Polish books at international book fairs, appearances by Polish writers at literary festivals, and within the scope of programmes designed to promote Polish culture worldwide, it publishes catalogues of “New Books from Poland”, runs study and educational activities, organises meetings and seminars for foreign publishers and translators of Polish literature.

Selected Book Institute programmes:

“Kolegium Tłumaczy” Translators’ Programme

Based in Kraków, this programme provides study visits for translators of Polish literature and is run jointly with the Jagiellonian University and the Villa Decius. During their residency, the translators are provided with suitable conditions for their work and assistance with their translations. They also conduct some classes for students at the Jagiellonian University. Eight candidates are accepted each year.

The Transatlantic Prize

The Transatlantic prize is awarded by the Book Institute to outstanding ambassadors of Polish literature abroad. Its aim is to promote Polish literature on the world market and to provide a focal point for translators of Polish literature and its promoters (publishers, literary critics, scholars and organisers of cultural events). The prize is awarded annually and is worth € 10,000. The winners from 2005 were Henryk Bereska, Anders Bodegård, Albrecht Lempp and Ksenia Starosielska.

Four Seasons Book Festival

The Book Institute organises an annual international literary festival, which takes place in several cities simultaneously. It is divided into four parts:


POPLIT Popular Literature Festival (April): Science Fiction, fantasy, horror, children’s and youth literature, cartoons;

PROSE SEASON (October): contemporary Polish and world literature;

FESTIVAL OF CRIME (November): crime novels and thrillers.

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