Institut Ramon LLull

All ready for Spotlight: the focus on Catalan culture at the London Book Fair

Literature.  31/03/2022

From April 5th to 7th, Catalan literature gets to London with a broad programme of activities to promote commercial and knowledge exchange with the English-speaking literary and publishing sector. Its presence at the fair will be transmitted through the professional sector (with matchmaking sessions) and the cultural one (with 8 Catalan authors who will explain their work and the themes that run their creation, in dialogue with English-speaking authors).




From April 5th to 7th, Catalan literature gets to London with a broad programme of activities to promote commercial and knowledge exchange with the English-speaking literary and publishing sector. Its presence at the fair will be transmitted through the professional sector (with matchmaking sessions) and the cultural one (with 8 Catalan authors who will explain their work and the themes that run their creation, in dialogue with English-speaking authors).

From April 5th to 7th, Catalan literature will be one of the central points of the London Book fair, one of the most internationally renowned events within literature and the literary industry. Spotlight: Catalan Culture in the UK, the focus of Catalan culture at the fair, has a broad programme of activities to promote a commercial and knowledge exchange with the English-speaking literary and publishing world.

The presence of Catalan culture at the London Book Fair responds to the following goals: enhancing translations of Catalan literature’s authors to English, promoting those Catalan authors already translated, fostering new publishing assignments for Catalan and Balearic illustrators, and contributing to the growth –and the strengthen of those with a previous relation– of commercial relations between Catalan publishers and agencies, and British and American publishers and agencies.

The cultural programme of the fair includes 8 Catalan authors: Irene Solà, Sergi Pàmies, Marta Orriols, Borja Bagunyà, Eva Baltasar, Josep Maria Esquirol, Aina Bestard and Raül Garrigasait. They will take part in 8 sessions with the English-speaking authors: Max Porter, Jay Griffiths, Daisy Johnson, David Constantine, Yara Rodrigues Fowler, Vassiliki Tzomaka, the translator Peter Bush, and the editor Christopher MacLehose. The talks will trigger discussions on their work and the themes that run their creation, thus generating a dialogue between both literatures.

Beyond the presence of Catalan authors and the potential connections and collusions that might be established with British colleagues, the programme includes another line of action focused on the professional sector – strategically crucial for our literature. It includes the professional meeting sessions (matchmaking) between the Catalan and the English-speaking publishing sectors, and its main purpose is to boost the sales of publishing rights. These sessions will be essential to foster new contacts and opening new perspectives between Catalan and British publishers and agents.

Cultural activities beyond the fair

With the aim of advertising other areas of Catalan creation, there is also a programme of activities that go beyond the Fair and London, and it will get to various cities of the UK: book presentations from Spotlight authors in collaborations with their British publishers; cultural activities at those UK universities where Catalan studies are taught; and collaborations with prestigious cultural institutions and organisations.

Thus, taking advantage of the stable network and track of the British cultural programme, a Catalan film series will be held, along with various performing arts and music shows. Magalí Saré, Vicens Vacca, and Atresbandes, among others, will be part of the programme that goes from March to June 2022. Also, in collaboration with the Ajuntament de Barcelona, a series of poetry readings and performances will take place in London, Manchester and Exeter.

The Institut Ramon Llull, awarded for the excellence in literary translation

Beyond all the programmed activities and the presence at the fair, it is noteworthy that the Llull has been awarded with The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2022, in the Literary Translation Initiative category. The award acknowledges the work that the institution has done for twenty years. As judges stated: “Through their work in exporting and championing Catalan literature and those translators working in the field, the Institut Ramon Llull helps to ensure that Catalan literature, across all genres, thrives well beyond its own borders.”

Since 2017, the Institut Ramon Llull and the Institut Català de les Empreses Culturals work to create Spotlight, which along with the Market Focus, give prominence to the publishing sector and the literary landscape of a given culture at the London Fair. According to Pere Almeda, director of the Institut Ramon Llull, “it is a great opportunity for Catalan literature to be shown in all its capabilities and strength in an international publishing context.”

Spotlight: Catalan Culture in the UK
London Book Fair
April 5th to 7th

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  • Generalitat de Catalunya Govern Illes Balears Ajuntament de Barcelona
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