A collective voice for literature and languages in Scotland

Edinburgh welcomes rising star of Polish literature

The winner of the Lord Provost’s International Residency has been announced as Ahsan Ridha Hassan from Krakow City of Literature.

Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust is delighted to announce the name of the writer selected to come to Edinburgh for a month-long residency, through the Lord Provost’s International Residency. Following a highly competitive open call, Ahsan Ridha Hassan from Krakow has been chosen to spend November developing his work in the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature.

Ahsan Ridha Hassan is a writer based in Krakow who has already publisheda range of articles and short stories, including his debut collection Wieża (2014) and his follow-up Trupojad i dziewczyna (2017). He will be using his time in Edinburgh to work on his new novel, while getting to know Edinburgh and its literary community.

Ahsan Ridha Hassan. Courtesy cityofliterature.com

This is the first International Residency between the two cities and it will forge new connections between the two Cities of Literature, connecting their reading and writing communities and celebrating their Partner City relationship.

Lord Provost Frank Ross said: “The work undertaken by Edinburgh and Krakow as UNESCO Cities of Literature has reinforced our partnership and allowed our creative communities to flourish and grow together.  The opportunity for exchange with Krakow through writers, libraries and our local communities contributes greatly to Edinburgh’s international outlook.

 “I want to congratulate Ahsan Ridha Hassan on securing this much sought-after residency and look forward to welcoming him to Edinburgh, the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature.”

Ali Bowden, Director of the City of Literature Trust, said: “The Lord Provost’s International Residency is a great opportunity to showcase Edinburgh as a City of Literature, and welcome one of Krakow’s most exciting new talents into our incredible creative community.”

As part of his month-long residency, starting on 1 November 2018, the writer will be offered a place as a Community Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh (IASH). The Fellowship includes access to university libraries and resources, as well as desk space in one of Scotland’s ancient universities.

Professor Steve Yearley, IASH Director, expressed how pleased the Institute was to have a new Community Fellow supported by Edinburgh and Krakow Cities of Literature and the Lord Provost: “We’re delighted to welcome Ahsan Ridha Hassan and the exciting, timely writing that his work represents.”

Previous Community Fellow at IASH include Korean author Kim Ae-ran in 2014 and Scottish writer Jemma Neville in 2017.

During his time in Edinburgh, Ahsan will be staying at The Place Hotel, in the heart of the Georgian New Town, based in one of the hotel’s literary-themedsuites.

Ahsan will be available for a limited number of interviews and appearances during his time in Edinburgh. To arrange a meeting or event, please contact Siân Bevan at Edinburgh City of Literature (sian@cityofliterature.com)

The Lord Provost’s International Residency is devised and delivered by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust with thanks to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh Council, IASH, EdinburghTourism Action Group, Creative Scotland and Krakow City of Literature.

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For further information please contact:

Siân Bevan, Programme Manager at Edinburgh City of Literature on sian@cityofliterature.com or 0131 557 9850
@EdinCityofLit

Notes to Editor

  1. EdinburghCity of Literature Trust

The Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust is the development agency for Edinburgh as a UNESCO City of Literature. It works to bring literature to the streets of Edinburgh, involving people in the city’s literary life, bringing organisations to work together collaboratively for greater impact, and sharing Edinburgh’s literary story with the world.

cityofliterature.com        @EdinCityofLit

  1. Krakow UNESCO City of Literature

Krakow was the 7th city to be designated a UNESCO City of Literature, joining the network in 2013. The City of Literature builds on a centuries-old literary heritage by showcasing the city’s dynamic literary festivals, libraries, poets and writers.

http://krakowcityofliterature.com/city-of-literature/       @KRKCityofLit

  1. UNESCO City of Literature designation
    In 2004 Edinburgh was designated the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, a permanent title celebrating Edinburgh’s status as a literary capital and pioneer in the UNESCO creative cities network, which now has 180 member cities in seven creative art forms. The concept of a City of Literature was devised in Edinburgh by the Trust’s founding members.
  2. Edinburgh and Krakow have been Partner Cities since 1995.
  3. The Place Hotel is a luxury four star boutique hotel in the heart of Edinburgh. In celebration of Edinburgh’s place as the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, the hotel created four literary-themed hotel suites, inspired by great Edinburgh writers: https://yorkplace-edinburgh.co.uk/about-us/literature-hotel/
October 18, 2018

Edinburgh Festival of cycling goes on tour

Edinburgh Festival of Cycling is back again for another year celebrating sports, arts, and culture, this time connecting the three Scottish UNESCO Creative Cities: Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dundee, to explore the ways in which cycling can play a part in our creative communities.  

Listed as ‘one of the top 10 cycling festivals in Europe’ by the Active Travellers Magazine, Edinburgh Festival of Cycling takes place this year from 7 to 24 June, with an exciting programme of events taking place across the city and beyond.

Edinburgh Festival of Cycling doesn’t just cater to the sports side of cycling, but also explores the many different sides and routes of access to the sport(from transport to competition, from leisure activity to cultural icon) which the festival sets out to celebrate, with a wide range of sporting, cultural and family events for all age groups.

This year is also different, as it sees Scotland’s three UNESCO Creative Cities: Edinburgh (City of Literature), Glasgow (City of Music), and Dundee (City of Design), come together for the first time ever in order to celebrate the benefits that arts and culture can have in promoting and enhancing an active live.

One of the key features of the programme is a screening in each of the creative cities of the Dutch documentary ‘Why We Cycle’. In this thought-provoking film, ordinary cyclists and specialists talk about why there’s a culture of cycling in the Netherlands and what we can learn from it. The screenings are followed by a discussion which will cover many of the issues raised by Glasgow 2018: how can we make an active life a more ingrained part of our communities?

Edinburgh City of Literature is excited to be involved in the coming together of the cities, and is looking forward to the events taking place between them. The events to look out for in Glasgow and Dundee are:

As well as the usual packed programme in Festival’s hometown of Edinburgh, this year there is an increase in literary events, including talks from Peter Walker (author of Bike Nation) and William Manners, who’ll be discussing Revolution: How the Bicycle Reinvented Modern Britain. Working with Edinburgh City of Literature, a writing competition (Writing & Reading) will be held again, encouraging short fiction and poetry about cycling.

Thanks to the support of Festival 2018, Edinburgh Festival of Cycling is able to go on tour to these Creative Cities, which share a common narrative of sport – specifically of bikes and how they can change the world. From the stories we tell about them, to the way they work, to the fun we can have on them, the Festival of Cycling programme this year is packed with events for all ages bringing out the best of the UNESCO Creative Cities.

Full details of the Art and culture programme of the festival can be found here.

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For further information please contact: Rebecca Raeburn, Communications Assistant, City of Literature Trust on rebecca@cityofliterature.com or 07966 847580

Notes to Editor

Edinburgh Festival of Cycling
The Edinburgh Festival of Cycling Ltd. is a not-for-profit social enterprise, run by a small group of people. The current board of directors are: Kim Harding (Founder and CEO), Caroline Brown, and Ulli Harding. The Edinburgh Festival of Cycling was originally envisaged as a proper Edinburgh-style festival. A city-wide event, originally held over nine days, showcasing and celebrating all aspects of bicycle culture and the city itself. The Festival was expanded from nine days to ten in 2014, and then 11 days inclusive from 2015 onwards.

Festival 2018
Festival 2018 is the fun-filled cultural programme of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships. Glasgow and areas hosting sport across Scotland will be buzzing with live music, circus, dance, theatre, visual art and much more at city-centre festival sites, venues and in communities, bringing a carnival atmosphere to the 11 days of sporting action.

Edinburgh Festival City
Building on a culture of collaborative working the Directors of Edinburgh’s leading Festivals came together in 2007 to formally establish Festivals Edinburgh with a mission to support Edinburgh’s Festivals in sustaining and developing their position as the world’s leading festival city through:

  • development and delivery of collaborative projects and initiatives which support growth, product development, leadership and audiences
  • acting on behalf of and representing the collective strengths of the Edinburgh Festivals

UNESCO Creative Cities Network
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was formed in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among citiesthat have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

The Creative Cities Network is currently formed by 180 members from 72 countries covering 7 creative fields: Crafts & Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music and Media Arts.

The Cities work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level. The UK cities involved in the network are: Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Galway, Bristol, Manchester, Norwich, Nottingham, York, Bradford and Liverpool.

City of Literature Trust
The Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust is the development agency for Edinburgh as a UNESCO City of Literature. It works to bring literature to the streets of Edinburgh, involving people in the city’s literary life, bringing organisations to work together collaboratively for greater impact, and sharing Edinburgh’s literary story with the world. @EdinCityofLit

June 12, 2018

Edinburgh: City of Literature – Summer School course

Edinburgh has an amazingly rich literary heritage and was the first city in the world to receive UNESCO City of Literature status.

Now, the University of Edinburgh has created a unique four-week course to examine some of Edinburgh’s most celebrated literary talents – Edinburgh: City of Literature.

Alongside works by Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ian Rankin, Muriel Spark and Irvine Welsh, the course will explore these writers’ presence in the city through manuscript collections and objects in the National Libraries and Museums of Scotland and the Edinburgh Writers’ Museum.

It will also follow their footsteps through the city to see how their presence has been marked with monuments, plaques and other forms of cultural heritage, and consider how these writers represent the city in their works and how it has shaped their writing.

Application deadline: 30 March 2018. The course runs from 4-29 June 2018.

Watch the video below. For full details visit the website.

February 25, 2018