14 - 16 March, Latvia will be participating at the international London Book Fair with the national literature exhibition and various topical events. One of the main occasions at the fair this year is the acceptance ceremony of the Market Focus status which Poland will be handing over to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
This year, Latvia will be represented at the London Book Fair by a large number of Latvian writers, poets and book artists. They will be participating in various literary events both at the venue and elsewhere in London. The series of cultural events will be opened on 15th March with a discussion about representations of history in art, attended by Latvian writers and authors of historical novels Nora Ikstena, Osvalds Zebris, Gundega Repše and Pauls Bankovskis. On this date, London Book Fair will also to be hosting a discussion „Story and Illustration” about ways to create unique children’s books, which will be attended by the Latvian artist and designer Rūta Briede along with other representatives from the Baltic states.
Along with the London Book Fair, on 14th March, at the London Latvian House, artists Rūta Briede and Sanita Muižniece, and writer Maira Dobele will be running a workshop on Screen printing techniques. On 15th March, the Embassy of Latvia in London will be hosting an evening with Pauls Bankovskis, during which the author will be reading excerpts from his historical novel “18”. A special event will be held to celebrate the publishing of photographer Arnis Balčus' album “Victory park” on 16th March at The Photographers’ Gallery Bookshop. One of the main events of the cultural programme is the evening of readings “Poetry Connections”, scheduled for 16th March at the Rich Mix London club, along with contemporary poets from Scotland and Wales attended by Latvian poets Arvis Viguls, Artis Ostups, Madara Gruntmane and Semyon Khanin.
On 13th March, the evening before the fair, Latvia, Lithiania and Estonia will be holding a special ceremony to honour the participation of the Baltic states at the London Book Fair 2018 as Market Focus countries. The event will be opened with a speech by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture of Latvia, Sandis Voldiņš. On the final day of the fair, 16th March, Poland will be handing the role of Market Focus over to the Baltic countries. The event will be attended by embassadors of the Baltic states, including the ambassador of Latvia to the United Kingdom, Baiba Braže.
As noted previously, in 2018, as the Baltic states will be celebrating their centennials, Lithuania and Estonia will be joining Latvia at the London Book Fair as Market Focus countries. The central 600 sq.m. exhibition stand space in the London Book Fair hall will be designated for presentations and readings of translated works, achievements in printing and book design. Various cultural events, exhibitions, concerts and theatre performances will take place in London and elsewhere in the UK as part of the Baltic programme.