Literary Ark International Festival

Literary Ark International Festival

Literary Ark International Festival is a portal of writers, literary experts, readers, as well as of those who are devoted and simply love culture and literature. By inviting representatives of literature to Armenia from all over the world and representing our culture, country and literature to them, Literary Ark thus becomes a platform for discussion on professional, as well as cultural, social-civil issues for Armenian writers, literary experts, journalists, readers, and foreign writers.

Thanks to the Festival, both the Literary Ark guests and Armenian writers get the chance to represent to Armenian readers and audience their arts, books and readings, as well as projects and ideas, etc.

For foreign writers and guests Literary Ark is a great opportunity to see, learn and love Armenia, as for Armenian writers and literature people it is a marvelous chance to host their partners, to talk and discuss the contemporary problems and development trends of literature.

Literary Ark is a perfect chance for readers and students to hear the writer and his/her literature, to thoroughly get to know the nowadays literary developments through literary and educational meetings.

One of the most specific peculiarities of the Festival is the publication of the bilingual (Armenian and original languages) book in Armenia, comprised of the impressions in prose, poetry or essay by the participant-writers.

In 2001, the Armenian Public Organization of Cultural Cooperation with Foreign Countries (hereafter AOKS), inspired by the European project Literary Express 2001 of the German “Litteraturwerkstatt” organization which united around 100 writers from 40 countries and gave them the chance to travel through 13 European states to be initiated into the common European cultural environment and national literatures, initiated a similar, though a smaller literary project in Armenia, called Literary Ark, which as well aimed at bringing writers and literatures closer in our century-long country.

As a result in October of 2011 Armenia hosted the literary delegation of 13 European countries: 13 writers from Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Lichtenstein, Hungary, Turkey, Russia, Slovenia and the Netherlands. For twelve days the writers had literary and cultural meetings and discussions, travelled in Kotayk marz of Armenia which were later on expressed in their literary impression, published in the book “Literary Ark. European writers about Armenia”.

In 2011 - after a decade of interval, the “Literary Ark 2011. Ten years later” was organized, during which 14 writers from 9 countries (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Italy, Poland, Holland, Moldova and France) visited Armenia, learnt about the latter’s ancient culture and history, habits and tradition, people and nature, meanwhile representing the rich literary diversity of Europe and providing intercultural communication and exchange. They visited the southern sights of the country, in particular the Vayots Dzor and Syunik regions (marz), had educational and artistic meetings at universities and cultural centers in Yerevan, etc. As a result the “Literary Ark 2011” bilingual book (Armenian and original languages) was published, thus becoming a significant literary achievement and outcome of the event in 2011.

The Literary Ark 2012 International Literary Festival was organized by AOKS with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (hereafter BSEC). The Festival was carried out in the frames of Yerevan World Book Capital 2012 and the 500th Anniversary of Armenian Printing.

It was carried out from October 16-26, 2012, mainly in Yerevan, as well as Lori and Tavush marzes of Armenia. In the year of 2012 with its geographical coverage of participants expanded, the Festival hosted 26 writers from 17 countries` Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Georgia, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine.

In 2012 it had the format of a Festival, in the frames of which not only professional meetings between Armenian and foreign writers were organized, but also author readings by them for the reading audience of Armenia. It was also the trip route of the Festival that had changed: in 2012 the participant-writers set off to the Northern marzes, in particular to the historical-cultural sights of the Tavush and Lori marzes – the churches and monasteries of the territory, the House-Museum of Hovh. Tumanyan in Dsegh and House-Museum of St. Zoryan in Vanadzor.

 Literary Ark 2013 festival took place from October 23 to October 31, 2013.

There were 50 participants to the festival, 16 of which were from different countries of the world. 

During the festival, the participants had tours around Armenia: they visited such places as Ejmiatsin, Zvartnots, Oshakan, Noravank, Khor Virap, the History Museum of Armenia, Matenadaran, house-museums of Parajanov, Minas Avetisyan and Paruyr Sevak. 

The guests also visited Gyumri, as it is the cultural capital 2013 of CSI countries. There they had professional discussions.