for the first time in 2012. The City also finds interesting the prospect of developing creative youth projects with other Creative Cities and Cities of Literature in the future. Electronic Media Collaboration within the field of digital media is appealing, and with a growing number of Cities of Literature, a possible cooperative effort would be to create a web portal for these cities. Reykjavík City Library runs a literature website and has experience in collaborating with other cities in this sector, and is prepared to share those efforts and collaborate with other Cities of Literature on electronic presentation of writers from the respective cities. Iceland's promotional website for the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2011 can also contribute to this project. International Collaboration As Guest of Honour at the 2011 Frankfurt Book Fair, Iceland is gaining valuable experience in promoting its literature and culture internationally, and Reykjavík as a City of Literature can share this experience and knowledge with other cities. This is a new and fresh project, vast in size, and there is still no end in sight to the opportunities created for Icelandic writers, translators and other professionals within the literary scene. As the hometown of a majority of the nation's writers, and the largest venue of literary life in Iceland, Reykjavík also sees the Frankfurt project as a unique opportunity to promote the city as a creative destination for tourists, and one of Reykjavík's tasks as a City of Literature is to enforce that image. Iceland will also be in focus at Salon du Livre in Paris in March 2011, as one of the Nordic countries. The Reykjavík International Literary Festival is also open to collaborations with festivals in other Cities of Literature and the Creative Cities Network. Furthermore, Reykjavík City is interested in becoming an International City of Refuge, a sanctuary for writers and
HÓLAVALLAGARdUR The old graveyard also plays an important role in Gerdur Kristný's teenage novel Gardurinn (The Garden) from 2009. The girl Eyja has just moved to a new home in an old house next to the churchyard, and before long, strange things start happening in her life. The story takes place in the present, but also reflects on the time of the Spanish Flu, that took a heavy toll in Reykjavík in 1918. Gardurinn is both a suspense novel and a young girl's coming of age story.
Reykjavík is an algae-globe in the depths, collects light, without core, like the Sagas, the threads constantly split, entwine again, all by feeling, the streets write themselves, inked roundabouts, stroll through town, talk about freckled words, chiseled sentences, get sucked into the museum, touch the manuscripts, scripts in different writings, preserved away from the sun, deep down, turn up bits of knowledge, carried out in the wind, the asphalt a print-mold, boats full of new books. Oddný Eir Ævarsdóttir, writer (b. 1972)
poets exiled from their own countries. Such a role would be in line with the strong emphasis on human rights that characterizes Icelandic society and is underpinned by Reykjavík City's clear human rights policy. An application has been sent to ICORN (International Cities of Refuge Network), and Reykjavík is expected to become a formal member in March 2011. According to this plan, the first writer hosted by the city will be introduced at the Reykjavík International Literature Festival in September 2011. On a more cheerful note, plans are underway of enforcing “sister-city” ties between Reykjavík and the Moomin Valley, depicted in Tove Jansson's renowned books. The City of Reykjavík will be working on this in cooperation with Moomin World in Naantali in Finland, and Reykjavík City Library and others will initiate literature programs on this occasion, focusing on the ties between Icelandic and foreign children's literature. In Motion Yet another project on the City's drawing board for 2011 is an effort to label literary spots in Reykjavík, and this would be one of the projects to kick-start the official status From Gardurinn A shiver ran through me when I looked out the window again and caught sight of something moving in the graveyard. Two women stood looking down at a grave. One looked very old and leaned on a walker, while the other tried to help her put something beside a white wooden cross. Perhaps today was the birthday of someone who was dear to her – or would have been if he or she were alive. Straightening up, the old woman looked directly at my window. I drew back from the window. For all I knew, she could be a ghost herself. Translated by Keneva Kunz
UNESCO City of Literature
Published on Jul 23, 2012