I have recently attended the fourth edition of Transylvania International Book Festival (an English version of their website will be available soon), held in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, between 4th and 9th October 2016. It was a week packed with book launches, readings, debates, conferences and special events such as a Reading March, a Poetry Jam Session and a few interesting performances mixing theatre, music and poetry.
Days filled with captivating debates, immersing the audience in the world of literature, would end with late night discussions over a glass of wine. I had the pleasure of meeting some of the festival’s guests of honour and I truly feel my inner world has become a little richer because of them: Mario Bojorquez and Ali Calderon from Mexico, Alessandro Baricco from Italy, Mite Stefoski from Macedonia, Mircea Cartarescu from Romania, Franco Moretti from Italy/USA, Josef Straka from Czech Republic and Andrei Codrescu from USA. Memories about Struga Poetry Evenings in Macedonia, debates on Latin American poetry, ideas on ways to promote poets in Eastern Europe or thoughts about The Nobel Literature Prize are still very present in my mind. I also remember the Romanian writer Mircea Cartarescu and his fascinating literary structures inspired by geometry and quantum physics, or Alessandro Baricco’s association between writers and animals- in the way they write from their instinct.
The festival’s declared purpose of providing a six days journey into the world of books was fully achieved. I enjoyed the great variety of books launched during the festival. Each launching event was a small, yet complex universe of its own with different audiences, writers and atmosphere. Considering the festival’s steady growth since the first edition and my pleasant experience this year, I am looking forward to participating next year.
By Cristina Muresan
Cristina Muresan is a Romanian writer from Transylvania, based in London. She published Angel Dust, her book of poetry and short stories, in 2015. She is also a blogger and a doctor in international relations.