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Reykjavík Reads

In October, the first Reading Festival will be held in the City of Literature, Reykjavík. The model is taken from the sister cities of Reykjavík, the literary cities of Dublin and Edinburgh, where literary works closely related to the city's history are covered under the title "One City, One Book". The reading festival takes place in such a way that citizens of all ages come together to enjoy reading one particular book, discussing it, discovering it and working with it from all possible perspectives. During the month, all the factors that make Reykjavík a city of literature will be activated: schools, libraries, book publishers, writers and readers. The reading festival is one of the key projects of the City of Literature in Reykjavík and is scheduled to become an annual event. In October, the City of Literature will be free and residents of all ages are invited to participate in various ways on the Reading Festival's website.

Lullaby in focus 2012

The novel Vögguvísa by Elías Mar will be the focus of this first Reading Festival of the City of Literature, but this fun story from the post-war Reykjavík is often said to be one of the first Reykjavík stories. The book was first published in 1950 but has now been republished by the publishing house Lestofan. The work is so unique in Icelandic literary history that it describes the lives of Reykjavík's out-of-town teenagers for the first time in a work of fiction, where the music, fashion, films and language of the young people of the young city are all-encompassing. The work reveals the hidden reality of Reykjavík in the post-war years and captures the spirit of the times in a unique way. Elías Mar undertook extensive research work on the language of adolescents in Reykjavík and collected the main slang words and phrases from their language. In the new edition of the book, the dictionary is seen for the first time in its entirety.

Diverse program

The festival will be set for October 1st and will be followed by a live program dedicated to Elías' short story throughout the month. A history and literature walk will be offered along the paths of Vögguvísa and other works by Elías under the guidance of Hjálmar Sveinsson, who is an expert on the author and his books. Reykjavík comedians will also be mobilized for the occasion, but four stand-up comedians, Anna Svava Knútsdóttir, Bergur Ebbi, Dóri DNA and Saga Garðarsdóttir, will appear in videos spinning from Elías' slang dictionary. Furthermore, the comic book author Hugleikur Dagsson will put a pen to paper and draw new monologues, inspired by the teenage slang of Vögguvísa. At the same time, all city residents will be free to submit their own slang, which will be collected in a new collection on the festival's website, but there will also be an opportunity to take part in a reading circle about Vögguvísa. Towards the end of the month, a seminar will be held in collaboration with the Reading Room and the Institute of Literature at the University of Iceland on Vögguvísa and Elías Mar. The event program will be accessible in its entirety here on the website of the City of Literature and the Reading Festival.

Collaboration with schools

Lullabies will be used for teaching at the youth departments of several Reykjavík primary schools, and upper secondary school students will run a reading marathon at the city's libraries. Although the book itself is written with teenagers and adults in mind, younger residents will also be able to participate. On the occasion of the festival, preschools will work with lullabies in different ways and the Pollapunkers, preschool teachers Halli and Heiður, will compose a new lullaby that will be given to the city's preschools.

The word is free

Reykjavík Literature City Reading Festival is a grassroots festival where all those who want to offer events and programs related to the theme at any given time can participate. In October, book reading will be a priority and city residents of all ages are encouraged to participate.