Off Festival

OFF Festival 2018: Sometimes we read books


Sometimes I cook, sometimes I go to bed, sometimes I write songs, sometimes I kill… The word “sometimes” is going to be a leitmotif of the Literary Café, curated this year by author Sylwia Chutnik. We’re going to talk about what matters in contemporary literature and what’s important to the men and women who write it. The Literary Café is co-sponsored by the OFF Festival and Empik.

Every one of us sometimes does something that doesn’t really define who we are. Something that makes us try new things, experiment, start something different. There’s always a bit of risk involved, but that just makes it more appealing artistically. We’re going to talk to members of the literary milieu without getting caught up in genres, posing, or interpersonal friction. Sometimes we’ll be serious, at other times — less so. What we will do every time is talk about what’s inspiring and what matters.

Along with discussions about books, we’ll actually get to enjoy literature read out loud: authors will read their writing to the accompaniment of improvised music. This is your only opportunity to see and hear literature and sound intertwine. We also have a surprise in store: a live audio drama. Remember how you used to fall asleep to the sound of bedtime stories? Well, we’re going to pick you up with stories of Warsaw crime. Voice actors and actresses who record for the Polish-language audiobook library Biblioteka Akustyczna will perform an excerpt from the cult crime novel Zły, by Leopold Tyrmand. This event is part of Empik’s 70th anniversary celebrations, featuring a series of seven audio dramas adapted from Polish literary works written in the last seven decades.

We also want the Literary Café to inspire visitors to read. You’ll find an Empik bookstore stocked with titles by the writers we showcase at the Literary Café, along with an exhibition of book covers, part of our Judge a Book by its Cover campaign, which draws attention to the importance of good graphic design in publishing. The whole bookstore will be set up with retro interiors resembling the International Book and Press Clubs, the predecessors of today’s Empik bookstores. Slotted in between the book readings and audio dramas (which are scheduled around the volume surges of the nearby concerts) will be DJ sets that set the mood for each upcoming event. And if you’re looking for a peaceful place to curl up with a book, head to the Reading House right next to the Literary Café. This quiet reading venue was a real hit at last year’s OFF Festival.

Events at the Literary Café will be hosted by: Sylwia Chutnik, writer, Literary Café curator, co-host of the YouTube channel Barłóg Literacki; Karolina Sulej, journalist and author, co-host of Barłóg Literacki; and Adam Szaja, journalist and author of the blog

OFF Festival 2018 Literary Café Program:

Friday, August 3

5:30 pm Marcin Kącki / Pokusa — reading with live music

7:30 pm Czasem gotuję (Sometimes I cook) — discussion with Marta Dymek and Magdalena Trojanowska

Hosts: Sylwia Chutnik, Karolina Sulej

10:00 pm Czasami piszę piosenki (Sometimes I write songs) — discussion with Natalia Fiedorczuk, Andrzej Zamenhof, and Lech Janerka

Hosts: Sylwia Chutnik, Karolina Sulej, Adam Szaja

Saturday, August 4

4:10 pm Czasami idę do łóżka (Sometimes I go to bed) — discussion with Marta Niedźwiecka and Wojciech Szota

Hosts: Sylwia Chutnik, Karolina Sulej

5:30 pm Czasami zabijam (Sometimes I kill) — discussion with Katarzyna Puszyńska and Wojciech Chmielarz

Host: Adam Szaja

7:30 pm Zyta Rudzka / Sorja Morja — reading with live music

10:00 pm Leopold Tyrmand, Zły / Biblioteka Akustyczna — live audio drama

Sunday, August 5

4:10 pm Czasami mnie filmują (Sometimes they film me) — discussion with Magdalena Grzebałkowska and Jakub Żulczyk

Hosts: Karolina Sulej, Adam Szaja

5:30 pm Czasami zadaję pytania (Sometimes I ask questions) — discussion with Magdalena Kicińska, Ewa Winnicka and Cezary Łazarewicz

Hosts: Sylwia Chutnik, Karolina Sulej

7:30 pm: Magdalena Grzebałkowska / Side One — reading with live music