Past Events

Cyprus ~ a Literary Destination
23 – 28 October 2011


Five renowned writers from five countries to be invited and hosted in Cyprus for five days to write about Cyprus – its people, its culture, its history, its life or something else that inspire our guests. At the end of the five days the writers will read extracts from their unfinished texts to an open event in Nicosia. The extracts will be translated and read and / or projected on screens in Greek and in English. The finished texts, will be published in an anthology (Greek and English) the following year.

Cyprus today is a very attractive destination.  It is the contact point of three continents (Asia, Africa and Europe), an amalgamation of many cultures and a member state the European Family. Despite its many problems, it has managed to maintain and to dynamically promote its geographical uniqueness, its history and its culture.

Cyprus’ history starts at around 9,000 BC and the culture that it has bequeathed to today’s generations has gone through wars and foreign occupation.

Television and the internet have brought closer people, countries and civilisations. People now seek to enrich their knowledge with experiences other than their everyday routine. Ever more people travel and ever more people are better educated. All these allow them to appreciate and respect and seek different cultures and the unique experiences each one provides.

It is this wealth of the Cyprus life, its culture, its history, its people that we wish through this new project, to have more people know about. And what a better way than through the writing of literary people, who may or may not come from different backgrounds, may or may not have different experiences and who most certainly speak a different language.

The project ‘Cyprus ~ A Literary Destination’ was inaugurated in 2011, with the participation of the first five writers, Homero Aridjis from Mexico, Caius Dobrescu from Romania, Dimitris Nollas from Greece, Alicia Stallings from the USA and Pedro Vicuna from Chile.

The writers were hosted in Cyprus for five days, from Sunday 23 October until Friday 28 October 2011, and each was brought with a different aspect of the Cyprus life, culture, people, countryside, heritage –

Homero Aridjis from Mexico and his wife Betty visited Limassol and the surrounding area – Kolossi castle, Kourion, Petra tou Romiou, Vouni, Omodos; they were invited to dinner at Elli and Paniccos Paeonides who also invited other artists.

Caius Dobresku from Romania visited Ayia Napa, met with a local folk singer of tsiatista named Despina, had dinner at one of the nicest restaurants in Cyprus at Potamos tou Liopetriou, he was taken to see the ghost town of Famagusta from afar.

Dimitris Nollas from Greece with his wife Iro, visited the Galata area, where hosted by a Galata lady named Mrs Anna Karaolides, visited the Byzantine churches, had dinner with the local authorities.

Alicia Stallings from USA visited Nicosia, the old and the new, the day and the night life of the city.

Pedro Ignacio Vicuna from Chile unfortunately due to health reasons was unable to come.

On Sunday at a welcoming cocktail the writers met with other literary figures of Cyprus as well as personalities from the artistic, culture and business world of the island.

On Monday they visited the old town of Nicosia.

On Tuesday they visited other places of interest in Cyprus.

On Wednesday they wrote their first impressions of the island which they read at the Open Event of Thursday at Kastelliotissa Medieval Hall.

On Wednesday evening or Thursday morning, the writers were invited to speak to university students

At the Open Event, in the evening, there was a Literary Book Exhibition (travel literature, poetry, etc) with the participation of the bookshops Moufflon and Metropolitan and the Publishing House Entipis.

The texts of the writers were translated into Greek and / or English and were projected on the walls of Kastelliotissa as the writers read in the original language of the writings.

Lily Michaelides of Ideogramma, a poet and a writer, was the Master of Ceremonies.

The writings of Pedro Vicuna were read in Spanish by the poet Ricardo Lopez and in Greek by the actor and director Nicos Charalambous.

The Cyprus based poets / writers Frangiski Ampatzopoulou (Greek), Niki Marangou (Cypriot) and Stephanos Stephanides (UK / Cypriot) also read from their own work about the island.

Entrance was free.

It was attended by over 100 people.

2.000 invitations / informative leaflets and 100 A4 posters were printed and mailed and / or distributed in cafes, book shops etc and 500 programmes were distributed on the night of the Open Event. Media coverage included interviews on radio and TV (CyBC), and articles in the local press.

The final texts of the participating writers will be published in one or more anthologies.

The project ‘Cyprus ~ a Literary Destination 2011’ is supported by the Cultural services of the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, by the Cyprus Development Bank, the Embassies of Greece and Romania, the Consulates of Mexico and Chile and by the University of Cyprus and the Open University, by the Municipalities of Nicosia, Limassol and Ayia Napa and the local authorities of Galata village. The reception was by Marangos Catering, Starbucks and Inon Pnevmata.