Moving Center Literary Festival brings the literary world to Prague

The upcoming three-day Rewriting the City festival features poetry readings, workshops, discussions, films, and Andrei Codrescu as a special guest.

Ioana Caloianu

Written by Ioana Caloianu Published on 24.08.2023 17:10:00 (updated on 24.08.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

A dynamic literary festival with an English-language program, this weekend’s Moving Center Literary Festival promises a diverse array of artistic events showcasing Central European literature. The brainchild of American Prague-based poet and novelist Lucien Zell, the festival’s aim is “to foster creative literary exchanges and the rediscovery of literature as a communicative art form” connecting the region with the rest of the world. 

Through readings, panel discussions, and workshops, this year’s edition of the Moving Center Literary Festival‘s audience is not limited to people with a strong interest in literature, but extends to those "more typically left out of ‘intellectual’ spheres," according to the festival’s organizers. Zell quotes Czech writer Milan Kundera, who said that Central Europe was a "laboratory of twilight," adding that the phrase was "significant on a multitude of levels."

What I’m hoping to do with the festival is to bring together different forms of energy in the forms of different authors and singers and filmmakers and hone in on an alchemy that proves that the laboratory of twilight is useful.

Lucien Zell

As such, its program is not limited to showcasing literary creations but also includes concerts of music with lyrics that have literary merit and youth-friendly films on literary subjects. 

For those inspired to embark on their literary journeys, the festival offers two writing workshops. One workshop focuses on the art of crafting poetry, while the other delves into the intricate world of editing fiction, providing insights into the meticulous process of refining narratives. 

A vibrant lineup

Chuck "Diesal" Seaton is a versatile and driven individual who has made a name for himself as a consultant, event marketing professional, radio host, life coach, photographer, and filmmaker.
Adam Trachtman is a professor of Animation and SFX at Prague Film School and has recently completed a neural-network-AI based graphic novel, Immersion.
Klára Vlasáková is a dramatist and journalist who wrote two novels, including Cracks, which was nominated for the Jiří Orten Prize, awarded to authors under the age of 30.
Ondřej Štindl is a journalist, writer, DJ, and one of the founders of Radio 1, Prague’s first independent (and pirate for a while) radio station.
Seth Rogoff is the chair of Journalism and Media Studies at Anglo-American University, and the author of the novels First, the Raven: A Preface, Thin Rising Vapors, and The Kirschbaum Lectures as well as the nonfiction book The Politics of the Dreamscape.
Phillip O’Neil worked as a journalist for over 20 years in the UK, France, Belgium, Romania, the U.S. and the former Yugoslavia.
Ken Nash, an accomplished American writer and illustrator, is known for his thought-provoking collections Life Raft and The Brain Harvest: Autobiographical Narratives and Other Fictions.
Elizabeth Perry is a teacher, writer, and artist with an interest in creating relationships between material and digital worlds.  
Andrei Codrescu is a Romanian-born and award-winning poet, novelist, and fiction writer, as well as the recipient of the Peabody Award for his film Road Scholar and the Ovid Prize for poetry.
Lucien Zell is a singer-songwriter, actor, photographer, and the author of half a dozen books of poetry as well as the experimental novel Invisible Bars.
Melinda Reidinger is a Fulbright-Hayes Fellow with degrees in Literary Studies, Art History and Cultural Anthropology, with a first book (The White Deer) due out soon.
Robert Horvitz coordinated the Soros Internet Program and helped develop broadcast journalism in the post-communist countries.
Joseph Jude is a queer writer of Anglo-Indian descent interested in identity and place, melancholia, and loss, as it influences and is influenced by migration.
Jan Škrdlík has performed as a cellist on 4 continents at 2000 concerts, mainly in the field of chamber music, and authored 10 poetry collections.

The Moving Center Literary Festival takes place between Aug. 25 and 27 at the House of National Minorities (Dům národnostních menšin) at Vocelova 3. Tickets for all three days are 200 CZK, tickets for a single day are 100 CZK, while the tickets for the poetry workshop and the writing workshop are CZK 250 and CZK 350, respectively.

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