Kyiv Book Arsenal

Kyiv Book Arsenal
The Kyiv Book Arsenal is an international book fair and literary festival held in Kyiv, Ukraine. It is one of the country’s three most important book events, the other two being the Lviv Publishers’ Forum in Lviv and the Meridian Chernowitz Poetry Festival in Chernivtsi. The event is organized by Mystetskyi Arsenal (Art Arsenal), an exhibition complex and museum in Kyiv.

The inaugural Kyiv Book Arsenal was held from May 28 to June 1, 2011. Its program included an international book fair featuring a wide range of books from different countries and an impressive selection of events and activities for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Attendees had a great opportunity to meet Ukrainian and foreign authors, poets, essayists, philosophers, historians, publishers, artists, and musicians. The first festival was a success so it was decided to hold it annually.

According to the organizers, books are an important intellectual product and one of essential attributes of modern life, and publishing is one of the country’s most significant creative industries. The main goal of the Kyiv Book Arsenal is to promote Ukrainian publishing industry and introduce local audience to the best books published abroad. The festival has many international partners such as the Goethe-Institut, the French Institute, the Netherlands Embassy, the Embassy of Finland, the Italian Cultural Center, and many more.

The main event of the Kyiv Book Arsenal is the international book fair that features both Ukrainian and international publishers. Its main highlights include stands showcasing small publishers, a joint Ukrainian-German stand created with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany and Goethe-Institut Ukraine, and a special area featuring books for children and young adults.

The program of the literary festival features over 200 hundred events. They include workshops, lectures, discussions, exhibitions (art books, comic books, book illustrations), family events, poetry readings, performances, concerts, film screenings, book launches, industry events (business meetings and pitching sessions), and more. Of course, there are meetings with famous authors, translators and illustrators followed by book signings. Each edition of the Kyiv Book Arsenal features special guests from over 10 countries.

The 2020 event had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2022 Kyiv Book Arsenal did not take place because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Kyiv Book Arsenal

Photo: Mystetskyi Arsenal