In Wrocław, the European Night of Literature is always a celebration. A celebration of readers who, in the course of one evening, can listen to interpretations of contemporary prose performed by eminent artists, visit city spaces that are often unavailable on a daily basis and, above all, get to know good and new literature.
The ENL is a project that has been carried out for many years in many European cities, presenting the works of writers from different countries to a wide audience, popularising readership and increasing common cultural awareness. In 2013, the event was organised in Wrocław for the first time as part of the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016 event programme. The annual European Night of Literature has already become a permanent part of the calendar of cultural events in Wroclaw, and six editions of the project organised so far have attracted thousands of visitors and were met with an extremely enthusiastic reception of the participants and the media.
The European Night of Literature is geared towards the promotion of readership and presenting the works of foreign writers, which were often unpublished before. During one evening you can listen to fragments of texts interpreted by famous cultural figures. The previous editions have been attended by Krystyna Janda, Maja Ostaszewska, Jan Peszek, Robert Więckiewicz, Jan Miodek, Maciej Stuhr, Andrzej Chyra, Magdalena Cielecka, Krystyna Czubówna, Olga Tokarczuk, Jacek Fedorowicz, Adam Ferency, Agnieszka Grochowska, Michał Nogaś, Jan Nowicki and many more.
The first edition of the Night of Literature took place as part of an international project, the motto of which was: “One night – Many experiences”. Brno, Bucharest, Dublin, Lisbon, Prague and Vilnius also participated in the project. In April 2016, an edition fully devoted to the works by William Shakespeare was organised as part of the celebrations of the ECoC Wroclaw 2016. The event also inaugurated Wrocław’s year-long term as the UNESCO World Book Capital. Due to the great popularity of the event, a special “Extra Time” event was organised in June of the same year, featuring excellent interpretations of contemporary prose, which could be heard in the green areas of the Great Island. In 2017, nature was the main theme and ENL went beyond the city centre. This time, the readings took place in ten places in Wroclaw's Nadodrze district.
The European Night of Literature also features a programme of accompanying events. Participants – children and adults alike – can take part in many additional activities related to literature. In the previous editions, the participants could take part in concerts, literary breakfasts, film screenings or open-air poetry writing session. Every year, the participation in readings and accompanying events is free of charge.