Annual Meeting of UNESCO Cities of Literature coming April 3-6

The 2018 Annual Meeting of the UNESCO Cities of Literature will be held in Iowa City from April 3-6.

The meeting will gather representatives from most of the 28 Cities of Literature for a series of working meetings, discussions, tours and more.

In addition, representatives of the nine U.S. members of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network will meet for the first time to learn more about one another’s cities and to discuss potential collaborative projects.

John Kenyon, executive director of the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization, said the meeting is an opportunity to show literary leaders from around the world some of the many reasons why Iowa City holds the City of Literature designation.

“It’s one thing to hear it from me each time we meet,” Kenyon said. “The greater impact comes when our guests meet the writers, publishers, translators, librarians, administrators and others who contribute to the literary life of our community.”

Because the Cities of Literature sub-network will spend much of its time at the meeting integrating the eight new cities designated in late 2018, much of the representatives’ time in Iowa City will be spent in closed meetings at various spots in the community. However, one public session at Hancher Auditorium will offer members of the public the chance to meet and hear from some of the delegates from the other cities. As part of the auditorium’s “Thursdays at Hancher” program, City of Literature representatives will be in attendance and a panel discussion from 5:15-6 p.m. will allow the chance to hear about some innovative programs being done in other communities.

“With the Mission Creek Festival, the 2018 UWW Senior Men’s Freestyle Wrestling World Cup, our meeting and more going on at the same time, the first week of April will make Iowa City even more international and culturally vibrant than usual,” Kenyon said. “We hope people take advantage of this unique opportunity.”

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