First ever 'Literary Days' get underway in Viljandi
Wednesday marked the beginning of Viljandi's first ever "Literary Days" festival. Though there have been no major literary festivals in Viljandi for the last decade, the opening evening showed that interest in these kinds of events is growing.
A few years ago, aware of their popularity among Viljandi's old-timers and students alike, writer Paavo Matsin decided to organize to the town's first ever "briefcase day." On Wednesday, that tradition continued as a group of writers gathered in the park outside Viljandi Town Hall, each with their own briefcases.
"We come together in front of the town hall and present the mayor with a retro briefcase. We are not a political association, but we do want him to walk around with a nice briefcase," Matsin said.
The meeting also heralded the opening of Viljandi's first ever "Literary Days," which run until Saturday. The event provides opportunities for people to try their hand at creative writing and meet some of the town's most experienced and best-known writers.
There is also a music program, with evening performances by pop and punk artists. The theme of this year's Viljandi Literary Days is creativity.
"I think that, this little push of ours this year is one very small step in the direction we are going in," said Viljandi Literary Days chief organizer Villem Varik.
Despite there being no major literary festivals in Viljandi over the last decade, Paavo Matsin pointed out that the town has a really active community of writers.
"We have several poets, who are here at our event now. We even have Justin Petrone, who writes in English. And I myself still continue to explore the theme of Viljandi in my work, which has been translated into 15 different languages. Viljandi is a really romantic and mysterious town, it's a very good place to write. It's nice and quiet," he said.
One of the favorite meeting spots for Viljandi's writers and literature lovers, is the Raamatukoi bookshop on Lossi tänav. So, it was fitting that that this year's special Literary Days cake, in the shape of a breifcase, was cut and the first slice given to legendary local bookseller Mai Palo.
More information about this year's Viljandi Literary Days is available (in Estonian) here.
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Editor: Michael Cole