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Literary Forum and Dialogue held in Tbilisi

By Messenger Staff
Monday, May 27
The Third Annual Literary Forum and Dialogue brought together publishers, translators and writers to discuss the challenges of Georgian and foreign literature. Publishers and literature agents from Georgia and Great Britain, Germany, China, France, Turkey, Italy, Holland and Switzerland took part in the discussions on May 21-22.

This year, the British Council invited Mitchell Albert and Alexandra Buchler to present their vision and experience to the Georgian audience as the proof of the importance of the bilateral cultural relations between Georgia and the UK.

On the first day of the event, Albert talked about Translated Literary Fiction for the Love of it: Dwindling Readership, State Support and Strategies for the Passionate Publisher.

Albert is the commissioning editor of the London-based publishing house Saqi Books, responsible for Telegram (fiction) and The Westbourne Press (non-fiction) imprints. Having been a book and magazine editor for over ten years Albert has worked with a range of publishing houses and literature organizations. He was the first dedicated editor of PEN International’s literary journal, as well as helping to coordinate the organization's Free the Word! Festival and was also the first program director for the literature development agency Writers’ Center Norwich, which led a successful bid to accredit Norwich as England’s first UNESCO City of Literature.

Being the co-author of several of the reports at, including a recent study on the translation of Arabic literature in the UK produced as part of the LAF’s activities focusing on the Euro-Mediterranean region, and the forthcoming LAF report on the reception of translated literature in the United Kingdom, Buchler developed and managed a range of cultural and literary projects, as well as some fifty week-long residential translation workshops and seminars organized by LAF. An editor and translator of fiction, poetry, theatre plays and texts on modern art and architecture, she has translated over twenty-five books from Czech, English and Greek, and edited and partly-translated six anthologies of contemporary fiction. She is the Editorial Director of Transcript – Europe's Online Review of International Writing ( and editor of New Voices from Europe and Beyond, a series of contemporary poetry anthologies from Arc Publications, UK.

In the frames of the Literary Forum and Dialogue, Zaza Purtseladze, Director of British Council in Georgia, shared information about British Council in Georgia, placing a special focus on projects aiming at the development of contemporary literature.

The annual forum is being carried out with the support of the Georgian Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection together with British Council Georgia, Goethe Institute and Institute Francois.