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Czech authors at the Copenhagen International Literature Festival CPH:LITT 2011

On 12–15 May 2011 the Copenhagen International Literature Festival CPH:LITT took place for the fourth time in Copenhagen. The Czech Republic was represented by writers Tomáš Zmeškal and Filip Topol. Filip Topol’s legendary underground band Psí vojáci (Dog Soldiers) gave a concert on the opening night of the festival.

From the left: Czech Ambassador Zdeněk Lyčka, Festival Director Ivan Rod, Czech authors Filip Topol and Tomáš Zmeškal. Photo: Hasse Ferrold

This year’s CPH:LITT festival presented a range of renowned world and Danish authors and offered the Danish authors the opportunity to confront the contemporary international literary scene. The festival usually presents two authors together who discuss the shared aspects or topics of their work. The festival programme also included readings, film screenings, concerts and other performances.

Fans of Czech underground music had the opportunity to experience a concert with the legendary alternative rock band Psí vojáci (Dog Soldiers) on the opening night of the festival, Thursday 12 May, at the music café of the alternative club Huset i Magstræde.

Psí vojáci (from the left): Filip Topol (vocal, piano, lyrics), David Skála (drums) and Luděk Horký (bass-guitar)




On Saturday 14 May the frontman of the band, Filip Topol, presented his work in a discussion with Danish poet and musician Niels Lyngsø. The discussion was hosted and interpreted by the Czech Ambassador Zdeněk Lyčka. The authors discussed understanding poetry without knowledge of language, they focused on the atmosphere and melody of the text.

From the left: The Czech author and musician Filip Topol, the Czech Ambassador Zdeněk Lyčka and the Danish poet and musician Niels Lyngsø


The same evening, a discussion with the Czech writer Tomáš Zmeškal and the Danish author of Korean origin, Eva Tind Kristensen, took place at the music café in Huset. The discussion hosted by the Danish culture journalist Nana Mogensen focused on the theme of double identity. Tomáš Zmeškal was presenting his latest book The Biography of the Black and White Lamb (Torst, Prague, 2009) that deals with the life of mixed race twins, growing up in Czechoslovakia during the Communist era.

From the left: The Czech writer Tomáš Zmeškal, the host and journalist Nana Mogensen and the Danish poet Eva Tind Kristensen


The festival took place at three venues in Copenhagen: Huset, The Royal Library (Black Diamond) and on the premises of the daily Politiken (Politikens Hus). The festival was subsidized by The Danish Arts Agency together with Copenhagen Municipality and cooperated with a range of other subjects including the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Copenhagen.