While not rare book specific, I could not resist posting the fantastic news that my previous home for six and a half years has been designated a UNESCO City of Literature!
Here is the write-up by Eileen Goodwin in today's Otago Daily Times:
Dunedin has stepped on to the international literary
stage, late last night being named a Unesco Creative City of
The designation puts the city on the world map as a
first-class literary centre, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said.It would help the city attract cultural tourism, tertiary
students and new residents, he said.
One of Dunedin's first steps as a City of Literature will be
to organise an international conference related to literary
Dunedin was one of four newly designated Cities of Literature
- the others were Granada, in Spain, Heidelberg, in Germany,
and Prague, in the Czech Republic.
They join existing Cities of Literature Edinburgh, Melbourne,
Iowa City, Dublin, Reykjavik, Norwich and Krakow. A country
can only have one Unesco City of Literature.
The designation showed the city was ''up there'' with other
culturally significant cities, and was not a ''colonial
outpost'', Mr Cull said.
Coming soon after the city was named the first Gigatown, the
designation was further evidence that Dunedin was moving
forward, he said.
Dunedin's application highlighted its literary heritage,
literary events, institutions and organisations, and its
community or writers, playwrights and lyricists.
''It gives us another point of difference,'' Mr Cull said.
''At a local and national level, this announcement will have
cultural and economic benefits.
''The value of having a rich culture is evidenced by events
such as this year's inaugural Dunedin Writers and Readers
Festival, which had an unexpected number of soldout events,
and attracted authors with an international profile.
''Being a City of Literature is a great brand and a very
fitting one, given that Robbie Burns' statue presides over
our central city.''
Dunedin City Council arts and culture group manager Bernie
Hawke said six of the existing Cities of Literature backed
the bid, and Dunedin was particularly grateful for the
support of its sister city, Edinburgh.
''We have been wonderfully supported internationally and
locally by writers' groups and trusts, and national writing
and publishing associations, as well as the University of
For more on Dunedin's efforts and literary city profile, see its City of Literature website and Facebook page:
Hats off to the steering committee - Liz Knowles, Noel Waite, Bernie Hawke and Annie Villiers - for all their hard work and a job well done!