‘Poetry Periscope’: The Czech Republic’s Poetry Jukebox


One of the most multilingual libraries in the world is located in London. The British Library has an impressive 14 million books - or more -, out of which a good number of them are part of the Polish, Hungarian, Czech and Slovak collections. There are quite some valuable books from the Czech collections available there, some dating back to 1575. In total, they hold an impressive 251 titles printed in the Czech Republic and Slovakia alone. Available both online and in their Reading Rooms, the collections allow a great experience for social science, humanitarian and cultural research.

Literature through University

The interest in Czech literature has been on the rise for the past decade or so, and the British Library, which often holds special exhibitions, has given the Czech Republic literature its space in the past. However, there are other institutions that look to promote the Czech language, literature and culture in the UK, such as some of the most prestigious British universities. Through the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London, universities like Oxford and Bristol offer full-time courses dedicated to the Central European country.

The Poetry Periscope

Lastly, the European Literature Festival, which took place earlier this year, also featured Czech talent. It was through ‘Poetry Periscope’, a sound installation produced in partnership with Czech-based Piána na ulici, that 30 poems from 30 different European countries made their way into attendee’s ears. The Periscope is originally a Czech idea and has made its way now around the world, bringing people closer to Czech literature.