The annual international literature festival, HeadRead, in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, brings readers and authors together in a cosy atmosphere.
The Tallinn HeadRead literary festival is run by Estonian writers, publishers and translators. This small boutique festival aims to bring readers and authors together in a more cosy atmosphere. When the festival started in 2009, its purpose was to give the readers an idea what the author thinks of their works, life, art, the world.
The same central motif of the writer as a human in a focus is still followed to this day. “We don’t have guests of honour. All authors are expected and cherished. International authors are also most welcome and in 2019 we have authors from Finland, Sweden and Russian,” the organisers behind the festival said.
Events at the 2019 HeadRead festival range from literary breakfasts, guided walks and performances to events for children and the whole family. The Saturday evening event, for example, combines literature and music.
The festival is divided between multiple venues over the Tallinn Old Town. The Writers House (the Estonian Writers’ Union) on Harju street serves as the “central hub”.
This year’s long lineup of international authors shows how far the festival has come. From international visiting authors, this year, the best-known ones are probably Leïla Slimani, Julian Barnes, David Lagercrantz and the Swedish best-selling crime writer, Emelie Schepp. Also, Philip Gross (he has an Estonian ancestry, by the way), who won the T.S. Eliot poetry prize in 2009; Ian Thomson, the author of the Primo Levi bibliography; thriller writer Mick Herron as well as Toon Tellegen and David Patrikarakos.
All events are free, except for the poetry mass at the St Nicholas’ Church and film screenings. See more about the schedule for a coming weekend at HeadRead festival programme.