VIІI International Festival
30.05 — 3.06.2018
Книжковий Арсенал 2017

The largest event in Eastern Europe, combining literature and art, an intellectual event of Ukraine.

450 events.
150 most famous Ukrainian writers and book authors.
Over 50 000 visitors.
16 000 sq. m. of the exhibition area.


Mission –  is to foster the development of the Ukrainian literary and artistic environment and the book market by means of international exchange and implementing world’s best practices. Cultural modernization, self-education and promotion of reading are in the spotlight of the Festival. The Book Arsenal considering the book not only as an intellectual product and artefact of modern lifestyle, but also as a scope for innovation that interacts with other creative industries.

Among the participants of the Ukrainian program are stars of the literary scene in Ukraine:

Yurii Andrukhovych, Serhiy Zhadan, Oksana Zabuzhko, Taras Prokhasko, Irena Karpa, Yurii Izdryk, Yurii Vinnychuk, Andrii Kurkov, Maria Matios, Lyubko Deresh, Vasyl Shklar, Irene Rozdobudko and many others.

15 special programs and thematic blocks:

Children’s program, curatorial programs, curatorial program from a famous writer, lecture hall, poetry stage, performative program, philosophical platform, Ukrainian visual book, music program, small publishers section, illustrator Section, section of bouquinistes, independent, small bookstores platform, fonts and calligraphy platform, film program, territory of graphic prose.


Favourite formats – presentations, public discussions, festival signature talks ” Exchange of Substances”, educational events, readings, performances.

International program

Cooperation with the festival is a long-term investment in mutual understanding between countries and interaction of intellectuals.

Our long standing partners: Goethe Institute, French Institute, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Embassy of Finland, Italian Cultural Centre, Polish Institute, Czech Centre, Austrian Cultural Forum, Embassy of the Russian Federation, Embassy of Switzerland, Lithuanian Cultural Institute, Latvian Cultural Centre, Embassy of Sweden, Swedish Institute, Fili – Finnish Literature Exchange, Georgian Book Exhibition, Institute of Culture of Lithuania, Greek Foundation in Ukraine, Embassy of Spain, London Art University, British Council, U.S. Embassy.


Понад 70 foreign writers, philosophers, intellectuals, designers, illustrators in 2017.
Понад 370 guest in seven years.
28 countries.

Stars of the literary scene:

Svetlana Alexievich, a 2016 Nobel prize in literature winner, born in Belarus.

Ulf Stark, an honoured guest of the Children’s Program – the world-famous Swedish writer, author of dozens of books for children.

Zygmunt Miłoszewski, a Polish writer and journalist.

Vigdis Hjorth, a popular Norwegian children’s author.

Etgar Keret, an Israeli writer, screenwriter and playwright.

Alessandro Baricco, one of the brightest contemporary Italian writers.

Josef Winkler, an Austrian writer, a bright star of intellectual literature, winner of numerous awards, including the great Austrian State Prize and the prestigious literary award named after George Buchner.

Gerard de Cortanze, a well-known French writer and translator, essayist and literary critic.

Luigi Serafini, an Italian artist, architect, author of “Codex Seraphinianus”.

Olivier Mongin, a social philosopher, publicist from France.

Jean-Claude Marcade, one of the most famous French art historians, Malevich researcher.

Karl Schlögel, a leading European intellectual, German philosopher.

David Satter, an American journalist and author, one of the top commentators on Russia and the former Soviet Union.

Jonathan Coe, a famous British writer, laureate of many literary awards

Joseph McElroy, an American writer, laureate of awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, National Endowment for the Arts, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation.

Among them are authors of world bestsellers, professors of the Sorbonne, Harvard and the Royal Art Academy in London.  The festival encourages translations of the world’s cultural heritage and popular modern literature into Ukrainian and increases world’s interest in Ukrainian writers.



The Book Arsenal as a project of Mystetskyi Arsenal, by appealing to the expressive interdisciplinary approach, annually pays special attention to the visual component – from exhibition projects on art of book publishing, illustration, design, art books and art objects, installations to the latest designer tendencies in zines and “Samizdat”.

Best Book Design

A contest, launched in 2016 by the International Book Arsenal Festival and the Goethe-Institut Ukraine with the support of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Buchkunst Foundation, in order to raise the aesthetic level of book production of Ukraine, defines the 10 most beautiful books of the year in Ukraine.


Book design, art studies, illustration and publishing professionals:

Honorary Jury member of 2016 – Constance Berner, art director of “Verlag C.H.Beck”, Germany.

Honorary Jury member of 2017 – Mirjam Fischer, coordinator of The Most Beautiful Swiss Books competition, publishing director of Edition Patrick Frey.


2017 Winners:
“Prose and Poetry”: Old Lion Publishing House: “Superheroes” by Elena Huseynova. Design: art studio “Agrafka” (Roman Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv)
“Children’s Book”: Old Lion Publishing House: “Loud, quiet, whisper”. Design: art studio “Agrafka” (Roman Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv)
“Art book”: Osnovy Publishing: Decommunized: Ukrainian Soviet Mosaics. Yevhen Nikiforov.

Grand Prix: Osnovy Publishing: Decommunized: Ukrainian Soviet Mosaics. Yevhen Nikiforov.

Book Fair

200 participants.
Over 1000 book novelties prepared specially for the festival.
Sections: art books, children’s books, fiction, non-fiction, small publishing houses, illustrations fair, bouquinistes.
125 UAH average book price in 2016.
200 UAH average check of one customer in one publishing house.


Charity program

In 2014, libraries of IDPs from the east of Ukraine and Crimea and children (GO Volunteer hundred “Dobrovolya», “Kyiv-East-Children”, NGO “Committee for forced displaced people”, NGO “Children of Donbass”) were replenished; also, several charity events were held with the support of the “Home” Charitable Fund and “Okhmatdit” Ukrainian Children’s Specialized Hospital.

In 2015 at the Book Arsenal were collected over than 100,000 books, which were donated to charity in rural libraries.

In 2016, a charitable action on books gathering was held in three directions: for migrant children and libraries in the conflict zone in the East of Ukraine, for children from families whose members now are fighting in the East of Ukraine or died during the ATO; for children from front-line cities of Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

In 2017, books were delivered to the library at the HIV department of “Okhmatdyt”, library of the college of the Luhansk State Academy of Culture and Arts, National Patriotism Centre “Yavir” at the library №2 of the city of Nikopol, Dnipropetrovsk region, Mariupol city historical library named after M. Hrushevsky, and to the N. Ostrovsky Central Library for the Blind in Kiev.

*Foto: Oleksandr Popenko, Book Arsenal 2017.