Edinburgh, UNESCO Creative City of Literature welcomes star of Polish Literature

The winner of the Lord Provost’s International Residency was announced as Ahsan Ridha Hassan from Krakow City of Literature.

Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust was delighted to announce the name of the writer selected to come to Edinburgh for a month-long residency, through the Lord Provost’s International Residency. Following a highly competitive open call, Ahsan Ridha Hassan from Krakow chose to spend November developing his work in the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature.

Ahsan Ridha Hassan is a writer based in Krakow who has already published a range of articles and short stories, including his debut collection Wieża (2014) and his follow-up Trupojad i dziewczyna (2017). He used his time in Edinburgh to work on his new novel, while getting to know Edinburgh and its literary community.  

includes was the first International Residency between the two cities and it forged new connections between the two UNESCO Cities of Literature, connecting their reading and writing communities and celebrating their Partner City relationship.

Lord Provost Frank Ross said: “The work undertaken by Edinburgh and Krakow as UNESCO Cities of Literature has reinforced our partnership and allowed our creative communities to flourish and grow together. The opportunity for exchange with Krakow through writers, libraries and our local communities contributes greatly to Edinburgh’s international outlook.

“I want to congratulate Ahsan Ridha Hassan on securing this much sought-after residency and look forward to welcoming him to Edinburgh, the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature.”

Ali Bowden, Director of the City of Literature Trust, said: The Lord Provost’s International Residency is a great opportunity to showcase Edinburgh as a City of Literature, and welcome one of Krakow’s most exciting new talents into our incredible creative community.’

As part of his month-long residency, the writer was offered a place as a Community Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh (IASH). The Fellowship included access to university libraries and resources, as well as desk space in one of Scotland’s ancient universities.

Professor Steve Yearley, IASH Director, expressed how pleased the Institute was to have a new Community Fellow supported by Edinburgh and Krakow Cities of Literature and the Lord Provost:  ‘We were delighted to welcome Ahsan Ridha Hassan and the exciting, timely writing that his work represents.’

Previous Community Fellow at IASH include Korean author Kim Ae-ran in 2014 and Scottish writer Jemma Neville in 2017.

The Lord Provost’s International Residency is devised and delivered by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust with thanks to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh Council, IASH, Edinburgh Tourism Action Group, Creative Scotland and Krakow City of Literature.