The young Prague-born writer Jaroslav Kalfař has received a great deal of attention in the international media for his debut novel Spaceman of Bohemia, which combines elements of science fiction with references to Czech history and mixes absurd humour and moral questions. Kalfař lives in New York and wrote the book in English. When we spoke recently, the author – who has drawn comparisons with several of the greatest modern Czech novelists – was on one of his first visits back to his native city since moving to the US.
On their recently released LP Sbohem a šáteček the three-piece Wild Tides draw on surf pop, punk, country and other genres to cook up a sound that is fresh, energetic and highly entertaining. Out on the BiggBoss label, it is the first record to feature Czech-language lyrics from the Prague outfit, who are led by Jakub Kaifosz, also known for Lazer Viking and Sabreheart.
If you enjoy poetry and will be in Prague on June 25, the (A)VOID Floating Gallery on the embankment at Náplavka will be hosting an event that you shouldn’t miss. 7 p.m. sees the launch of a fascinating anthology of poems inspired by the River Vltava. The anthology is fully bilingual in Czech and English, and it gives us a flavour of the Vltava that is refreshingly different from the river of the tourist brochures. The event will also be an opportunity to meet some of this country’s best poets and translators. David Vaughan went on board to meet
After a pause of ten years, the Forman brothers have returned to Prague with a new show called Deadtown, inspired by the Wild West. The Belgian minister of culture hailed the performance, saying it was better than anything she had seen at the Cannes film festival this year. With the Czech premiere of Deadtown the Forman brothers have also launched their new festival called Arena, which will run at Prague’s Smíchov embankment until Sunday.
As of Wednesday, visitors to Prague have been able to admire a monumental statue by Turner Prize winner Tony Cragg. The bronze object is installed at Náměstí Republiky square in the centre of the city as part of the annual summer festival called Sculpture Line. In all, 22 works by Czech and foreign artists are on view all around the city throughout the summer months.
An ambitious floating exhibition has opened in Prague with the target of at least equalling some of the new style of shows devoted to rock and pop greats such as the Rolling Stones and David Bowie. And who else could be the focus for such a Czech show other than the so-called Golden Voice of Prague or the Sinatra of the East – Karel Gott. The exhibition understandably puts the onus on Gott’s success but also covers some stardom’s costs.
Drew Petersen is a prodigious pianist who is the winner of this year’s American Pianists Award. He is pursuing a Masters at the Julliard School of Music and recently completed a tour of the Czech Republic as part of the American Spring music festival. He and the president of APA, Joel Harrison, stopped by Czech Radio as the concert tour wrapped up, to discuss the American Spring and much more.