Petrov PublishersAbout Petrov Publishers
"Petrov: fundamental to and an indelible feature of post-1989 Czech publishing culture." - Josef Chuchma, MF Dnes, 7. 10. 2000
Martin Pluháček-Reiner, the owner of Petrov Publishers, decided to close his publishing house at the end of 2005. His reasons for making such a decision were purely personal - after 15 years in the publishing business he wished to concentrate on his own writing. Martin will nevertheless continue to publish books by a handful of writers - including Michal Viewegh, Jiří Kratochvil, Irena Dousková and Michal Ajvaz - under a new name (Druhé město - The Other Town). The web pages of this newly established publishing house are to be launched soon.
Petrov Publishers – A Brief History or The Publishing House as a Cultural Institution
Petrov Publishers was for almost 15 years one of the most important "post-November 1989" publishing houses in the Czech Republic. Based in Brno, the second largest city in the country, it specialized in the publishing of contemporary Czech prose, poetry and essays.
After 1998, the publisher created a space for unestablished writers in its New Line Series. In regard to its well-established writers, in the 1990s Petrov was the first Czech house to revive the institution of core writers who published their books exclusively with one publisher. Core writers were subject to comprehensive and intensive services, including the promoting of their works abroad and help in getting their books published in translation. Petrov made its name not only on the strength of its publications but also from its cultural events, which helped to develop its image as a cultural institution. Public readings all over the Czech Republic became a regular feature; also, Petrov introduced Slam Poetry to the Czech Republic (2003; see www.slampoetry.cz) and co-organized the Czech-Slovak feuilleton literary contest (2003, 2004).
Petrov was the publisher of the Neon cultural revue, which was issued monthly from 1999 to 2000 and at the time was a phenomenon widely discussed amongst members of the Czech artistic community.
In 2005, a much longer tradition, that of the Boat of Writers, continued into its thirteenth year. On an afternoon in late summer, it brings together on the deck of a gently rocking boat, writers of prose and poetry, critics, journalists, and publishers for a 3-hour cruise on Brno's reservoir; there is no necessity for them to talk shop. (Photos taken at these gatherings plus more information are available on the Czech version of this website - Loď Literátů.)
By contrast, the Bítov Symposium, which borrows its name from its venue, Bítov Castle, was a thoroughly professional affair. Annually between 1996 and 2000, and again in 2005, Czech poets and literary theorists would meet here to give presentations on topics that were selected in advance. The presentations were then compiled into a collection and published after each meeting. (Lists of participants as well as their papers can be found on the Czech version of this website - Bítov.)
In 2001, Martin Pluháček-Reiner came up with the idea of transforming the Bítov Symposium into an international poetry festival called Poetry without Borders. The four years of the festival (2001-2004) are presented in detail on www.poetry.cz.
Petrov became a significant institution which had a major impact on post-November '89 developments in Czech culture. In the course of its existence 343 titles were published, many of which won official prizes, were well received by readers and the critics alike, and were translated into foreign languages.
About these web pages:
We would like to refer you to the Czech version of these pages. It is extensive and offers anyone interested in contemporary Czech literature a wealth of information, giving complete biographies and bibliographies of all our writers as well as essential information on all books published. (For a complete list see Seznam všech vydaných titulů.)