ZVONA i NARI, Cultural Production Cooperative

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About Us

ZVONA i NARI (Bells & Pomegranates) is an NGO based in Istria (the village of Ližnjan) with its activities focused on non-profit projects in the realm of culture (literature in particular) and social engagement. Cooperative runs a library & Literary retreat in Liznjan where it offers a free place to stay, create, and engage in a dialogue with their colleagues, members of the literary community, as well as the local public to writers and poets, translators and critics, editors and publishers, literary scholars and all those who actively participate in the literary exchange.

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For this purpose the retreat provides four fully furnished houses, available for shorter or longer periods of stay during the entire year. These houses, along with a small library with which they share a part of the space, are situated on a country estate in the village of Ližnjan, at the southernmost tip of the Istrian Peninsula, some 12 kilometers from Pula, at the Adriatic Coast of Croatia.

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The library itself offers free access to its collection to the guests of the retreat as well the local community. It has now close to ten thousand titles a third of which are in English, Italian, and German. Among those there is a collection of several hundred titles on the subject of literary theory, literary authorship, and literary collaboration that might be of interest to literary scholars specializing in these particular fields.

The retreat is founded by writers and translators Natalija Grgorinić and Ognjen Rađen and has opened its doors to the public in the summer of 2011. It is supported by private and public funding, which includes donations from the Administrative Department for Culture of the Istrian Region and the Foundation Open Society Institute. Donations for library have come from many individuals and institutions throughout Croatia. The retreat welcomes writers, translators, editors, and scholars from around the world.