Lili Novy (1885-1958) was an aristocrat who wrote poetry onto anything she could get her hands on in moments of inspiration. She was known for writing verses onto little paper bags or napkins, and Ljubljana’s bourgeoisie often referred to her as ‘the crazy countess’. One of the reasons for this nickname stemmed from her rebellious nature which was evident in her choice not to succumb to the societal pressures and expectations for women of the time. To the contrary, in the early 20th century, for instance, she sat in cafés on her own without a male companion, which was an unforgivable breach of etiquette for a ‘lady’. She even sat in coffee shops for hours on end, writing poetry and smoking. Supposedly other customers were disgusted by her ‘loose nature’ and ‘loose morals’. Her unusual, liberated and progressive behaviour caused her to be infamously labelled as one of the most eccentric personalities of Ljubljana’s past.
However, Novy is also acclaimed as one of the most productive and excellent Slovenian poets of all times. She was the first Slovenian woman to write lyric poetry in the Slovenian language. Her work, even though often written on paper bags, built a huge literary opus, spanning from lyric poetry, essays, poetry for children, to numerous translations from Slovene to German and vice versa.
To celebrate and acknowledge Novy’s contribution to the development of Slovenian poetry and culture per se, there are three places in Ljubljana dedicated to her memory. The Slovenian capital acknowledged her by naming one of its streets after her (Ulica Lili Novy), while there is a bust statue of Novy in front of the house where she lived in adult life in Ljubljana’s Old Town. The third recognition of her incredible achievements and contribution is set in Cankarjev Dom Cultural and Congress Centre where one of its halls is, rightly so, named the Lili Novy Literary Hall/Club.
Located in the entresol (mezzanine floor) of the majestic Grand Reception Hall, the Lili Novy Club gives the impression of being a cosy living room. With its welcoming and relaxed atmosphere, the club is an ideal venue for literary evenings, book launches, lectures, press conferences, corporate hospitality, pre- and post-concert receptions and standing buffets during intermissions in the Gallus Hall.
The 90 sq.m. hall can be set up in different styles; Theatre style is intended for 40 participants, Classroom style is for 54, Boardroom style for 28, U-shaped for 22, Banquet for 40, and Reception set-up for 50 standing persons.
An interesting addition to the hall is the option of equipping the Theatre style setup with cosy armchairs instead of the usual conference chairs if preferred.
The CD Congress Centre’s team cooperates with three catering providers: Jezeršek Catering, Maxi Catering, and Vivo Catering. According to client’s wishes, the client can either arrange all of the catering with one of these three providers, or the CD staff will do it for them.
Since the Literary Hall Lili Novy is located in one of the most important Slovenian cultural centres that bursts at the seams with the offer of arts and culture, there is no need to look for incentive programmes anywhere else. Everything is right there, just a few steps away: concerts, exhibitions, movie festivals, theatre and dance performances, etc..