News

December 2021 I Newsletter

Dear members of the Word Alliance,

Five of our members have put together a wonderful December program that will make next month's reading hours more sociable, exciting and surprising. In addition to some short insights to their programs, we are happy to share some reviews from literary events in November. In view of the currently still difficult pandemic situation worldwide, we would also like to share a link to this year's "Worldwide Reading for the Dead of the Pandemic".

But first of all, browse what’s coming up for the last month of 2021!

We are wishing all upcoming festivals much success and a wide audience.

Best regards from Berlin,

Ulrich Schreiber

 

Festival News

In December, PEN America is organizing three online and offline events: a digital workshop on how to tackle the spread and effects of misinformation about public health and the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, one evening with Admiral James Stavridis discussing "The Sailor’s Bookshelf: Fifty Books to Know the Sea" and one town hall meeting with Wajahat Ali, Jennifer Finney Boylan and John McWhorter about Self-Censorship. More Information about the events, dates and tickets can be found here.

On 4 December 2021, Passa Porta invites 4 writing and illustration duos to Brussels: Salma Nachi and Lara Jakoba Breine, Loeke Vanhoutteghem and Larissa Viaene, Laura Nollet and Toon Delanote, and Martijn Verhelst and Shanna Coppens are going to present excerpts from their literary work, accompanied by live drawings. On 9 December 2021, writers Amandine Gay and Kaoutar Harchi are going to discuss the relationship between literature and society and reflect on autobiographical writing and political authorship. More information and tickets can be found here.

Join The New York Times bestselling authors Ashley Audrain and Paula Hawkins for a digital conversation about their latest novels, presented by the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) on 4 December 2021. Audrain’s debut "The Push" is a rare, extraordinary look at the pressures and expectations of motherhood, and what really happens behind closed doors of even the most perfect-looking families. Hawkins’s thrilling new novel "A Slow Fire Burning" uncovers the gruesome murder of a young man and some unsettling questions about three women who knew him. Find out more here.

Bay Area Book Festival creates a series of online classes with creative thinkers who distill their vast wells of experience, expertise, and knowledge into five essential takeaways that’ll feed your brain. In December you can join Sam Wasson, who will share five things he’s learned about Hollywood’s second golden age and Nicholas Buccola, who will talk about the five things he’s learned about the meaning of love from the life and thought of James Baldwin. Find out more about the classes here.

On 10 December 2021, the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations in 1948, a Worldwide Screening of "The Dissident" by Bryan Fogel will take place, initiated by the international literature festival berlin [ilb]. The documentary reconstructs the background of the murder of the Saudi Washington Post journalist and regime critic Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 and illuminates the geopolitical and power-strategic context of the case. Find out more about the project and screenings here. Due to the current pandemic situation, the Worldwide Screening will take place on two dates. The second screening is planned for 3 May 2022, the World Press Freedom Day. 

David Alston will be a guest of Ullapool Book Festival, in association with Ullapool Harbour Trust, on 11 December 2021. He will talk about his recently published book "Slaves and Highlanders" which explores the prominent role of Highland Scots in the exploitation of enslaved Africans and their descendants in the coffee, sugar and cotton plantations of the 18th and 19th centuries. Free tickets are available from The Ceilidh Place Bookshop and Ullapool Bookshop or online. More information about the reading can be found here.

 

 

Review

After two years finally a festival again. Organizing an international live festival during a pandemic proved a challenge, but the Crossing Borders Festival went for it and thankfully everything fell into place, including sold out venues and fantastic artists. Warren Ellis immediately set the tone on the opening night with a book presentation and violin solos. On Friday, Colson Whitehead demonstrated his great sense of humor in front of a packed Royal Theater, and many more highlights followed such as Douglas Stuart, Ghostpoet, CMAT, Tamsin Calidas, Stuart A. Staples and many others. The move to Korzo Theater and surroundings worked out really well, and so did the extension of the day programme. Next year we will continue on this path, hopefully in full force.

Babel Festival takes place in September, but it is active throughout the year: In November, Michelle Steinbeck, Laura di Corcia, and Rebecca Gisler (Poethreesome 2020/2021) had a two-week residency at the Swiss Institute in Rome, translating each other’s poems and reading their work. Laura Accerboni and Odile Cornuz (Poethreesome 2016) read at the Swiss Consulate in Venice during Venise pout la francophonie. Babel TESS curated an event in Locarno for Comixities 2021. Author Usama Al Shahmani taught his L’altra lingua creative writing classes for immigrants in Bern. And the “To Speak England in Different Languages Prize,” organised by the magazine “Specimen. The Babel Review of Translations,” announced its shortlist.

5 days, 13th edition of the festival, 34 international authors and artists, plus 70 online and in person events, 64 local authors and artists, plus 60 hours of online content, 26.144 views and participants, 2.500 in person attendees:This year's theme, anxiety, was a great catalyst: we reflected in round tables, interviews, readings and performances how anxiety affects the process of writing, and how this year uncertainty has conditioned us. We had many firsts: the epic dialogue between Margo Glantz and Elena Poniatowska, Siri Hustvedt and Paul Auster together for the first time, and Leila Guerriero and Fabián Casas discussing their writing habits. Hundreds of books were read and gifted. The FILBA FESTIVAL Buenos Aires 2021 made literature travel.

 

In view of the ongoing corona pandemic, we would like to refer once again to this year's "Worldwide Reading for the Dead of the Pandemic" on 5 September 2021, organized by the international literature festival berlin [ilb]. 46 international writers and artists were invited to commemorate those who died in the pandemic through short stories, poems and statements in a virtual reading. This reading is still available online, check it out here.

January 2022 I Newsletter

Dear Members of the Word Alliance,

First of all, we'd like to wish all of you a Happy and Healthy New Year! We hope that this year will live up to its full literary potential and bring heaps of inspiration. You may find first ones at the upcoming events and festivals of six of our members in January 2022. In addition to a short insight into their programs, we are glad to share selected Reviews and five promising hints on international authors in the section Global Voices. Please find all details about the dates, festivals and literary news below.

Wishing all upcoming festivals much success and a wide audience!

Best regards from Berlin,

Ulrich Schreiber

Festival News

On 6 January, PEN America invites Admiral James Stavridis to discuss his book The Sailor’s Bookshelf: Fifty Books to Know the Sea. The event is online and will be hosted by Alan Jones. In the conversation, Admiral Stavridis, a leader in military, international affairs, and national security circles, shares his love of the sea and some of the sources of that affection in his latest work. More Information about the event can be found here.

Until 16 January, Québec en toutes lettres is hosting an exhibition on the Canadian poet Marie Uguay, featuring an excerpt from her second published collection L'outre-vie, photos taken by Stéphan Kovacs and a documentary film by Jean-Claude Labrecque. Find out more about the program here.

Hay Festival Cartagena takes place with events in Colombia’s Cartagena de Indias (20-27 January), Medellín (24-27 January) and Jericó (20-23 January). The Festival will see writers and readers come together live in-person and online to give voice to some of the biggest issues of our time, with diverse guests such as Wole Soyinka, Ai Weiwei, Yaa Gyasi, Reni Eddo Lodge, Anne Applebaum, Thomas Piketty, Adela Cortina, Juan Villoro, Irene Vallejo, Patrick Radden-Keefe, Camila Sosa Villada, Djamila Ribeiro, Jonathan Franzen, Manuel Vilas, Ibram X Kendi, and many more. In-person tickets are on sale now at Hay Festival, where events can also be streamed free, live online, and on replay. 

26 January, Rachel Cusk, the British-Canadian author of trenchant novels and essays and an avowed feminist, is coming to Passa Porta. In conversation with the French writer Julia Kerninon, she will discuss her book On A life’s work: On Becoming a Mother. In keeping with the motto ‘Blossomings and abundance’, Ramsey Nasr will kick off the Poetry Week at Passa Porta on 27 January. Also, Nisrine Mbarki will introduce her debut Oeverloos, Siel Verhanneman will present her new collection Wat nu met het licht dat binnenvalt and Belgian Poet Laureate Mustafa Kör will talk about her new work. Find out more here.

From 28 January to 6 February, the iconic annual Jaipur Literature Festival will be back at its cherished home - Jaipur - in a hybrid avatar with both its on-ground magnificence as well as its nifty virtual presence. The hybrid version will enable a larger audience to access the Festival's offerings, reaching out to book-lovers across continents. There has never been a more powerful feast of literature, discourse & camaraderie than this Festival. Find out more about the registration, the program and the speakers here.

On 29 January, kick off 2022 with Cambridge Literary Festival & their virtual Masterclass Life Writing With Cathy Rentzenbrink. Perfect for all levels, Sunday Times bestseller Cathy Rentzenbrink will help you to focus & overcome obstacles that have prevented you achieving your writing goals. A copy of Write It All Down, out 6 January, is included in the price. Perfect for a Christmas gift or a gift to yourself! More details here.

Due to the pandemic, Poetica 7, the Festival for World Literature in Cologne, planned for the end of January, will be postponed to 2-7 May 2022. More information about the program on the topic "Sounding Archives - Poetry between Document and Experiment" can be found here.

Reviews

The 11th edition of the George Town Literary Festival (GTLF) took place from 25-28 November 2021. GTLF explored the spirit of cosmopolitanism and interconnectedness that endures through literature, language and ideas with the theme, Mikro-cosmos. Ninety percent of the Festival took place online just as it did last year. All podcasts are still available as stream on Spotify. GTLF also partnered with Nusi Poetry to feature poetry, narratives, oral traditions, sounds and voices of the indigenous peoples of Borneo. All poetry videos are available on their YouTube Channel. To celebrate the decade of GTLF that has passed, GTLF produced a special publication called Muara. Taking its name from the Malay word for estuary, Muara is a passage of fluidity and connection, where the river meets the open sea. Featuring essays, lectures, short stories, poetry, book reviews, and translations, Muara gathers established and emerging writers from Malaysia, the region, and the world. The book was launched during the festival and is available for purchase here.

The European Poetry Festival burst back into live life with 7 remarkable events over 10 days celebrating collaboration and performance in contemporary literary and avant-garde European poetry in November 2021. Poets from Switzerland, Norway, Hungary, Sweden, Slovenia, Latvia, Austria and all over Europe performed to packed venues across London, with nearly 500 people witnessing 60 brand new made-for-festival collaborative and commissioned readings and performances. With all events free to attend, November 20th to November 30th, this was a vibrant, jubilant, playful, experimental and energised return to in person liveness and cross-linguistic and multi-national community and collective inventiveness. Find out more about each event here.

On 10 December 2021, the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations in 1948, the international literature festival berlin [ilb] initiated a Worldwide Screening of "The Dissident" by Bryan Fogel to commemorate Jamal Khashoggi's struggle for human rights and freedom of press. The screenings took place at various locations in Berlin as well as in Homberg and Tunis. We thank all the organizers, who responded to the call and ensured that Khashoggi's commitment to an open and pluralistic Arabia will not be forgotten. Due to the current pandemic situation, the Worldwide Screening will take place on two dates. The second screening is planned for 3 May 2022, the World Press Freedom Day. Find out more about the project and screenings here.

Global Voices

We start 2022 with inspiring voices, recommended by European Poetry Festival and Cambridge Literary Festival.

After writing his blog Naturalist Dara for over three years, Dara McAnulty published his debut book, Diary of a Young Naturalist, which won the 2020 Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing, and was longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize. Dara is a passionate and fervent campaigner for the natural world and dedicated fundraiser, volunteer and wildlife recorder. He lives with his family and Rosie, the rescue greyhound, at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in County Down.

Natasha Brown has spent a decade working in financial services, after studying Maths at Cambridge University. She developed Assembly after receiving a 2019 London Writers Award in the literary fiction category.

Sathnam Sanghera is an award-winning columnist and feature writer for The Times. He has been shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards twice, for his memoir The Boy With The Topknot and his novel Marriage Material, the former being adapted by BBC Drama in 2017 and named Mind Book of the Year in 2009. He has won numerous prizes for his journalism, including Young Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards in 2002 and Media Commentator of the year in the 2015 Comment Awards. He comes from Wolverhampton.

Verena Dürr is a Swiss Austrian writer, musician and social worker based in Vienna. She is part of the poetry punk band Smashed To Pieces and organizes a transmedia literature series called Kein Konzil, Musenkuesse. In 2017, she participated in the Bachmann Prize literary competition. Dürr writes essays, poetry and radio plays. Under the pseudonym venerasinn she creates audio poetry & music as well as short radio plays. Currently, she is working on her debut novel.

Cornelia Hülmbauer, born in 1982 in Lower Austria, is an author of poetry, short prose, essays and audio pieces. She studied English and art history in Vienna and Malta as well as language arts at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, where she was co-editor of the literary magazine JENNY. She has a PhD in applied linguistics and worked as a researcher in international projects for some years. In addition to numerous literary publications in anthologies and magazines, MAU OEH D was published by Sukultur Berlin in 2018, CYCLUS V in Dutch translation by Zegwerk Ghent in 2020. Her texts were also exhibited at the Literaturpassage in Vienna’s Museumsquarter.

November 2021 I Newsletter

Dear members of the Word Alliance,

we are looking forward to a month full of literature. In November, eleven festivals show with their diverse programs the brightness of the literary scene.

In addition to the festival programs, we are happy to share some reviews from October events. Please find all details about the dates, festivals and reviews below.

Wishing all upcoming festivals much success and a wide audience!

 

Best regards from Berlin,

 

Ulrich Schreiber

 

Festival News

From 28-30 October 2021, the Aké Arts & Book Festival once again celebrates the creativity on the African continent. The three-day and free of charge, virtual festival will feature panel discussions, poetry, book chats, art exhibitions, film screenings and concerts and focuses on ways in which a globalized world and a digital culture are widening the distance between generations. Guests are among others JJ Bola, Maaza Mengiste, Grace Ekpu and Olaokun Soyinka. Find out more about the festival here.

Throughout November 2021, the international house of literature Passa Porta invites 8 writers from all over the world to Brussels. Alejandro Zambra, for example, presents his recent book "Poeta chileno", a novel about fatherhood, love and the pitfalls of growing up. Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Powers meets writer and journalist Annelies Beck and composer Kris Defoort to discuss his new novel "Bewilderment", and Olga Ravn talks about her unusual science-fiction novel "The Employees". Find out more about the events and tickets here.

Hay Festival Digital Arequipa 2021 will take place from 1-7 November 2021. The Festival features 140 speakers from 18 countries with all sessions free to view on the Festival’s streaming platform. Guests include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ken Follett, Marie Modiano, Santiago Roncagliolo, Victoria Mas, Abdellah Taïa and Yuval Noah Harari. Explore the digital program and register for the free events here.

From 3-6 November 2021 the 5th International Literary Festival, to the sea-girt shores of Cyprus invites writers and poets, artists, actors and dancers from all over the world. The program includes readings, discussions, meet the writers sessions and a dedication to Michael Longley and Bernhard Schlink. Some of the participants of the festival are: Elena Penga, Jean-Pierre Vallotton, Aleš Šteger, Gabriel Itkes Sznap, Yang Lian, Aimilios Solomou, Andreas Kapandreou, Yiorgos Moleskis and Giorgos Christodoulides. Find out more about the program here.

On 4 November 2021, John Nettles will present "The Ord Diaries", organized by Guernsey Literary Festival as a single-event. In his diaries, Reverend Douglas Ord recounts the story of what the Germans did to the islanders during the Occupation years. John Nettles, star of Bergerac and Midsomer Murders, came across Ord's diaries in the Priaulx Library while carrying out research. He found the diaries so very impressive that he was determined to get them published to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the arrival of the Germans on 30th June 1940. Find out more about the event here.

From 4-6 November 2021, over 70 international writers, poets, musicians and storytellers will perform at the Crossing Border Festival in the historic city center of The Hague. Invited are among others Douglas Stuart, who will talk about his Man Booker Prize winning debut "Shuggie Bain", National Book Award-finalist Pajtim Statovci, who will present his novel "Bolla", the Irish master of the short story Claire Keegan, who will speak about her new work "Small things like these" and musician and composer Warren Ellis, who will be interviewed about his debut "Nina Simone’s Gum". More information about the festival, the events and tickets can be found here.

On 10 November 2021, at 7.30 p.m., Man Booker International Prize winner László Krasznahorkai presents his new novel "Herscht 07769" in conversation with Clemens Meyer. The reading is organized by the international literature festival berlin and in cooperation with the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program. In "Herscht 07769", László Krasznahorkai tells the »chronicle of an extinction« [BR] with linguistic and formal virtuosity. Tickets and more information can be found here.

After a digital version in 2020, Puerto de Ideas Valparaíso returns in person with a hybrid format that includes face-to-face and digital activities. From 8-14 November 2021, the festival brings together citizens and important intellectuals, artists and scientists of international recognition just like the Canadian writer Margaret Atwood or the Argentinian journalist, essayist and writer Martín Caparrós. All digital activities are free of charge. The program can be found here.

 

 

Online Winter Festival Edition of the Cambridge Literary Festival takes place from 17-21 November 2021. CLF has presented many memorable talks over the years and this year’s Festival Line-up of "Unmissable Conversation" is no exception: Gillian Beer for example speaks to Alex Clark about her childhood experiences in World War II, Rebecca Solnit and James Rebanks discuss their mutual regard for George Orwell, climate scientist Peter Stott reports on the battle against climate change denial and in conversation with author and academic Preti Taneja, Leïla Slimani presents her recent novel "The Country of Others". Find out more about the program here.

From 20 November until 2 December 2021 the European Poetry Festival bursts back into live life with 7 events in 10 days in venues across London. Over 25 poets from across the continent come to the UK to collaborate and perform with British and Britain-based writers. Celebrating poetry across styles and languages, and pushing innovation, this is a welcome chance to see poets from beyond the UK presenting new works, made for the festival. All events are free to attend. More information can be found here.

The Hay Festival Winter Weekend will take place from 24-28 November 2021. During five days, more than 80 writers and performers will launch the best new fiction and non-fiction, interrogate some of the biggest issues of our time, and spread joy with conversations, candle-lit storytelling, comedy, music, and family workshops. If you aren’t able to join live, you can watch from the comfort of your own home, as most events will also be streamed online. The full Hay Festival Winter Weekend program can be found here.

 

Review

From 1-14 November 2021, you can rewatch this year’s events of Ullapool Book Festival online. The Participants of the festival are Fiona J Mackenzie, Jim Carruth, Peter Geoghegan, Leela Soma, Chris Dolan, Linda Cracknell, Tom Devine, Miriam Gamble & Peter Mackay, Sunwise, Ambrose Parry, Donald S Murray. More information can be found here.

October 2021 I Newsletter

Dear members of the Word Alliance,

a stunning festival summer is coming to an end, but luckily fall will provide us with further lively book talks and inspiring readings thanks to six literary festivals of our members taking place in October.

In addition to giving a short insight into their programs, we are happily sharing a few impressions from the 21st international literature festival berlin [ilb] that took place in September.

Please find all details about the dates, festivals and literary news below.

Wishing all upcoming festivals much success and a wide audience!

Best regards from Berlin

Ulrich Schreiber

Festival News

The 10th edition of Seoul International Writers’ Festival will be held in person and online from 8 – 24 October, 2021. Focusing on the theme of “Awakening”, the festival features more than 40 events, including talks, readings, and special film screenings. 

Authors appearing include the opening keynote speakers Han Kang and Mariana Enriquez, the closing keynote speakers Ch’oe Yun and David Crossman, 

along with Kim Soom, Ken Liu, Max Porter, Eugene Vodolazkin, Jan Wagner, Yun Ko-eun and more. For further details, see here.

The Québec en toutes lettres festival is back for a 12th edition. This year’s theme is Tout un voyage est resté en nous, taken from a line by the poet Marie Uguay. The festival’s rich program runs from October 14 to 24, featuring performances and public installations, live shows, a discovery evening with Basque artists, days of reflection, and meetings with authors from Québec and around the world, including Paul Auster, Marie-Claire Blais, Sorj Chalandon, and Maylis de Kerangal! A flagship event in Québec City, a UNESCO City of Literature, this lively celebration of literary life is not to be missed. The full programme here.

Festival Filba takes place from October 20-24, 2021. More than 80 activities will take place and more than 90 international authors will gather online and live in Buenos Aires to talk about the current state of literary discussions. Today more than ever, literature is an urgent and necessary refuge that can provide understanding through language. The main topic for this year's edition of the festival is "anguish", which will be tackled in interviews, discussions, readings, workshops and performances. Some of the participants of the festival are: Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt, Rachel Cusk, Ida Vitale, Lydia Davis, Elena Poniatowska, Margo Glantz, Tatiana Ţîbuleac, Cynan Jones, David James Poissant, Minae Mizumura, Hervé Tullet, Leila Slimani, Mari Kanstad Johnsen, Milena Busquets, Gusti, Eduardo Halfon, Álvaro Bisama, Andrés Barba and Tiago Ferro. All activities are free of charge and can be accessed here.

Vancouver Writers Fest (October 18–24, 2021), a renowned literary festival which takes place in the heart of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, is offering a wide selection of digital events this year, including bestselling authors Brit Bennett, Tomson Highway, Colm Tóibín, Andrew O’Hagan, Mieko Kawakami, Maria Stepanova, Ruth Ozeki, and Francisco Goldman. International viewers can receive access to these events and many more through the Festival's exclusive Digital Pass. Learn more about the program and sign up here.

 

The 42nd edition of the Toronto International Festival of Authors will run from October 21–31, 2021. Experience over 200 ways to connect virtually with the world’s leading thinkers and storytellers, from live-streamed conversations to new commissions, performances, podcasts and activities for children and families to enjoy. The dynamic Festival programme will explore our times as we look for resilience and sustenance, and will celebrate the wealth of writers inspiring us today. Join Toronto International Festival of Authors in reshaping our world through stories. Learn more and sign up for all access here.

On October 2 & 3, 2021, JLF Toronto in cooperation with Jaipur Literature Festival once again celebrates the diversity of literary talent embracing Canadian and international voices from around the globe. The two-day and free of charge, virtual festival will feature empowering conversations with some of the most sought-after speakers on a vast array of themes including Climate Justice, Migration and Identity, The Art of Mathematics, Food and Culture, Adaptations, Fiction and the Politics of Language. The first CanLitScape Poets & Storytellers project will showcase the poetic expressions of Canadian poets and Poet Laureates, with the support of the League of Canadian Poets. Find out more about the program here.

 

From October 8-10, 2021 JLF Colorado, curated by Jaipur Literature Festival, takes place for the very first time. As the world continues to go through extraordinary times, JLF Colorado embraces a completely digital idiom to celebrate books, ideas and discourse. Teamwork Arts, the producer of Jaipur Literature Festival, goes on curating international editions of JLF. These traditionally infuse the multilingual literary heritage of South Asia with a distinct flavor of the host regions in the digital space with a diverse and engaged community of book-lovers. Find out more about the program here.

Review

On September 18, 2021, the 21st international literature festival berlin [ilb] successfully came to an end after eleven inspiring days full of literature all over Berlin. 169 authors from 47 countries took part in more than 200 events, 137 of them live on site and 32 via livestream. A total of 60,500 spectators attended this year's festival events – 15,000 in person and 45,500 digitally so far. The 40 virtual events of ilbDIGITAL, including Leïla Slimani’s well received key note, continue to be available on ilb’s Youtube channel. Find out more here.

This newsletter lives off your contributions. So do let us know about your events, ideas of further member festivals, or information about new authors. Share it with us at wordalliance@literaturfestival.com. Also, please help us keep this mailing list up to date. Any change of email address, please let us know. Thank you.

September 2021 I Newsletter

Dear members of the Word Alliance,

The upcoming month is a real festival month again – with six of our member festivals taking place and therewith ushering in autumn with a firework of literature, creative ideas and inspirational thoughts.

We are pleased to provide further details about all dates and festival programs, exciting global voices and a festival review below.

Wishing all upcoming festivals much success and a wide audience!

Best regards from Berlin

Ulrich Schreiber

Festival News

Hay Festival Querétaro takes place 1-5 September 2021 live and online in Mexico with 170 speakers from 19 countries launching the very best new fiction and non-fiction, while tackling some of the biggest questions of our time. The program blends Nobel laureates, award-winning writers and journalists, global policy makers and innovators in 87 activities live and online over five days with appearances from Nobel laureates Svetlana Alexiévich, JM Le Clézio, Joseph Stiglitz and Esther Duflo; writers Muriel Barbery, Javier Cercas, Mónica Ojeda, Cristina Rivera Garza, Juan Villoro, David Grossman, Verónica Llaca, Amin Maalouf, Hervé Le Tellier, Pilar Quintana and María Dueñas; poet Mererid Hopwood; journalist Anne Applebaum; historian Margaret MacMillan, scientists Facundo Manes, Elizabeth Kolbert, Carla Santana Torres, and Avi Loeb; philosophers A.C. Grayling, Tamara Tenembaum and Edgar Morin; fillmmakers Diego Luna, Tamara Tenenbau and Ken Loach; pianist James Rhodes; and musicians Solovino, La Maganza, Saxodia, Armando Servín Jazz Quintet and La Rumorosa Blues. Find out more about the program here.

The 35st Melbourne Writer´s Festival takes place from 3-12 September 2021 and bring some of the world’s essential literary voices to the audience via video, from Pulitzer winners to exhilarating debut authors to the most talked-about novelists of the year. For the first time, the festival has been curated by two of Australia’s most powerful First Nations voices, Bridget Caldwell-Bright and Marcia Langton. Gathering numerous writers around the topic ‘Tell me how it ends’, the festival’s program itself tackles tensions of racism, classism, sexism, colonialism and nationalism, imagining a new way forward. For more details and information on the program, see here.

The 21st international literature festival berlin [ilb] takes place from 8-18 September 2021. 160 authors from all continents will come together live and online, enriching Berlin's cultural life for eleven days with recent literary publications, political topics and scientific discourse. The core sections 'Literatures of the World' and 'International Children's and Young Adult Literature' invite guests of all ages to explore some of literature’s biggest names and new talents. In the event series 'Speak, Memory' we will present retrospectives of works by classic authors through readings, films and photographs. The program of this year's literary series 'Visions of Bioeconomy', 'Echo. Echo. Indigenous Voices', 'Graphic Novel Day', 'Identity Politics and Wokeness - Totalitarianism of the "Left"?' and 'Words of Love and Hate: Misogyny vs. Female Empowerment' use the ilb as a forum for discussions of current themes. For more information, see here.

Babel is a literary festival focused on translation and takes place on 10-11-12 September 2021 in Bellinzona, Switzerland. The sessions are available online, so that those who cannot reach the festival can follow the program online for free, get a feeling of the enveloping atmosphere and make all they can to join next year’s edition. Babel promotes translations between different art-forms, organizes translation workshops, prizes and residences, and publishes new work in new languages. This year’s edition focuses on the myth of Babel and on the modern diasporas of what once was the Babylonian Empire. For latest updates and more details on the program, see here.

Hay Festival Segovia takes place from 16-19 September 2021 live and online in Spain with more than 80 speakers from 20 countries, including authors Luis Landero, Hector Abad, Bernardine Evaristo, Mathias Enard, Goncalo Tavares, Maria Dueñas, Douglas Stuart, Pilar Quitana and Orlando Figes; designers and architects Shigeru Ban, Josechu Carreras, Alvaro de la Rosa, Babette Porcelijn and Agatha Ruiz de la Prada; photographer Hussain Aga Khan, sportswoman Garazi Sánchez; conservationists Santiago Beruete, Joaquin Araujo and Vicente Todolí; filmmakers Fernando Trueba and Rodrigo Cortés; musician Amancio Prada; and more... Blending leading Spanish writers and thinkers with a galaxy of international thought-leaders, the program celebrates the best new fiction and non-fiction, while tackling some of the most pressing questions of the moment in 43 activities live and online over four days. Meanwhile, pop-up events will see Festival writers taken into the region of Castilla y León for special workshops and conversations, 7-11 September, including the cities of Soria, León, Valladolid and Burgos. Find out more about the program here.

Hay Festival Europa28 culminates with a pair of one-off events in Paris, France, 27-28 September 2021, in partnership with the world-famous independent bookshop Shakespeare & Company and the cultural space Cité Internationale des Arts. Over two days in the French capital, award-winning writers Kapka Kassabova and Janne Teller will mark the final chapter of the Hay Festival Europa28 project, which aims to provide a space beyond Europe's traditional centres of power in which ideas for Europe’s future can be shared and discussed, amplifying the voices of women. Find out more about the program here.

Global Voices

In this newsletter, we’d like to introduce Global Voices from Argentina, Malaysia and Switzerland, recommended by Filba, George Town Literary Festival and Babel.

When Hernán Ronsino (Chivilcoy, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1975) published his first novel “La descomposición” in 2007, readers knew we would hear buzz about him for a long time, and that he would be one of the most important writers of his generation. Ronsino has been translated into English, Italian, French, German, Greek and Turkish, and received the Anna Seghers award in 2020. He has published an extraordinary trilogy – completed by “Glaxo” and “Lumbre” – where the Argentine Pampa is both setting and protagonist of a dry, contained and always about to explode story.

Selva Almada (Villa Elisa, Entre Rios, Argentina, 1973) is an Argentine novelist and journalist whose work has been translated into French, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Turkish and Swedish. Her first novel (“El viento que arrasa”, 2012) was a sales phenomenon, and it still has many readers both inside and outside Argentina. Her interest in nonfiction led her to investigate the brutal murder of three women (“Chicas muertas”, 2014). There she reflects upon the misogyny and the violence to which women are exposed even in today's society.

Wan Nor Azriq

Born in Alor Setar, Kedah, Wan Nor Azriq is an award-winning novelist and social media coordinator at MUBI Malaysia. He has published six novels and one essay collection. His latest upcoming book is a short story collection debut titled “Mana Dadu Darjeeling?” which will be published by Kata-Pilar Books. The translation of Azriq's “The Testament of Professor Roolvink” is available on adda.

Navin Manogaran
Navin Manogaran is a Malaysian Tamil writer actively involved in literature for 15 years. He received the best young poet award from the Malaysian government and Canada. To date, he has written and published more than 15 Books. His novel “Peichi” (2019) stirred controversy within the Indian community, resulting in its ban by the Malaysian government in 2020. Navin is currently working as a teacher.

Usama Al Shahmani

Born in Baghdad in 1971, Usama Al Shahmani is an award-winning novelist, interpreter, cultural mediator and translator. Having published three books on Arabic literature before his flight to Switzerland, his first novel, “In der Fremde sprechen die Bäume arabisch”, received several awards and was nominated for the Librarians' Favourite Book in Switzerland; thanks to Babel, it will be published in Italian in September by Marcos y Marcos, Usama Al Shahmani will be a guest at Babel Festival to present it. His second novel, “Im Fallen lernt die Feder fliegen”, was recently published by Limmat Verlag.

Elisa Shua Dusapin is a Franco-Korean author who grew up between Paris, Seoul and Porrentruy and now lives in Switzerland. In 2016, she published her first novel, “Hiver à Sokcho”, winner of numerous Swiss and French literary awards (including the Robert-Walser Prize, the Alpha Prize and the Régine-Deforges Prize). Her second novel, “Les Billes du Pachinko” (2018), continues the exploration of the themes of the first book – mixing of cultures, identity, relationship with language and the difficulty of communicating – against the backdrop of the exodus of the Korean community to Japan in the 1950s after the Korean War. Her most recent novel is “Vladivostok Circus”, published in 2020 by Editions Zoé. She will be a guest at the upcoming Babel Festival, where she will present her newly translated book in Italian.

Vanni Bianconi was born in Locarno in 1977 and lives in London. He runs the literature and translation festival Babel and is one of the creators of the multilingual literary magazine “Specimen. The Babel Review of Translations”. He has published three volumes of poetry, “Ora prima”, “Il passo dell'uomo” and “Sono due le parole che rimano in ore” (Casagrande), and the narrative essays “London as a Second Language and Lucifer Over London: The Loveless House” (Humboldt Books in Italy, Influx Press in the UK). His poems have been translated into twelve languages and published in magazines and anthologies. He has won the Schiller Prize, the Marazza Prize for his translation of W.H. Auden's Christmas Oratorio, the Tirinnanzi Prize, and was a finalist in the 2016 European Poet of Freedom Award. At Babel Festival 2021 he will be presenting his narrative debut “Tarmacadam” (Nottetempo).

Review

 

The Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival and Otago Access Radio have produced a set of 20 podcasts from this year’s festival, held 6-9 May 2021. Topics range from writing romance in the 21st century to decolonisation, from Māori mythology to childhood memories, from crime to fantasy worlds.

In a little over a month, the podcasts have already been streamed and downloaded 2210 times. The podcasts can be accessed here (Podcasts from the 2019 festival are also available from the media tab).

This newsletter lives off your contributions. So do let us know about your events, ideas of further member festivals, or information about new authors. Share it with us at wordalliance@literaturfestival.com. Also, please help us keep this mailing list up to date. Any change of email address, please let us know. Thank you.

August 2021 I Newsletter

Dear members of the Word Alliance,

We are pleased about the inspiring literary festivals and sparkling events of two of our members – highlighting Edinburgh International Book Festival as founding member of the Word Alliance – coming up in August. In addition to giving a short insight into their programs, we are happily sharing four promising hints on international authors in the section Global Voices.

Please find all details about the dates, festivals and literary news below.

Wishing all upcoming festivals much success and a wide audience!

Best regards from Berlin

Ulrich Schreiber

Festival News

As part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s very first hybrid festival, running from 14-30 August 2021, The Business of Books is a brand-new program of free events for all those interested in the book industry. Hear from industry professionals as they inform, challenge and inspire. There is something for everyone, with events including a showcase of Scottish publishers, a panel on diversity in the publishing industry, a masterclass in cover design and a discussion on creating book events for people with learning disabilities. Find out more and book your tickets here.

International Poetry Nights in Hong Kong is featuring its online “Break Out” poetry reading and dialogue series. The series has Chinese poets, translators, and scholars’ dialogues with Shuntaro Tanikawa (Japan), Adonis (Syria), Jan Wagner (Germany), Bejan Matur (Turkey), Nikola Madzirov (North Macedonia), Forrest Gander (USA), and further more. The “Break Out” series has attracted more than one million online viewers in China. For more information on previous and upcoming events, see here. In addition, Hong Kong’s only award-winning bilingual poetry magazine, Voice & Verse, celebrates its tenth anniversary in August 2021. Coupling local poetic voices with avant-garde artworks, Voice & Verse enters its second decade of witnessing Hong Kong’s poetry, criticism, and translation. Find out more here.

 

Global Voices

In this newsletter, we’d like to introduce inspiring Voices from Chile and Hong Kong, recommended by Puerto de Ideas and International Poetry Nights in Hong Kong.

María José Ferrada is a writer with a recognized career in children’s literature, both in narrative and poetry. Her books for children have been published in Chile, Spain, Argentina, Colombia, Italy, Brazil, and Japan. Her collection of poems “El idioma secreto” (Faktoría K, 2013) was recognized with the Orihuela City Children's Poetry Prize, and her novel “Niños” (Grafito, 2013), which deals with the execution and disappearance of children during the Chilean dictatorship, won the Santiago Municipal Literature Award. In 2017, she published “Kramp” (Emecé, 2017), her first adult novel. She will also be one of the guests at the upcoming 21st international literature festival berlin.

Alejandra Costamagna works as writer and journalist. In 2008, she won the Anna Seghers Prize for the best Latin American author. She is recognized for her novels and stories, among her outstanding publications are “En voz baja” (Opus Uno, 1996), “Cansado ya del sol” (Planeta, 2002), and “Dile que no estoy” (Planeta, 2007). Her last novel “El sistema del tacto” (Anagrama, 2018) was a finalist for the Herralde Prize. She is also the author of the story books “Últimos fuegos” (Ediciones B, 2005), and “Animales domésticos” (Literatura Random House, 2011). She has written for Gatopardo, Letras Libres and El Malpensante.

María José Navia is the author of the books “Las variaciones de Dorothy” (Suburbano, 2013), “Instrucciones para ser Feliz” (Sudaquia, 2015), “Lugar” (Ediciones de la Lumbre, 2017), and “Una música futura” (Kindberg, 2020), the latter was a finalist for the Santiago Municipal Literature Award. She has directed various reading clubs in Chile. During 2020, she created a Twitter thread under the hashtag #366escritoras to promote Chilean female writers.

 

CHENG Ching-hang Matthew is a Hong Kong critic, poet, and review editor of Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine. The author of three poetry collections, he also received the Hong Kong Arts Development Award for Best Artist (Arts Criticism) in 2013. In 2015, he accepted an invitation to participate in the University of Iowa's International Writing Program.

 

This newsletter lives off your contributions. So do let us know about your events, ideas of further member festivals, or information about new authors. Share it with us at wordalliance@literaturfestival.com. Also, please help us keep this mailing list up to date. Any change of email address, please let us know. Thank you.

July 2021 I Newsletter

Dear members of the Word Alliance,

This year’s summer break is just around the corner. This usually rather quiet time will be broken by sparkling words and vibes in the framework of three literary festivals of our members taking place in July. In addition to giving a short insight into their programs, we are happily sharing five promising hints on international authors in the section Global Voices.

 

Please find all details about the dates, festivals and literary news below.

Wishing all upcoming festivals much success and a wide audience!

Best regards from Berlin

Ulrich Schreiber

Festival News

The European Poetry Festival will take place in two parts in 2021, with the first set of live events taking place July 1st to July 8th in London and Manchester, with five evenings of collaborative avant garde and literary poetry. A pioneering showcase of live literature, including collaboration and performance, it will bring together over 100 British, Britain-based and visiting European poets. For latest updates and more details, see here.

The 17th edition of Quais du Polar will take place in person and online from 2-4 July, 2021. Via its professional label, Polar Connection, it gathers all French and International professionals who are passionate about crime fiction, to question crime-novel in all of its diversity of forms and representations, to forge links to develop projects around crime-novel (genre) and to provide a source of inspiration that draws from the festival’s program. All details for this new edition can be found here.

Cambridge Literary Festival are dipping their toes back into live in-person events over summer. On 29 July, 2021, Vince Cable talks Money & Power. Elif Shafak joins them to launch The Island of Missing Trees, on 4 August. Colm Tóibín flies in on 29 September to share his brand-new novel The Magician. The summer programme concludes with Nobel Prize winner and Former Master of Trinity College, Amartya Sen returning to Cambridge with his memoir Home in this World. For tickets and further information, see here.

 

Global Voices

In this newsletter, we’d like to introduce inspiring Voices from Cyprus and Malaysia, recommended by Ideogramma Cyprus and George Town Literary Festival.

Alexandros Chronides was born in Bonn, Germany in 1994 and grew up in his native Cyprus. Since his childhood, he has been involved with poetry. His first poetry prize at the age of ten was followed by many others including a short story prize by the Ministry of Education during his teenage years. In 2018, he published his first poetry collection: “Πέτρες και Έλεος / Petrol Blues” with poems in both Greek and English. His book was shortlisted for the 2018 Young Writer Award, at the State Literary Awards of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus.

Antonini Smyrilli was born in Cyprus in 1987. Her poetry collection “Βλέπω Ακόμα Παιδικά“ [Still in the kids zone] came out by Thraka Publications in 2017, followed by her poetry collection “Κάτω απ’ το πάπλωμα“ by Sexpirikon Publications in 2020. Poems by her have been featured in anthologies and literary journals and have been translated into English, German, Turkish and Arabic. In addition to her participation in the 4th International Literary Festival, to the sea-girt shores of Cyprus in 2019, she represented Cyprus at Poesia - World Poetry Day 2021.

Andreas Timotheou was born in Larnaca in 1990. As poetry and short story writer, he has published seven poetry collections and one short story collection. His poetry and short stories have been translated into English, French, Italian, German, Serbian, Slovenian, Turkish, Arabic and Chinese and have been published in several literary magazines and anthologies. He has received several awards and accolades for his poetry from international cultural organizations.

Kulleh Grasi is a multidisciplinary artist from Sarawak, Malaysia. His poetry book “Tell Me, Kenyalang” (Circumference Books, 2019) was shortlisted for the 2020 National Translation Award in Poetry by the American Literary Translation Association and longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award 2020. His work has been featured on local and international platforms, including the Poetry Society Of America, Lullabies by the Transpacific Literary Project of AAWW (Asian American Writers Workshop), and various music and literary festivals since 2011.

Ho Sok Fong is the Malaysian author of two award-winning short story collections in Chinese, Maze Carpet and Lake Like a Mirror, the latter of which was published by Granta in English translation in 2019. She is currently working on a novel, “The Forest in Full Bloom”, supported by a Taiwan National Culture and Arts Foundation grant. In the summer of 2020, she moved from Malaysia to Taipei, where she teaches at Taipei National University of the Arts.

This newsletter lives off your contributions. So do let us know about your events, ideas of further member festivals, or information about new authors. Share it with us at wordalliance@literaturfestival.com. Also, please help us keep this mailing list up to date. Any change of email address, please let us know. Thank you.

June 2021 I Newsletter

Dear members of the Word Alliance,

Four of our members will hold their splendid festivals and present us with a rich program in the upcoming four to five weeks. In addition to giving a short insight into their programs, we are happily sharing further festival dates as well as four promising hints on international authors in the section Global Voices.

Please find all details about the dates, festivals and literary news below.
Wishing all upcoming festivals much success and a wide audience!

Best regards from Berlin

Ulrich Schreiber

 


Festival News
 

ITEF - Istanbul International Literary Festival will be held between 1-5 June, 2021, digitally under the theme of “Literature Above the Clouds”. Following this theme, renowned writers from six different countries will present their work digitally: Agustina Bazterrica from Argentina, Halid Halife (Khaled Khalifa) from Syria, Heather Morris from Australia, Maud Ankaoua from France, Patrick Ness from USA, and last but not least, Vigdis Hjorth from Norway. Find all details and information on their program here.

The 10th International Book Arsenal Festival will take place on 23-27 June, 2021, in Kyiv, Ukraine in a hybrid format. Focusing on the topic “Optimistic Sceptics”, the festival features one program each for adults and children & young adults, a special curatorial program on book design, musical and further thematic programs as well as the Special Writer’s Program of the Ukrainian poet, novelist, translator, public activist Serhiy Zhadan. For further details and insights into their program, click here.

 

The European Poetry Festival 2021 will take place from 24 June to 8 July. Presenting multiple events over two weeks in 4 locations across the UK and Ireland, the EPF returns to live events in the summer of 2021. A pioneering showcase of live literature, including collaboration and performance, it will bring together over 100 British, Britain-based and visiting European poets. This summer program will be followed by more events in November 2021. Check out their full program here.

The 25th Leukerbad International Literary Festival will take place from 25-27 June, 2021, and, surrounded by the impressive scenery of the Swiss alps, celebrate its 25th anniversary. In addition to a focus on Swiss literature there are also international authors reading at special venues throughout the mountain village of Leukerbad. In the “Perspectives” series of talk, the topics are broad: structural violence against women, populism and nationalism, literary exchange between the French and German speaking part of Switzerland, and what’s new in poetry. Find all details and information on their program here.

Further Festivals:

The annual conference of the
British Women Writers Association will take place on 1-4 June, 2021. For further details and insights, click here.

Listowell Writers Weekly will be held from 2-6 June, 2021. Find all details and information on their program here.

York Festival of Ideas will take place from 8 June to 20 June. Check out their full program here.

The 27th Heidelberger Literaturtage will take place on 9-13 June, 2021. Find more detailed information on their program here.


The Sunrise Festival of Wimbledon BookFest will be held from 9-13 June, 2021. For further details and insights into their program, click here.

Genoa International Poetry Festival will take place from 9-20 June, 2021. Find more detailed information on their program here.

Belfast Book Festival will be held from 10-13 June, 2021. Find more detailed information on their program here.

The Borris House Festival of Writing & Ideas will be held between 11 and 13 June. For further details and insights into their program, click here.

The 51st Poetry International Festival Rotterdam will take place from 11-13 June, 2021. Find more detailed information on their program here.

The 22nd poesiefestival berlin will take place from 11 June to 17 June. Check out their full program here.

Willy Lit Fest will take place on 18-20 June, 2021. Find more detailed information on their program here.

Le Marathon des mots will be held between 22 June and 4 July. Check out their full program here.

Bradford Literature Festival will take place from 25 June to 4 July, 2021. Find all details and information on their program here.

 

Literary News


As previously announced, the ilb is currently calling on individuals, schools, universities, cultural institutions and of course, other festivals to participate in a Worldwide Reading for the Dead of the Corona Pandemic on September 5, 2021. We’re very happy to announce that the post of signatories has arrived. Find the post and all details about the call, readings and literary texts here.

Global Voices

In this newsletter, we’d like to introduce inspiring Voices from Turkey and Switzerland, recommended by ITEF - Istanbul International Literary Festival and Leukerbad International Literary Festival.

Burhan Sönmez, born 1965 in Haymana, is a Kurdish author from Turkey. His prize-winning novels have been published in forty-two languages. He lived in Britain in exile for some ten years. Among others, he received the Vaclav Havel Library Award and the EBRD Literature Prize. He has written for various papers including The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, La Republica and lectured in Literature. Sönmez is a board member of PEN-International.

Defne Suman, 1974, was born and grew up in Istanbul. She studied sociology at the Bosphorous University and volunteered in different projects in the Far East. Later she moved to Oregon (USA) and dedicated her time to writing. Her novel Silence of the Scheherazade tells the story of the destruction of cosmopolitan Ottoman Smyrna and will be published by Head of Zeus in autumn 2021. Suman’s work focuses on space, memory and identity and the reversal of the official version of history.

Christoph Simon, born 1972 in Langnau, Switzerland, writes novels and short texts, authors audio books, draws cartoons, performs as a cabaret artist and publishes videos. Currently, Simon is on the road with his solo stage programs. His novel “Spaziergänger Zbinden”, translated by Donal McLauglin, portrays a story about the big feelings in an everyday life. His current book is a poetry collection called “und das nach vier milliarden jahren evolution”.

Dana Grigorcea, born 1979 in Bucharest, Romania, and living in Zurich, writes in German since 2003. Her current novel “Die nicht sterben” combines the myth of Dracula with a critical view on the post-communist society. In English available: “The Instinctice Feeling of Innocence”, translated by Alta L. Price.

This newsletter lives off your contributions. So do let us know about your events, ideas of further member festivals, or information about new authors. Share it with us at wordalliance@literaturfestival.com. Also, please help us keep this mailing list up to date. Any change of email address, please let us know. Thank you.

May 2021 I Newsletter

Dear members of the Word Alliance,

The upcoming month is a real festival month – with nine of our member festivals taking place in May and therewith setting off a firework of literature, creative ideas and inspirational thoughts across the globe.

We are pleased to provide further details about all dates, festival programs and new literary voices below.

Wishing all upcoming festivals much success and a wide audience!

Best regards from Berlin

Ulrich Schreiber

Festival News

From 1 to 9 May, 2021, the Bay Area Book Festival will take place virtually. Covering diverse topics such as race and identity, women and gender, environment and nature, there is something for every taste in this inspiring program. The wide range of celebrated and subversive writers and authors will include Tracy K. Smith, Orville Schell and Yiyun Li, Carol Edgarian and Vendela Vida, Avni Doshi, Maaza Mengiste and Alia Trabucco Zerán. Find all details and information on their program here.

The 9th Jerusalem International Writers Festival at Mishkenot Sha'ananim will take place from 3 to 6 May, 2021. This year, leading writers and artists from Israel and the world will take part. Alongside digital events and encounters that feature international and local writers, there will be in-person events at Mishkenot Sha'ananim and throughout Jerusalem, including literature and music performances, picnics, tours, workshops, exhibitions, and more. Find all details and information about their program here.

The Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival, taking place from 6 to 9 May, 2021, is full of Aotearoa’s literary gold. There’s fun for wee ones on the Storytime Double Decker Bus, school sessions that look to the way our young people think about their future and place in the world, and an eclectic range of panels, readings, and discussions. This year, there are threads of romance, New Zealand societal change, escapism, sense of self in time and place, and looking forward. After a difficult 2020, a view of the future feels important. For further details and insights into their program, click here.

From 11 to 16 May, 2021, the Auckland Writers Festival will take place. Presenting over 200 local and international writers mainly live but also digitally, the festival celebrates the power of the written and spoken word, explores innovative ideas and shares stories from New Zealand and around the world. Participating writers and artists will include Kazuo Ishiguro, Isabel Allende, Neil Gaiman, JP Pomae, Sue Kedgley and Ngahuia te Awekotutu, Miro Bilbrough, and Ai Weiwei. Find all details and information on their program here.

The 2021 PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature runs from 18 to 22 May, 2021. The Festival, drawing on the theme, Power to the People, brings together virtual audiences for more than 20 virtual events over five days and convenes fiction and nonfiction writers, poets, translators, thinkers, and activists to honor the art of the possible and the power of storytelling to push boundaries, challenge inherited narratives, and give voice to hope, courage, and survival. Tickets for all events available here.

Special highlights of this year’s PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature are:

The People’s History: Writing the Wrongs

Nearly one year has passed since uprisings across the United States and around the world decried anti-Black violence. Amid the pandemic, surging anti-Asian hate crimes have led to a swell of activism within, and in support of, AAPI communities. In a riveting opening night conversation moderated by Maria Hinojosa of Latino USA, whose recent memoir Once I Was You intimately explored America’s ongoing immigration crisis, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Imbolo Mbue confront questions of how to reconcile our collective pasts, challenging and reframing contested histories underlying today’s inequities.

Writing Our Way Out: Reflections on Inheritance

Debut authors Danielle Geller, Jamie Figueroa, and Linda Rui Feng discuss familial inheritance and loss.

The Ties that Bind: Weathering Crises in a Globalized World

Yamen Manai, Jordi Nopca, and Kawai Strong Washburn discuss their latest works of fiction.

The International Literature Festival Dublin will take place from 20 to 30 May, 2021. For 10 days the festival celebrates Irish and international writing, introduces new literature for children, families and young adults, invites to wellbeing, wandering and sightseeing and provides invaluable insights into the world of literature and publishing through professional development masterclasses and events, mostly online. Amongst the manifold highlights and guests will be Hanif Abdurraquib, Dairena Ní Chinnéide, Angie Thomas, Dermot O’Leary and Shane Hegarty. Find all details and information on their program here.

From 22 to 24 May, 2021, the 30st Étonnants Voyageurs, Saint-Malo will take place online and free of charge. On four simultaneous channels, continuously from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., live and as a replay, the festival broadcasts major debates, literary café, major interviews, poetry meetings, film screenings, during which authors* meet, words collide, cultures touch. Among the guests will be Simone Schwarz-Bart, Mathias Énard, Franck Bouysse, Céline Georges-Olivier Chateaureynaud, Cédric Herrou, Dany Laferrière from the French Academy, Rachel Khan, Serge Joncour, Céline Curiol and many more. More details on the extensive programme can be found here.

This year's festival also takes place in memory of Michel Le Bris, who has just passed away. We express our heartfelt condolences.

Hay Festival Wales brings writers and readers together online for its 34th spring edition, 26 May to 6 June, 2021, for an inspiring array of conversations, debates, workshops and performances. Over 12 days, more than 250 acclaimed writers, global policy makers, historians, poets, pioneers and innovators will take part in this year’s Festival, launching the best new fiction and non-fiction. It will interrogate some of the biggest issues of our time, from building a better world post-pandemic to tackling the compound crises of climate change, inequality, and challenges to truth and democracy. Festivalgoers can explore the programme and register for free now here.

Ullapool Book Festival will be held online over a period of four months in 2021. This will take the form of having one event a week starting on 26 May and finishing on 4 August, 2021. The festival’s guests will be Jim Carruth, Linda Cracknell, Chris Dolan, Tom Devine, Miriam Gamble, Peter Geoghegan, Peter Mackay, Fiona J Mackenzie, Donald S. Murray, Ambrose Parry, Leela Soma, Sunwise (Christine Morrison, Ian Stephen, Mike Vass). For further details and information about their program, please click here. Ticket sale (£4) will start on 5 May, 2021.