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April 2022 I Newsletter

Dear Members of the Word Alliance,

I am pleased to share with you news about upcoming inspiring literary festivals and promising hints on international authors of nine of our members. Also, I am very happy to share a sneak peek from PEN America this month. If you too have learnings, highlights or insights you'd like to share with the network, just send me a message.

Please find all details about the dates and festivals below.

Best regards from Berlin,

Ulrich Schreiber

Festival News

The 18th edition of Quais du Polar will take place from 1-3 April. The festival will feature a choice of novels, graphic novels, TV series, films, round-tables, meetings and conferences, suspense quests in the streets of Lyon, exhibitions and games. The city as an inexhaustible source of inspiration will be at the heart of the program. Adaptation will also be at the centre of interactions: from book to screen with films and series, but also from novel to graphic novel, from text to podcast, from podcast to graphic novel and even from film to book. The festival is totally free except from film viewings and some events in our partner bars and museums.

On 1 April, Vancouver Writers Fest offers students the opportunity to interact with celebrated writers through the (virtual) Writers in the Classroom program. On 22 April, you can enjoy unlimited drams of whisky from distilleries around the world, local craft spirits and beer, tasting bites from local restaurants and live music at Whisky & Words, an event to support the Vancouver Writers Fest’s youth education outreach programs.

Crossing Border will present the unofficial opening event of the London Book Fair on the evening of Sunday, 3 April. You can expect a eclectic live performances by international authors and of course a lot of music.


From 4-10 April, Cúirt International Festival of Literature brings readers and writers together to tell stories, share new perspectives and celebrate writing in all forms. Among the guests are Lucy Foley and Edel Coffey, Louise Kennedy and Sara Baume, Rumaan Alam, Anna Della Subin and Françoise Vergès. A selection of evets will be livestreamed for audiences at home and abroad.

On 6 April, you can join California Common Cause and PEN America Los Angeles for a panel conversation about the state of California media policy and the priorities, strategies, and statewide models that could help rebuild and sustain a robust news information ecosystem in California. Find out more about the panelist, their topics and the tickets here. Also, join PEN America and Humanitas for a series of free, online workshops. Inspired by beloved components of PEN America’s Emerging Voices Fellowship and Humanitas’s New Voices Fellowship, the series will provide an introduction to topics that are foundational to understanding and launching a television and film writing career as a literary writer.

On 7 April, Diana Evans, known for her novel Ordinary People, and Chika Unigwe, the author of On Black Sisters’ Street, are meeting at Passa Porta in Brussels. Both writers will read excerpts and talk to host Katrien Steyaert about common themes such as the African diaspora, generational differences and the impact of major events on individual lives.

From 20 – 24 April, Cambridge Literary Spring Festival brings audiences and authors together For the Love of Books! Speakers include Booker Prize Winners Julian Barnes and Douglas Stuart, Rose Tremain, Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, Ali Smith, Nobel Prize for Literature Winner Abdulrazak Gurnah. Also featuring great books about music, environment, politics, science, fashion, art, cooking and gardening!

On 26 April, a New Embassy event, organized by Toronto International Festival of Authors, considers Disabled, Deaf and Mad futures through exploration of the effects of the pandemic and white supremacy. The event features performances by spoken word artist Britta B., actor and Deaf Olympian Courage Bacchus, and dance/movement artists Jaz Fairy J and Rodney Diverlus. On 28 April, the final event in The New Embassy series reflects on the idea of collective solitude: finding community in the shared experiences, challenges and environments in which Disabled and Mad artists live and create.

 

Global Voices

We’d like to introduce inspiring voices, recommended by Cambridge Literary Festival and FILBA .

 

Ayanna Lloyd Banwo is a writer from Trinidad & Tobago. She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, where she is now a Creative and Critical Writing PhD candidate. Her work has been published in Moko Magazine, Small Axe and PREE, among others, and shortlisted for Small Axe Literary Competition and the Wasafiri New Writing Prize. When We Were Birds is her first novel; she is now working on her second which will be published by Hamish Hamilton in 2025. Ayanna lives with her husband in London

Keiran Goddard grew up in Shard End, Birmingham in a working-class family. When he was fifteen, an inspirational teacher started lending him books and he fell in love with reading. He went on to get a place at the University of Oxford via a scheme for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. He is the author of one poetry pamphlet (Strings) and two full-length poetry collections (For The Chorus and Votive). His debut collection was shortlisted for the Melita Hume Prize and he was the runner up in the William Blake Prize. He speaks internationally on issues related to social change and currently develops research on workers’ rights, the future of work, automation and trade unionism

 

Jo Browning Wroe grew up in a crematorium in Birmingham. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and is now Creative Writing Supervisor at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. Her debut novel, A Terrible Kindness, was shortlisted for the Bridport Peggy Chapman-Andrews award. She has two adult daughters and lives with her husband in Cambridge

Born in Córdoba, Camila Sosa Villada is a trans author, actress and performer. She has published the books La novia de Sandro (poetry), El viaje inútil (autobiographical), Las malas (Novel) Tesis sobre una domesticación (novel) and Soy una tonta por quererte (short stories). Las malas, a critical and commercial success, was translated into ten languages and won her in 2020 the Premio Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz given by FIL (Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara).

Insights & Reviews

PEN America would like to share current challenges to get back to the in-person production process. Visas are very difficult to secure, and travel costs have increased dramatically. And this at a time where international exchange is more important than ever. Maybe further members of the Word Alliance share this experience?

The 15th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival ends with reflection, hope and debate.The world’s biggest ‘hybrid’ literature Festival hosted around 600 speakers, artists and performers from across India and the world. The Pink City witnessed a variety of events namely an exclusive A Majestic Heritage Evening at Amer Fort on the 13th March 2022, the Jaipur Music Stage from 10th March-12th March 2022, and other satellite events including book launches, awards and parties hosted on the Festival’s fringes. The Festival featured conversations and debates ranging from language, war, politics, environment and climate change, gender issues, business, science and technology, history, cinema, art, travel, etc.

The 2022 Bergen International Literary Festival began on 5 February when people around the planet could follow the six-hour Literature Live Around the World transmission, with contributions from 12 festivals and literature centres on every continent. With ”dust” as its overarching theme, the main programme ran from 9-13 February – during a period when the Norwegian authorities had lifted their pandemic restrictions. The many attendees could encounter authors from such countries as France, Kenya, Palestine, the UK, the USA, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Rwanda and more.

March 2022 I Newsletter

Dear Members of the Word Alliance,

The first weeks of the year can be quite cold and uncomfortable, especially here in Berlin. I am therefore all the more pleased that seven of our members have put together a fantastic literary program, which is accompanying us through the cold season with inspiring readings, lectures, discussions and workshops. In addition to a short insight into their programs, we are glad to share 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,

Ulrich Schreiber

Festival News

Start 2022 productively by joining award-winning science writer, David Robson, who will explain how our expectations can positively influence all areas of our life. Grounded in the latest scientific research, David uncovers new techniques that we can all use to improve our fitness, productivity, intelligence, health and happiness. The Event will take place on 3 February 2022 and is organized by the Cambridge Literary Festival. On 19 February you can join best-selling crime writer Sophie Hannah for a masterclass. The class will help you to become a happy and successful crime writer and massively increase your chances of success. More information about the CLF program can be found here.

On 3 February and in partnership with the Maryland Center for the Book at Maryland Humanities, the Virginia Festival for the Book presents Charles L. Chavis, Jr. (The Silent Shore: The Lynching of Matthew Williams and the Politics of Racism in the Free State) as he shares a more complete narrative of a human life taken by lynching in Salisbury, Md., in 1931.

On 5 February Toronto International Festival of Authors is inviting rising star Canadian artists Kelisha Daley, Shahaddah Jack and Martin Gomes to a virtual raw  and  inspiring  spoken word presentation, hosted live by Desiree Mckenzie. Performers are mentees of the JAYU iAM Programme: a youth-led arts and social justice mentorship for equity-seeking youth in Canada aged 12–26. Find out more about Speaking Poetry from the Ashes here.

On 6 February you can join the virtual Winter Book Club event, organized by Vancouver Writers Fest, featuring Canada Reads winner and bestselling author Heather O’Neill. Moderated by Claire Cameron, she will present her new work, When We Lost Our Heads (HarperCollins).

PEN America has put together a wonderful February program: On 8 February, they kick off their PEN Out Loud series with National Book Award finalist Robert Jones Jr. to celebrate the paperback release of his New York Times-bestselling novel, The Prophets. On 15 February and 24 February George Packer and Gary Shteyngart are discussing their latest novels at the PEN America Author´s evening, on 22 February Julie Otsuka will launch her new novel The Swimmers and on 28 February the 2022 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony honors and celebrates remarkable literature.

On 8 February Passa Porta is starting a series of discussion on #multilingualism. In an Open Space conversation format the audience will set the agenda for the rest of the series of discussion evenings. The initial question reads: How can multilingualism be even more of an asset (and less of a burden)?

The Bergen International Literary Festival for non-fiction and fiction (LitFestBergen) will be staged from 9 – 13 February. Literature Live Around the World, a global happening and literary voyage, is kicking off already on 5 February. The theme for this year's festival is dust. Guest are, among others Adania Shibli, Claire-Louise Bennet, Fernanda Melchor, Madame Nielsen, Michael W. Opara, Rafia Zakaria, Yimin Mao, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor and Vigdis Hjorth.

Reviews

January got off to an explosive start at the Cambridge Literary Festival, as award-winning writer Sarah Hall joined the CLF’s Book Club to talk about her novel Burntcoat, which sizzles with fire and desire. For those desiring to captivate readers by telling their own story, the CLF organized a Life Writing Masterclass with Cathy Rentzenbrink, whose invaluable guide Write It All Down: How to Put Your Life on the Page was published on January 6th, and sent to the attendees of the Masterclass.

 

Hay Festival events in Colombia took place over the past fortnight, bringing writers and readers together live and online in Jerico, Medellin and Colombia. Events can be viewed free online, including conversations with Wole Soyinka, Ai Weiwei, 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.

Global Voices

Inspiring voices, recommended by İTEF Istanbul and George Town Literary Festival.


Burhan Sönmez is the author of five novels. His prize-winning novels have been published in more than forty languages, including French (Gallimard) and German (btb-Penguin Random House). He was born in Turkey and grew up speaking Turkish and Kurdish. He worked as a lawyer in Istanbul. He went to Britain for political reasons and lived there in exile for some ten years. He now lives in Istanbul and Cambridge. He has written for various papers like The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, La Repubblica. He translated the poetry book of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake into Turkish. He lectured in Literature at the university of METU. He is a board member of PEN-International. He received many awards including Vaclav Havel Library Award and the EBRD Literature Prize.

Jack Malik is a poet from Ipoh, Perak. Jack has been a part of an artist collective, Projek Rabak, since 2015. Since then, he has been actively writing, performing, and translating poetry. His works have been published internationally in Mekong Review and local Malaysian publications such as Dewan Sastera, Selangorkini, Tukang Puisi, Tunas Cipta and more. Jack mainly writes in Malay and has two poetry collections published entitled Wannabe Sasau and Sajakjakja(c)k. Jack is also one of the recipients of the Selangor State Literary Prize 2020 for poetry.

February 2022 I Newsletter

 

Dear Members of the Word Alliance,

The first weeks of the year can be quite cold and uncomfortable, especially here in Berlin. I am therefore all the more pleased that seven of our members have put together a fantastic literary program, which is accompanying us through the cold season with inspiring readings, lectures, discussions and workshops. In addition to a short insight into their programs, we are glad to share 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,


Ulrich Schreiber

Festival News

Start 2022 productively by joining award-winning science writer, David Robson, who will explain how our expectations can positively influence all areas of our life. Grounded in the latest scientific research, David uncovers new techniques that we can all use to improve our fitness, productivity, intelligence, health and happiness. The Event will take place on 3 February 2022 and is organized by the Cambridge Literary Festival. On 19 February you can join best-selling crime writer Sophie Hannah for a masterclass. The class will help you to become a happy and successful crime writer and massively increase your chances of success.


On 3 February and in partnership with the Maryland Center for the Book at Maryland Humanities, the Virginia Festival for the Book presents Charles L. Chavis, Jr. (The Silent Shore: The Lynching of Matthew Williams and the Politics of Racism in the Free State) as he shares a more complete narrative of a human life taken by lynching in Salisbury, Md., in 1931. This virtual event is free to attend and open to the public.


On 5 February Toronto International Festival of Authors is inviting rising star Canadian artists Kelisha Daley, Shahaddah Jack and Martin Gomes to a virtual raw  and  inspiring  spoken word presentation, hosted live by Desiree Mckenzie. Performers are mentees of the JAYU iAM Programme: a youth-led arts and social justice mentorship for equity-seeking youth in Canada aged 12–26.


On 6 February you can join the virtual Winter Book Club event, organized by Vancouver Writers Fest, featuring Canada Reads winner and bestselling author Heather O’Neill. Moderated by Claire Cameron, she will present her new work, When We Lost Our Heads (HarperCollins).


PEN America has put together a wonderful February program: On 8 February, they kick off their PEN Out Loud series with National Book Award finalist Robert Jones Jr. to celebrate the paperback release of his New York Times-bestselling novel, The Prophets. On 15 February and 24 February George Packer and Gary Shteyngart are discussing their latest novels at the PEN America Author´s evening, on 22 February Julie Otsuka will launch her new novel The Swimmers and on 28 February the 2022 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony honors and celebrates remarkable literature.


On 8 February Passa Porta is starting a series of discussion on #multilingualism. In an Open Space conversation format the audience will set the agenda for the rest of the series of discussion evenings. The initial question reads: How can multilingualism be even more of an asset (and less of a burden)?


The Bergen International Literary Festival for non-fiction and fiction (LitFestBergen) will be staged from 9 – 13 February. Literature Live Around the World, a global happening and literary voyage, is kicking off already on 5 February. The theme for this year's festival is dust. Guest are, among others Adania Shibli, Claire-Louise Bennet, Fernanda Melchor, Madame Nielsen, Michael W. Opara, Rafia Zakaria, Yimin Mao, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor and Vigdis Hjorth.

Reviews

January got off to an explosive start at the Cambridge Literary Festival, as award-winning writer Sarah Hall joined the CLF’s Book Club to talk about her novel Burntcoat, which sizzles with fire and desire. For those desiring to captivate readers by telling their own story, the CLF organized a Life Writing Masterclass with Cathy Rentzenbrink, whose invaluable guide Write It All Down: How to Put Your Life on the Page was published on January 6th, and sent to the attendees of the Masterclass.
 

Hay Festival events in Colombia took place over the past fortnight, bringing writers and readers together live and online in Jerico, Medellin and Colombia. Events can be viewed free online, including conversations with Wole Soyinka, Ai Weiwei, 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.

Global Voices

Inspiring voices, recommended by İTEF Istanbul and George Town Literary Festival.

Burhan Sönmez is the author of five novels. His prize-winning novels have been published in more than forty languages, including French (Gallimard) and German (btb-Penguin Random House). He was born in Turkey and grew up speaking Turkish and Kurdish. He worked as a lawyer in Istanbul. He went to Britain for political reasons and lived there in exile for some ten years. He now lives in Istanbul and Cambridge. He has written for various papers like The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, La Repubblica. He translated the poetry book of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake into Turkish. He lectured in Literature at the university of METU. He is a board member of PEN-International. He received many awards including Vaclav Havel Library Award and the EBRD Literature Prize.


Jack Malik is a poet from Ipoh, Perak. Jack has been a part of an artist collective, Projek Rabak, since 2015. Since then, he has been actively writing, performing, and translating poetry. His works have been published internationally in Mekong Review and local Malaysian publications such as Dewan Sastera, Selangorkini, Tukang Puisi, Tunas Cipta and more. Jack mainly writes in Malay and has two poetry collections published entitled Wannabe Sasau and Sajakjakja(c)k. Jack is also one of the recipients of the Selangor State Literary Prize 2020 for poetry.

 

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 2022 I Newsletter

Dear Members of the Word Alliance,

As the winter approaches, a number of literary highlights are on the agenda. This november offers a great diversity of literary festivals. Also, we present three new and talented authors in our Global Voices section. Please find all details about the dates and festivals below.

Wishing all upcoming festivals much success and a wide audience!

Best regards,

Ulrich Schreiber

 

Festival News

Founded in 1992 by a Dutch bookseller and music-lover, Crossing Border in The Hague has grown in reputation to become one of Europe’s most intriguing festivals, fusing the best in international music and literature. On this 30th anniversary edition from November 2–5, 2022, we welcome big names including Andrey Kurkov, Damon Galgut, Leïla Slimani, PJ Harvey and Lonnie Holley, while also showcasing diverse new talent from The Netherlands and beyond. Every November, the historic centre of The Hague is taken over by more than 80 contemporary writers, poets, musicians, spoken-word performers and other storytellers. For the 30th Anniversary edition, we are delighted that many famous musicians will be presenting their literary works, from folk icon Vashti Bunyan’s reflections on the 1970s folk scene and PJ Harvey discussing her narrative poem, to Happy Mondays dancer Bez’s rock’n’roll recollections. Find out more here.

Different venues in Valparaíso will be the meeting points with the ideas that allow us to imagine the world in community. Puerto de Ideas Valparaíso 2022, the most important cultural festival in Chile, will be held this year from November 7–13, with more than 30 national and international guests, who will participate together with the local public and its visitors in dozens of activities: conferences, conversations and performances. This year, among the guests are some of the most recognized voices in science, literature and art like the Italian philosopher Luciano Floridi, the French writer David Foenkinos and the Brazilian neuroscientist Anna Christina Nobre. Find out more here.

The Winter Festival 2022 by Cambridge Literary Festival takes place November 17–21, 2022 presenting a range of well-known authors like Ian McEwan, Kamila Shamsie and Reni Eddo-Lodge. In more than 45 events guests discuss climate change, politics and popular culture. Find out more here.

Hay Festival Winter Weekend is back bringing writers and readers together for a year-end wonderland of in-person and online events in multiple venues across Hay-on-Wye, Wales from November 24–27. Over four days, more than 70 acclaimed writers and performers take part in 45 events, launching the best new fiction and non-fiction, engaging with some of the biggest issues of our time and spreading festive joy with conversations, candle-lit storytelling, film screenings, comedy, music and workshops. Find out more here.

George Town Literary Festival 2022 (GTLF) explores the complex relationship between Wilderness and Human Nature. We look at the ways in which Wilderness has shaped the creative power of our imagination. We also consider the dark side of human nature — our propensity for violence, brute power, war, and the destruction of the natural world. In our Anthropocene era, human life thrives on destruction — climate crisis, war, dehumanisation and alienation. In this abyss of disenchantment, we turn our minds to the vast imaginaries of wilderness, venturing into the unknown to rediscover ourselves. How do language and literature negotiate the existential complexities of our human condition, liberate us from the fetters of contemporary life, and reanimate our primordial connection to the natural world?
GTLF takes place from November 24–27 in George Town, Penang and will welcome over 72 writers from 18 countries. Find out more here.

 

Reviews

The 8th international literature festival odesa was held in Batumi from October 5–8, 2022. Due to the military actions of Russia against Ukraine, the festival was forced to move to Georgia, where not only theaters, schools and institutes kindly opened their doors to us. We saw the open hearts of the Georgian people, who also experienced military aggression, pain and annexation of territories in their recent history. The themes of traumatic experience, survival and support became the main topics of this year's festival. The opening speech was given by historian, journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum, who spoke about her experiences and impressions in Odesa. The festival also saw the world premiere of a documentary film: Ulrich Schreiber and Norbert Kron presented their joint work 'Voices on War' in which prominent writers of the world express support for Ukrainians.

 

Global Voices

This month's Global Voices are three upcoming authors recommended by Crossing Border.

Alara Adilow published her debut poetry collection 'Mythen en Stoplichten' in April, a raw and visceral poetry collection tackling themes of gender, queerness and the desire to escape the body.

Fríða Ísberg, whose debut novel 'The Mark' is another speculative journey into the unknown; Icelandic citizens are working towards a referendum on a mandatory empathy test.

Babeth Fonchie Fotchind writes poetry about hidden fragilities in the lives of seemingly successful millennials, urging the reader to look deeper below the surface.

 

October 2022 I Newsletter

Dear Members of the Word Alliance,

We are pleased to introduce you to the colorful programs of five literary festivals taking place in October alongside a look back to the 22nd international literature festival berlin and four inspiring authors in the Global Voices section. Please find all details about the dates and festivals below.

Wishing all upcoming festivals much success and a wide audience!

Best regards,

Ulrich Schreiber

 

Festival News

Acclaimed international writers join award-winning Ukrainian authors in the hybrid Lviv BookForum programme, out globally now, broadcasting online October 6–9, 2022 in partnership with leading literary charity Hay Festival. This will be the 29th edition of Lviv BookForum, Ukraine’s biggest literary festival, aiming to create a civic space for a free and tolerant exchange of ideas between writers and readers around the world. 40 writers and thinkers take part in 15 conversations encompassing art in times of conflict, memory, gender equality, loss, corruption, imperialism, and hope. Register here.

The globally renowned Cheltenham Literature Festival takes place from October 7–16, 2022 in the heart of Cheltenham. Cheltenham Literature Festival is the world’s first literature Festival, leading the way in celebrating the written and spoken word, presenting the best new voices in fiction and poetry alongside literary greats and high-profile speakers. The impressive 10 day programme is a mixture of ticketed events, free family activities and events and fringe events scattered throughout the regency town. Find out more here.

Québec en toutes lettres is a festival that embraces a contemporary structure, showcasing literature in its multiple forms, celebrating multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity. A flagship event in Québec City, one of UNESCO’s Cities of Literature, this not-to-be-missed literary event is a welcoming, festive and unifying occasion. Its program is built around three main components: installations and live entertainment in public areas; performances and shows; sessions with authors and round tables. This year's edition takes place October 13–23. Find out more here.

From October 17–23, Vancouver's cultural oasis of Granville Island will light up with the return of a fully in-person festival for the Vancouver Writers Fest, now celebrating its 35th anniversary. Featured authors include Lebanese-German author Pierre Jarawan, 2020 Booker winner Douglas Stuart, internationally bestselling author Heather O’Neill, Booker-finalist Nadifa Mohamed, 2022 Booker-nominee Graeme Macrae Burnet, and acclaimed, award-winning Indigenous author Joshua Whitehead. International audiences can look forward to a special digital release of 30 of this year's jam-packed literary events this December. Find out more here.

The Conrad Festival is the largest international literary event in Poland and one of the largest in Europe. Presenting world literature from various corners of the globe, this year's edition will be held under the headline Communities from October 23–30 in Krakow. Find out more here.

 

Reviews

23,500 visitors and over 150 authors at over 30 venues: The 22nd international literature festival berlin came to a successful close on September 17. With its first post-pandemic edition, the festival proved over eleven days that the pull of literature as a live experience for the audience is unbroken. Among the highlights of the program with its usual political touch were events with Boris Akunin, Margaret Atwood, Bernardine Evaristo, Damon Galgut, Mieko Kawakami, Andrej Kurkow, Zadie Smith, Saša Stanišić and Pilar Quintana. The 23rd ilb will take place from September 6–16, 2023.

 

Global Voices

We are pleased to present four exciting authors recommended by the Vancouver Writers Fest.

Dimitri Nasrallah was born in Lebanon, and lived in Kuwait, Greece, and Dubai before moving to Canada. Hotline is his fourth novel; his books have won the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the McAuslan First Book Prize. He is the fiction editor at Véhicule Press.

Tawahum Bige is a Łutselk’e Dene, Plains Cree poet living on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territory. He’s presented his mixture of poetry and hip-hop across Canada. Beyond the page, Tawahum has focused on land protection. Cut to Fortress is their debut poetry collection.

Claudia Castro Luna has been an Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate fellow, the Washington State Poet Laureate, and Seattle’s inaugural Civic Poet. She is the author of Cipota under the Moon, One River, and the Pushcart nominated Killing Marías.

Natalia García Freire was born in Cuenca, Ecuador. She teaches Creative Writing. This World Does Not Belong to Us, her debut novel, was nominated for the Tigre Juan literary award and selected by the New York Times as one of the best Spanish-language books of 2019.

September 2022 I Newsletter

Dear Members of the Word Alliance,

We are pleased to present the September editions of a list of exiting literary festivals and their inspiring programs – a month full of great literary encounters. We also start the festival season with four hints about new authors in the Global Voices section who we warmly recommend to put on your reading lists.

Wishing all upcoming festivals much success and a wide audience!

Best regards,

Ulrich Schreiber

 

Festival News

The international literature festival berlin (ilb), in cooperation with the Frankfurt Book Fair, PEN Berlin, and the German PEN Centre, calls on cinemas, schools, universities, media, cultural institutions and individuals to participate in a »Worldwide Reading« of Ukrainian literature on September 7, 2022.

Experience literature up close: Once again, the international literature festival berlin (ilb) brings the world of books to Berlin from September 7 to 17, 2022. Thousands of literature-loving visitors of all ages meet their favorite authors and the most exciting new discoveries of the year at readings, discussions, screenings, and workshops. Participating this year, among others, are: Margaret Atwood, Bernardine Evaristo, Zadie Smith and Saša Stanišić. Find out more here.

Festivaletteratura Mantova, one of Italy’s most anticipated annual events, takes place from September 7 to September 11 in Mantua. The program assembles gatherings with authors, readings, guided tours, performances and concerts. Find out more here.

JLF New York takes place from September 12 to September 14. The exhilarating energy of the Jaipur Festival will be returning to New York this year as JLF New York will be celebrated in a perfect blend of the physical & the virtual. Find out more here.

From September 15 to 18, 2022, Babel will devote its 17th edition to the relationship between writing and the other arts. Babel Ekphrasis invites authors whose practice is strongly nourished by other artistic languages, and artists who work across multiple art forms. In addition to its main program, Babel will host a series of film screenings, a concert, a DJ set, two art exhibitions, a writing workshop in the adopted language, and four literary translation workshops. Guests include Jean Echenoz, Mario Martone, Jakuta Alikavazovic, Léonor de Récondo, Frédéric Pajak, Aaron Schuman, Fabienne Radi, Gwenn Rigal, Jérémie Gindre, Donatella Bernardi, Nicola Gardini, Giovanni Maderna, Johanna Schaible, Antonio Rovaldi. Find out more here.

The Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA), Canada’s largest and longest-running literary festival, invites audiences to enjoy stories, conversations and performances featuring artists from 30+ nations. Taking place September 22 to October 2 at Harbourfront Centre, by Lake Ontario on a newly designed indoor and outdoor campus, TIFA will have its largest festival to date with over 200 events and activities for all ages, many of them free. Find out more about the full programme lineup here.

FILBA International Literature Festival will take place from September 28 to October 2 in a hybrid format. International authors include Laurie Anderson, Jazmina Barrera, Julia Armfield, McKenzie Wark, Andrés Barba, Edmundo Paz Soldán, Clyo Mendoza and Tim Maughan. David Abram, Jane Lazarre and Andrea Wulf will participate virtually. Local authors include María Negroni, Dolores Reyes, Alicia Genovese, Beatriz Sarlo, Diana Bellesi, Vivi Tellas, Cynthia Rimsky, Lorena Vega, Diego Golombek, Gabriela Massuh, Iosi Havilio and many more. Filba participants can attend readings, roundtables, performances, workshops, open libraries, film projections and more. The topic for our 2022 edition is activism. We give words a center stage and call for people to imagine, collectively, that literature can change the world. Find out more here.

The international literature festival berlin (ilb) invites individuals, schools, universities, cultural institutions and media to participate in a »Worldwide Reading« of Salman Rushdie’s works – from »Midnight’s Children«, »The Satanic Verses«, »Joseph Anton« to his latest book »Languages of Truth« – on September 29, 2022. The reading is intended to send a signal for the freedom of literature and public speech as well as the solidarity with the author, who was the victim of a horrific assassination attempt.

 

Global Voices

We are excited to introduce four international voices that will be presenting their work at the international literature festival berlin (ilb) in September.

Irene Solà, born in 1990, is a Catalan poet and writer. For her polyphonic novel »When I Sing, Mountains Dance« she was honored with the 2020 European Union Prize for Literature, among other awards.

Jay Bernard, born in 1988, is a writer, artist and activist, and is the program director of the BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival. They write on topics such as history of racism and queer identities.

Elisa Shua Dusapin, born in 1992, won the 2021 National Book Award for Translated Literature for her debut »Winter in Sokcho«. The translation of her second novel »The Pachinko Parlour« is being published in 2022.

Reinhard Kaiser-Mühlecker, born in 1982, grew up in Eberstalzell, Upper Austria. Avoiding any contemporary literary trends, he returns again and again to the setting of Upper Austria and to the subject of a rural, often seemingly archaic way of life. He has received many awards for his literary work, including the Austrian State Prize. In the meantime, he continues to run his family’s agricultural business in Eberstalzell.

 

 

August 2022 I Newsletter

Dear Members of the Word Alliance,

We are pleased to announce some inspiring literary festivals that have put together a colorful program coming up in August. One of them has also shared hints on new writers: This month’s recommendations in our Global Voices section are three exciting writers from New Zealand’s literary scene.
In addition, we would like to let you know that Charlotte Rauth and Tabea Fröber have handed over the coordination of the Word Alliance to Katharina Gebhard. They would like to thank all of you for the pleasant cooperation over the last two years. It’s been a blast!

Best regards,

Ulrich Schreiber

Festival News

Edinburgh International Book Festival opens on 13 August and runs until 29 August. There are over 600 events in the 2022 programme, featuring some of the best writers from around the world, and 200 will also be livestreamed to watch online. A specially created Festival village in the heart of the city, with bookshops, cafes, bars, free daily event screenings, children’s play area and a range of theatres will soon welcome thousands of visitors. Go to www.edbookfest.co.uk to browse the programme and book tickets to attend in Edinburgh or watch the livestreams from home.

The Auckland Writers Festival is internationally renowned for gathering the very best local and international writers and thinkers in a week-long celebration of books and ideas. This year the festival will be held in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) from 23 August to 28 August, and promises another rich and electrifying mix of authors across fiction, non-fiction and poetry, as well as performances and theatre. This year’s line-up boasts over 200 writers and thinkers, including Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen, bestselling author turned television dynamo Liane Moriarty, and British philosopher A.C. Grayling, Golden Globe winning actor and novelist David Duchovny, short story master Lydia Davis, essayist and environmentalist Rebecca Solnit, and Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah. Oscar-winning director Jane Campion heads up a list of more than 180+ outstanding New Zealand writers including all of this year’s national book awards winners, Māori, Pasifika and Asia curatorial programme writers, and scientists, comedians, artists, and public intellectuals. Find out more here.

Further Literary Festivals

The Stockholm Writers Festival will take place from 12 August to 14 August 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden. Find out more here.

Lousiana Literature will take place from 18 August to 21 August 2022 at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. Find out more here.

Global Voices

We are happy to introduce three writers to watch out for recommended by the Auckland Writers Festival.

Tayi Tibble (Te Whanau ā Apanui/Ngāti Porou) is one of the freshest voices in poetry and quickly becoming one of New Zealand’s most-acclaimed lyricists. At just 26 years-old her work has taken top prize at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters (ILLM) and her debut collection 'Poukahangatus' won Best First Poetry Book at the 2019 Ockham NZ Book Awards. Including the book in his Guardian roundup of best new poetry, David Wheatley describes her work best with: “these wise poems know exactly where they are heading”. Her latest, 'Rangikura', is published by Knopf in the US, as was her debut, and was shortlisted for the 2022 Ockham NZ Book Awards.

2022 New Zealand top fiction prize winner Whiti Hereaka (Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Tūhourangi) is the author of work described as “poetic, intense, clever and sexy as hell” and “game-changing” – the latter in reaction to her unique talent for transforming linear storytelling. The novelist and playwright took New Zealand’s Acorn Prize at the Ockham NZ Book Awards with an erotic love story rooted in Māori mythology in Kurangaituku – an inspired reimagining of the legend of Hatupatu and the fearsome birdwoman Kurangaituku. She is also a playwright, screenwriter, barrister and solicitor.

Kirsten McDougall has been compared to both Ottessa Moshfegh and Gail Honeyman with her Ockham NZ Book Awards longlisted novel, 'She’s a Killer', the story of a brilliant and stubborn slacker who is drawn into radical action. It’s about what happens when we refuse to face our most demanding problems, told by a woman who is a strange and calculating force of chaos and has been described as brilliant, stylish, and dryly comical. A recipient of some of New Zealand’s most prestigious writers residencies, and the winner of the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Competition in 2021, she has penned two previous novels including awards longlisted 'Tess'.

 

July 2022 I Newsletter

Dear Members of the Word Alliance,

As the temperatures are rising, many festivals are on summer break and there is finally time to catch up on the reading that slipped through during the festival preparations – an opportunity to discover new inspiring authors for the next editions. We are thus happily sharing hints about two exciting international poets in the Global Voices section alongside with reviews from the last festivals. Please find all details about the dates, festivals and literary news below.

Best regards,

Ulrich Schreiber

Festival News

On 2 July 2022 you can attend an event of collaborative poetic performance at the European Poetry Festival. Four leading lights of the contemporary Catalan scene – known for its energy and innovation – present new works, made for the night, with British based counterparts. Alongside them new collaborations by pairs of poets from across Europe and the UK. A night to remember at the remarkable Iklectik Artlab. With new poetry and performance collaborations by Jansky and Benedict Taylor, Maria Callís Cabrera and Callie Michail, and Josep Pedrals and Mischa Foster Poole. Find out more here.

On 5 July 2022 the range and depth of the contemporary Dutch poetry scene will be on full display, as Asha Karami and Jaap Blonk visit London to present new collaborations at the European Poetry Festival. Supported by a host of European and British poets, this night will see a one of a kind sound poetry quartet including sonic legends Blonk and Phil Minton, as well as new duo collaborations, with made for the night literary works, and solo readings. Undoubtedly this will be an unforgettable celebration of what poetry can be in a live setting, celebrating the remarkable Netherlands literary scene of the 21st century. More information about the event can be found here.

Reviews

14th ITEF – Istanbul International Literature Festival took place between 6 and 10 June with the theme Literature of Love. After two years, ITEF was held in person instead of online and started with an amazing opening ceremony in Palazzo di Venezia with 700 persons' participation. Within the scope of the festival with 27 events; writers met with literature lovers in Istanbul. The authors we hosted at the festival this year are Dag Solstad and Per Petterson from Norway, Sun-mi Hwang from South Korea, Luigi Ballerini from Italy, Aminder Dhaliwal from Canada, Marko Dinić from Austria, Ag Apolloni, Adrian Zalla and Imer Topanica from Albania and Defne Suman, Derviş Zaim, Fatma Nur Kaptanoğlu, Firdevs Ev, Kalben and Selim Bektaş from Turkey. We are happy to announce that ITEF 2023 will be held between 5 and 9 June, under the theme of Earth Literature which includes ecology, environment and nature, and points to environment issues.

The 2022 Guernsey Literary Festival, which ended on 26 June, had no fewer than 8000 attendees, 5000 at ticketed events and 3000 in schools as part of the Festival’s extensive education programme. We lost the 2020 event at the last minute because of covid and last year we had to hold a smaller virtual festival and it’s so wonderful to get back to a full live festival with a host of visiting speakers. We have people who come to the island specifically at Festival time, and our visiting writers carry away with them the knowledge that the island is a beautiful place and local audiences are great. Guernsey audiences were able to listen to talks by many visiting speakers, including Jack Dee, scientist Richard Dawkins, top UK judge Dame Lady Hale, as well as novelist Anthony Horowitz and crime writer Kate Rhodes, poets Simon Armitage and  Michael Symmons Roberts, travel and mental health writer Horatio Clare, memoir author Cathy Rentzenbrink, founder of Virgin Unite Jean Oelwang, top sci-fi writer Adrian Tchaikovsky, forensic pathologist Dr Richard Shepherd, natural history writers Dara McAnulty and Dave Goulson, and journalist/writer Jonathan Freedland.

Global Voices

We are happy to introduce two inspiring voices recommended by the European Poetry Festival in the UK.

Agnese Graudina is a Latvian poet and visual artist based in London. Agnese has been writing her poetry and prose since she was 11 years old, finding inspiration in nature and spirituality. Her poems and prose have been published in newspapers and magazines in Latvia as well as in the poetry anthology ‘Ritums’ (Rhythm) in 2013. In 2020, Latvian online literature platform Punctum Magazine published Agnese’s Lockdown Diary. In January 2022 her poems were included in the digital anthology ‘Theatre of Orgies and Mysteries’ published in response to Austrian avant garde artist Hermann Nitsch’s work exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design in Riga, Latvia. In April and June 2022 Agnese organized and performed at the poetry night raising funds for the children’s hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Hanna Komar is an award-winning poet, translator and activist from Belarus, a member of PEN Belarus and the Belarusian Writers Union, and an honourary member of English PEN. She has published three poetry collections, 'Страх вышыні' (Fear of Heights) in Belarusian, the bilingual collection 'Recycled' and the collection of docu poetry 'Мы вернемся' (We’ll Return). Her work has been translated into Polish, Ukranian, Russian, Swedish, Norwegian, German, Chezc and English. Hanna’s poetic work lays bare the experience of being a girl, then a young woman, growing up in a strongly patriarchal country. From 2020 to 2022, Hanna has been participating in the Belarusian protest and has been writing about it extensively, her texts having become strongly political but remaining emotional and honest. She received the Freedom of Speech 2020 Prize from the Norwegian Authors’ Union (together with Dmitry Strotsev).

 

June 2022 I Newsletter

Dear Members of the Word Alliance,

I am delighted to share information of seven festivals, that have put together a colorful literary program to celebrate books, reading and culture, present new perspectives and move our minds. In addition to a short insight into their programs, we are glad to share 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,

Ulrich Schreiber

Festival News

From 27 May to 5 June 2022, you can catch up on the events you missed at this year’s Cambridge Literary Festival. Among the recordings are an evening with the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature Abdulrazak Gurnah, Lola Olufemis reading of her book Experiments in Imagining Otherwise and a conversation between Douglas Stuart and Alex Clark. Find out more here.

On 2 June 2022, Samantha Rosenthal discusses Living Queer History: Remembrance and Belonging in a Southern City and the LGBTQ community in Roanoke, Virginia, that the book documents and celebrates. As part of the Virginia Festival of the Book’s Shelf Life virtual series, this virtual event is free to attend and open to the public. More Information can be found here.

On 2 June 2022, you can join PEN America Austin Chapter and The Library Foundation for a free speech-centered discussion. Moderated by Jennifer M. Wilks and featuring contributors to The 1619 Project, acclaimed author ZZ Packer and award-winning poet Danez Smith, this conversation will reflect on the recent book bans and the power of literature to spur important cultural conversations. On 7 June PEN America invites gor an intimate dinner with author, journalist and foreign correspondent, James Kirchick, who will be discussing his new book, Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington. Find out more about the events here.

ITEF 2022 - Istanbul International Literature Festival, Literature of Love.., based on the aspect of literature which describes the love one feels for people, society, nature, plants, animals or the country; all kinds of love, in short, will be held between 6 - 10 June 2022 with the theme of "Literature of Love". After two years of meeting on the screens, ITEF is back on the streets to the streets. Among the guests are Dag Solstadt, Aminder Dhaliwal, Marko Dinic and Ag Apolloni. Find out more here.

On 9 June 2022, you can meet Anne Weber at Passa Porta and listen to her talk about her surprising Epic Annette: 'A Heroine’s Tale'. In writing this book, she performed a small miracle with big consequences. She told the true story of a real-life resistance heroine in a centuries-old verse form while creating a masterpiece that won her the German Book Prize. Information about the event can be found here.

From 15 June - 9 July 2022, one of the grandest celebrations of European poetry ever to take place in the UK. With 15 events over 3 weeks and 150 poets visiting from across the continent, European Poetry Festival 2022 will be a free-to-attend celebration of literary liveness and cross-linguistic collective inventiveness. Events will feature made-for-festival collaborative and commissioned performances from some of Europe’s most exciting experimental and contemporary poets just like Lucija Stupica, Rushika Wick, Aasne Linnestå, Silje Ree and Milan Šelj. Find out more here.

Until 26 June Guernsey Literary Festival is celebrating great writing: Join brilliant young naturalist Dara McAnulty and experience the joy of connecting with the natural world, visit an exhibition of 14 new original illustrative works by artist Charlie Buchanan or enjoy an evening for all lovers of poetry showcasing a wide range of work by both local and visiting writers selected by Michael Symmons Roberts. More information about the programme can be found here.

Reviews

On 9 May 2022, Europe Day, the international literature festival berlin [ilb] initiated a Worldwide Screening of "Maidan" and "Donbass" by Sergei Loznitsa to commemorate the Ukrainian struggle for democracy and freedom in 2013 and 2014 and point out that war has long since become an everyday occurrence in eastern Ukraine. With our action we want to underline our sympathy and solidarity with the people living in Ukraine – as well as the sharp protest against Putin's dictatorship. The screenings took place at various locations in Berlin as well as in Freiburg, Gera, Greifswald, Hamburg, Kirchheim unter Teck, Lübeck and Warsaw. We thank all the organizers, who responded to the call!

Global Voices

In this newsletter, we’d like to introduce inspiring Voices, recommended by ITEF.

Sabâ Altınsay was born in 1961 in Çanakkale. She received her B.A. in Communications and Marketing from the Faculty of Politicacl Sciences, Ankara University. Her first novel, Kritimu, My Crete was published in 2004. Kritimu was later on translated and published in Greece, Bulgaria, Syria, Serbian as well. Altınsay’s second novel, I’ve Done Nothing Wrong, was published in 2011 and received Saint Joseph Highschool’s Best Novel of the Year award. A Certain Assailant is Sabâ Altınsay’s third novel.

Hakan Günday was born on the island of Rhodes in 1976. He finished his primary education in Brussels. After attending Ankara Tevfik Fikret High School, he studied at the Department of French Translation in the Faculty of Literature of Hacettepe University. He then transferred to Université Libre de Bruxelles. Günday continued his study in the Faculty of Political Sciences at Ankara University. He published his first novel Kinyas ve Kayra in 2000. Currently, Günday continues to work in Istanbul. Hakan Günday is the member of 2016 PEN International Writers Circle. After eight years, his new novel Zamir has met his readers.

 

May 2022 I Newsletter

 

Dear Members of the Word Alliance,

I am pleased to share with you news about ten upcoming festivals and promising hints on three young authors. If you too have learnings, highlights or insights you'd like to share with the network, just send us a message.

Please find all details about the dates and festivals below.

Best regards from Berlin,

Ulrich Schreiber

Festival News

»Sounding Archives – Poetry between Experiment and Document« is the theme of Poetica 7, the festival for world literature organized by the University of Cologne in cooperation with the German Academy for Language and Literature from 2 – 7 May, 2022. The curator is the poet and translator Uljana Wolf, who has invited ten international authors to public readings, performances and discussions at various venues in Cologne. Poets have always interrogated history, have always researched sources. Yet we find a stronger experimental and documentary poetics pushing its way into verse. Poetica 7 would like to ask: How does contemporary poetry extend the archive? Conversely, when poems themselves are tonal archives, how do they extend our insight into what is witnessing, what is deciphering, what it means to understand reality? Is sound itself a chamber of memory, can it save what the archive forgets?

After a two-years-break, Ullapool Book Festival is back and takes place from 6 – 8 May, 2022, in person in Ullapool Village Hall. Celebrating literature and its potential, to becoming somebody else entirely through writing and reading, the program offers readings, talks and discussions with amongst others Leila Aboulela, Mark Billingham, David Pratt, Graeme Macrae Burnet and Rhoda Meek. Find out more here.

From 7 – 8 May, 2022, Bay Area Book Festival takes place again in person in Downtown Berkeley! (With live streams too for those who want it.) Indoor author programs will fill multiple Downtown Berkeley venues. The Outdoor Fair, with at least one large adult program stage, a robust children’s area, and a couple hundred exhibitors and food vendors, will take over Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park.

From 11 – 14 May, 2022, the PEN World Voices Literary Festival takes place live and in person in New York City and Los Angeles with more than 80 writers from 25 countries who will be featured in 30 cross-cultural exchanges and events - from lively debates that delve into the most pressing issues of our time, to intimate conversations that awaken us to the quiet beauty and power of literature. An engaging program of talks, panels, conversations, and performances draws a vibrant and diverse crowd of socially engaged and intellectually curious New Yorkers and LA audiences, who are eager to be challenged, inspired, and entertained.

From 11 May – 26 June, 2022, Guernsey Literary Festival presents local and international writers and their books for young and old in the beautiful island of Guernsey. Poetry-, novel- and SciFi-lovers can explore questions of fact and fiction of the past, present and future together with writers such as Nadifa Mohamed, Frances Stonor Saunders, Richard Dawkins, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Kate Rhodes, Hannah Gold, Tish Delaney and Simon Armitage.

The 10th Jerusalem International Writers Festival at Mishkenot Sha'ananim will take place from 15 – 19 May, 2022. This year it is our great honor to host two Nobel Prize laureates, Olga Tokarczuk (Poland) and Peter Handke (Austria), who received the prize in 2018 and 2019, respectively. This is the first time in the history of the Jerusalem International Writers Festival that we are hosting Nobel laureates. In addition to fascinating in-person encounters, we will offer exciting digital events, including a conversation between historian Yuval Noah Harari and Australian philosopher Peter Singer, a discussion with Jonathan Franzen, and an event that features British author Julian Barnes. In line with our desire to expand our understanding of contemporary literature, you will also find at this year’s Writers Festival a significant presence of the graphic novel. In this framework, we will host Rutu Modan, one of the most popular and beloved comics creators.

From 19 – 29 May, 2022, International Literature Festival Dublin offers a broad hybrid, online and in-person program ranging from readings, conversations, debates, screenings, guided walks, events, podcasts to broadcasts, featuring both Irish and international fiction and non-fiction authors, poets, lyricists, playwrights and screenwriters. Festival strands include StoryMachine, a curated series for families and children; fringe program Boundless; and Advance professional development events. Among this year’s guests will be Lana Bastašić and Priscilla Morris, Bernadine Evaristo, Joseph Coelho, Sarah Crossan, Scholastique Mukasonga and Nobel Literature Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah. 

The annual PEN America Literary Gala, taking place on 23 May, 2022, is a highlight of the New York literary and social calendars, with hundreds of guests and an exceptional group of leading writers who sit among them as Literary Hosts. Every year, it is an inspiring, exhilarating, moving event; the proceeds from this dinner are crucial to PEN America’s dynamic cultural programming and critical advocacy work on behalf of free expression. More Information can be found here.

Returning for its first in-person spring event since 2019, Hay Festival is bringing readers and writers together in sustainable events to inspire, examine and entertain from 26 May – 5 June, 2022. There will be in-person appearances from renowned writers such as Svetlana Alexievich, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Stephen Fry, Nicola Sturgeon, Minnie Driver, Monica Ali, Damian Lewis, Jimmy Page, Damon Galgut, Ben Okri and Bernardine Evaristo, and many more.

Nobel Laureates, international star writers, freedom of expression, and concerts highlight this year’s edition of the Norwegian Festival of Literature, which takes place from 30 May – 5 June, 2022. Among the guests are Nobel Literature Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah, and the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, the British writers Ali Smith, Douglas Stuart and Natasha Brown, Nordic stars such as Niviaq Korneliussen, UKON and Jan Guillou, as well as Norwegian audience favourites such as Linn Ullmann, Simon Stranger, Anne Holt and Carl Frode Tiller.

 

Global Voices

We are happy to introduce three Voices recommended by Jerusalem International Writers Festival at Mishkenot Sha'ananim.

In her first prose book, 'Volunteer' (2021), author and illustrator Netalie Gvirtz embarks on a journey full of confrontations that follows Mira, the protagonist of the story, who is sent by her mother to carry out an unconventional mission on the kibbutz where the mother volunteered in her youth.

'Screenshot' (2021), writer, actor, and playwright Jason Danino-Holt’s debut book, paints a portrait of a crumbling soul and insatiable lust, and deals, among other things, with casual sex between men and sexual exploitation from an early age that leads to toxic relationships and addictions. 

'Hummingbirds' (2020), author Amir Naaman’s debut novel, is a pornographic horror story that explores the deceptive boundaries of identity. At its center is a mystery that takes place on the borders between fantastic Israel and nightmarish Berlin, dark clubs and sleazy websites, sex shows, and mythical friendship.

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.

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.