It’s THAT date, and we’ve reclaimed it: Happy 29thMarch everyone! There’s hope. Which is why I’m writing my April newsletter today – to celebrate. Carry on Britain in Europe. Carry on supporting the European Literature Network. Happy 10thanniversary to us! (Do read my article about ELNet in April’s The Linguist magazine). And if you want a real lift, as well as a whole gallery devoted to sunflowers, visit the Van Gogh in Britain exhibition at Tate Britain. It’s a revelation. A reminder of some of the great foreigners who lived – and live – amongst us. Vincent read a lot of books and spoke 4 languages. Top man.
While we are still in March, may I just take a deep breath, recap and say: what a month! London Book Fair was outstanding – so many author and translation events; so much excitement round international literature. Anna, Nikki and I set up shop at the Swiss Stand and were inundated with positive ideas and people – we hope not just because we offered Swiss chocolate.
Hamid, Donald and John will also be appearing with me at the Hay Festival in Wales in May. Interviews with riveting foreign authors in English.video and audiolaunched today, Riveting Interviews is my conversation partner in our new Hamid Ismailov . The Devils’ Dance by Hamid Ismailov, translated from Uzbek by Donald Rayfield (with John Farndon)and their translators. And what a winner: Nora Ikstena, Olga Tokarczuk, Hamid Ismailov was also announced in March – only our second year but what a Shortlist: The EBRD Literature Prize
The second Riveting Interview we are launching today is with the Romanian author Ioana Parvelescu, supported by the Romanian Culture Institute in London (audio and video). The idea behind these podcasts is to provide short, engaging conversations, presented by me, professionally filmed and recorded by London Video Stories, available free via all platforms via our website. Did you watch our very first Riveting Interview with Swiss-German poet and performer Nora Gomringer (audio and video)?
Still on riveting matters: a reminder from our reviews editor, West Camel, that the deadline for this month’s Riveting Reviews is April 15th, for publication on April 18th. In May the deadline is 13th May for publication on 17th May. On June 6th – at a special event at Lambeth Readers and Writers Festival – we will launch our next riveting magazine, The Queer Riveter, featuring European LGBT writers, with guest editor the great Paul Burston. Later in the year, to coincide with the 30thanniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we will publish The German Riveter. I am very excited about this as 1989 was the year I started work as a BBC journalist, as German is my second language and German literature my first love – added to which I have just returned from an inspirational, intense week in Germany as guest of the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin and Leipzig Book Fair, where I hoovered up ideas, books and people. Do contact us firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be involved in the German Riveter – and if you can help us fund it, even better. I’m not sure if you are aware that Anna, West, Max and I carry out most of our work at European Literature Network for free. The £15,000 annual grant from Arts Council England covers some of our magazine costs, media, website work and events but we need much more. Lack of money means that we cannot, this year as planned, create a Romanian Riveter but we will: I’m determined.
Also in March, our Anna Blasiak was a panellist at our favourite Caravanserail Bookshop, alongside other Polish-born writers and translators, in an event called Polish Wretched Strangers: Five Poets In-Between. Sadly this was the last event ELNet will be involved in at Caravanserail because the bookshop closes in April. Thank you to Laura and Anne for their support of literature and translation: we will miss you.
More positively, looking ahead: April is the deadline for signing up for the BCLT Summer School. We are supporting the Italian sessions thanks to Pro Helvetia. Also thanks to Pro Helvetia, there are 6 Swiss poets performing at the European Poetry Festival, curated by Steven Fowler. The big Swiss Night is on Monday 8th April.
NB. In future please only contact us via email: if you have our personal emails use those ofcourse but otherwise via email@example.com. I am sorry but we cannot deal with pitches, blogs, reviews and links sent via WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook. We have the passion and determination to support you and European Literature in the UK, but we with so little time and money we need to consolidate.
Love Always, Hope, Sunflowers and Happy Easter,
Rosie the Riveter