I’ve started dreaming about fresh pasta, with truffle shavings and parmesan, eaten in a sunlit square in Italy. That’s what happens when you haven’t been able to visit the country you love for nearly two years, and when, coincidentally, you are engaged in creating a magazine of Italian literature and translation. Working on The Italian Riveter magazine over the past year has been both joy and agony, fuelling my appetite for greater proximity to Italy but also painful longing. Soon the wait will be over: The Italian Riveter will be published and launched in person the first week in April, the week of London Book Fair (5th-7th April), Covid-permitting, and following that, a private trip to Italy. Both are worth waiting for. This magazine will be our biggest yet, our 10thedition, featuring some outstanding contributors, and made possible thanks to the generous funding of the Italian Cultural Institutes of London, Dublin and Edinburgh, and thanks to the grit, creativity and dedication of my European Literature Network team: Grazie con tutto il mio cuore to West Camel, Anna Blasiak, Alice Banks and Rosie Eyre. This will – incredibly – be our third ‘pandemic magazine’ of European literature.
While I’m engaged in Italy-related gratitude: grazie mille to Katherine Gregor, our resident Italianist-columnist for two years, who has done so much to enhance our knowledge of Italian literature, and who is handing over the baton to fellow translator, Alex Valente. Benvenuto Alex! You will be able to read a special guest contribution from Katherine in The Italian Riveter.
La Española, our monthly column flagging up Spanish book news, penned by Alice Banks, is also highly prescient because our next magazine will be (ta-da!) The Spanish Riveter! We hope to publish it to coincide with October’s Frankfurt Book Fair when Spain is Guest Country. However, everything is dependent on funding. So, if you are, or know, a potential sponsor please get in touch asap. Much as we love you (and Europe) we do need to pay the bills and eat (a bowl of fresh pasta for me please!).
Our monthly #RivetingReviews continue on our website. If you are interested in reviewing for February and March (no reviews in April or May as they are dedicated to Italian Riveter material) then please use the dedicated email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is usually the middle Monday of each month, for publication the Friday of that week, although this February the dates are 21st and 25th. Also, make a date with our monthly Poetry Travels column from creative duo Anna Blasiak and Lisa Kalloo. As you peruse the website, you may notice that it is gradually undergoing a revamp, triggered (I’m proud to say) by the fact that it is spilling over with content. But, that’s another chance for me to remind you that we are a networking hub for your content, so please keep sending us your news, calendar dates and press releases. This month I’m particularly excited about Literature Live Round The World (05.02); The Translation Prizes (10.02); the announcements that both the New Dutch Writing campaign and Norway’s Future Library project are continuing, and of today’s stunning longlist for the Dublin Literary Prize. Similarly, I am again bowled over by the valuable work of English PEN. Reading their latest newsletter was a powerful reminder of what is important. Don’t forget the deadlines for the Summer Translation Schools, eg. Bristol Translates is 28th Feb and BCLT is 19th April.
Finally, if you haven’t yet listened to our ground-breaking podcast series of #RivetingInterviews with European writers for EuropeReadr.eu and EUNIC on Spotify, then please do. Don’t let the Joe Rogans of the podcast world sully the name of good broadcasting – twenty years presenting at the BBC hopefully mean that my podcasts on Spotify will be entertaining, informative and balanced – although I do confess to a bias towards European writers. And Italy. And fresh pasta.
Buon appetito e cordiali saluti a tutti!
Photo by Michele Ursino