“The two main types of rivet are tubular and blind and each type are available in a multitude of varieties.”
“A rivet is a fastener that holds something closed or down, and something riveting keeps you glued to your seat and grabs your attention.”
“completely engrossing; compelling.”
“The performance was riveting.” (Sources: various dictionaries!)
With two terrible anniversaries (one year of war in Ukraine and three years since Brexit) – as well as all the strikes, price hikes, corruption, energy and climate crises – it is hard to be positive. But I am. This is partly genetic (thank Mum!), partly determination and partly because, in amongst the rubble and anger, there are some extraordinary individuals and communities providing support and inspiration and creating remarkable literature, art, films, theatre, TV, music, events, festivals – the arts are flourishing against the odds and I’m so grateful. I’m especially grateful to my tiny team at the European Literature Network, to West, Anna, Katie, Sheridan and Alice, all riveting away to bring you our regular blogs, reviews and magazines. And being blessed (or cursed) with the nickname Rosie The Riveter, then rivet I must too.
Everything is brighter and more beautiful when you are delivered artwork like the two covers you see of our new magazines, The Austrian and Spanish Riveters, from the studios of such gifted illustrators Lo Cole (Austrian) and Ana Galvañ (Spanish). The contents are exceedingly excellent too – interviews, extracts, reviews and essays from leading writers and translators – and we cannot wait to deliver our latest creations to you at London Book Fair and the British Library in April. Check out their websites soon for details of the authors and translators participating in our various launch events – and definitely keep the evenings of 18th April (Austrian Riveter) and 25th April (Spanish Riveter) to join us at the British Library in London. Tickets and website links coming soon. These are the 11th and 12th editions of The Riveter magazines of European literature in English – and thanks to our sponsors they are still free, fabulous and, ofcourse, riveting!
We are putting the finishing touches to the first ever European Writers’ Festival at the British Library, initiated and funded by the joint European Union National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC) in the UK, which I’ve been asked to curate and host, and which will take place the weekend of 20th and 21st May. If you were a fan of the glorious annual European Literature Nights at the British Library (which I chaired for nearly ten years) then this will be even bigger and even better. So far 25 exceptional authors from all over Europe have been invited to participate in panels and performances. If you’ve missed the community and festival spirit of fellow European creatives then you’ll want to be there. Tickets on sale soon via the British Library website.
Before then, today and everyday, you can visit our website www.eurolitnetwork.com, where you will find all previous Riveter magazines and #RivetingReviews – we’ve just published our latest brilliant batch of reviews; where you can watch or listen to our podcasts and read our excellent blogs, such as LA ESPAÑOLA: Riveting Writing from Spain with Alice Banks, THE ITALIANIST: Riveting Italian Books You Need to Know About by Alex Valente, and, POETRY TRAVELS created monthly by Anna Blasiak and Lisa Kalloo. If you have any queries or suggestions please contact us at the usual ELNet address: email@example.com.
I’d also like to alert you to the list of worthy winners of PEN Translates 2023 and to the open call for participants to sign up to this year’s Bristol Translates and the British Centre for Literary Translation Summer School. You can attend the annual Society of Authors’ Translation Prizes on 8th February. (Details on their individual websites.) And watch out, watch out, there are some wonderful authors about too: Sarajevo-born Aleksandar Hemon is in the UK to launch his new novel, as is Sweden’s Arne Dahl and Switzerland’s Max Lobe – all personal favourites. And don’t miss my own event with author Sarah Watling when we discuss women and The Spanish Civil War at Hatchards Piccadilly, 9th February. The fabulous festival Night of Ideas at the Institut Français in London is on 9th February too, so quite frankly, there are many reasons to be cheerful. Finally – and this will lift your spirits – happy anniversary to one of our favourite Europeans in the UK, to Axel Scheffler, who together with Julia Donaldson is celebrating 30 years of collaboration. Not only is Axel German (hooray!), gifted and generous, he is a Riveter (all the best people are), illustrating the cover of The German Riveter in 2019. It’s extraordinary individuals like Axel who help keep our creative community of Europeans going.
Love, Rosie the Riveter
Photo: Cover reveal for The Austrian and Spanish Riveters