We have Riveting News! This week we are launching our 6th Riveter magazine: June 6th at a special riveting (ofcourse) event at Brixton Library, as part of Lambeth Writers’ Festival. Do come! Book here. Thank you to Lisa Kalloo and Anna Blasiak for the beautiful magazine cover and page designs and to our dear and dedicated editor West Camel. We are proud of The Queer Riveter and grateful to Arts Council England for supporting us. It features LGBT+ writers from across Europe, including the UK’s Paul Burston, Icelandic crime writer Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Polish poet and author, Jacek Dehnel – all participating in person at our event on Thursday.
On Wednesday June 12th the European Literature Network is also hosting another major event to which you are all invited, dedicated to the 90th birthday of Lithuania’s foremost Jewish writer, Grigory Kanovich, to launch his latest novel in English Devilspel. Max Easterman – himself of Lithuanian Jewish origin – has reviewed both of Kanovich’s novels for us and will be moderating this event, featuring the fabulous Kristina Sabaliauskaite, amongst others. We pride ourselves that we are helping to promote this major European writer in the UK. Book here.
And yet more Riveting News: we can now confirm that our next Riveter will be German, to be published in November to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Goethe-Institut London has agreed to part-fund The German Riveter, which will coincidentally mark a personal milestone – my 30 years as a journalist. I began working at the BBC in the autumn of 1989. West Camel and I will be commissioning German-linked reviews and features soon and one thing I’d like to do is enlist some of my BBC colleagues from damals to write about heute. Feel free to send us your ideas as well. (We still need a couple more thousand £££’s to make this a ‘comfortable commission’ and to pay ourselves but the magazine will happen and I am delighted.)
When I joined the BBC in September 1989 my first trip was to Sarajevo. I’ve just been back there as Chair of the Judges to represent The EBRD Literature Prize. It was an upbeat, positive few days – also visiting Mostar and interviewing the author Faruk Šehić – but the truth is that, however beautiful the cities and surrounding countryside are, Bosnia will be in a state of recovery for a long time to come: it is impossible to forget the11,500 people killed in the siege of Sarajevo. It’s impossible to ignore the mortar holes in the city walls. You’ll be able to view/hear my Riveting Interview with Faruk Šehić this week, and you can meet him at our European Literature Network meeting on Wednesday 5th June at 1800 at Europe House, where Faruk’s publisher Susan Curtis of Istros Books will also explain how she crowd-funded his outstanding novel Under Pressure. Read my review of it in May’s Riveting Reviews and see my photos of my trip to Sarajevo and Mostar here. If you’d like to attend our ELNEt meeting on Weds please RSVP Anna now: firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to the publication of The Queer Riveter, our next monthly Riveting Reviews will be mid-July (submissions by 15 July for publication on 19 July) and we’ll be taking a break in August. But don’t despair: as always we will roll out each item from the magazine as an individual post to give them some well-deserved, additional online mileage. And on the subject of holidays: after attending the Leukerbad literature Festival in Switzerland with Pro Helvetia at the end of this month, I will be away for 2 weeks in July, returning to participate in our first Pro Helvetia-funded Swiss Italian translation workshop at the BCLT in Norwich, from 21st July. Anna and West will, however, be around most of the summer if you need them. (No, I’m not a tyrant but they don’t like going away when everyone else does – very wise.)
More Riveting News in Brief: check out the impressive list of this years’ winners of the EUPL Literature Prize; Harvill Secker has launched its latest Young Translator Prize, from French; Elif Shafak has written a new novel, 10 minutes, 38 seconds, and I’ll be interviewing her at the Victoria and Albert Museum on 21st June – do not miss; John Greening has penned a major essay for ELNet on Being a European Poet Today, and, the Hay Festival(where I have just spent a very happy working week) is launching a new European festival in 2020, in Rijeka, Croatia (a place I love – this is exciting news for all of us) – read all about it here. Finally, later this month, Literally Swiss UK and Pro Helvetia Zurich (with Nikki Mander and Eva Stensrud overseeing the fondue, chocolate and high-level meetings) will be escorting the first ever UK publishers’ trip to Switzerland. Another Riveting Milestone.
Enjoy your summer!
Love, Rosie the Riveter