“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favourite day,” said Pooh.
There are lots of ‘favourite days’ coming up this autumn and many #ReasonsToBeCheerful – my favourite hashtag. It helps, ofcourse, just having spent a few weeks on a mountaintop in the hot Italian sunshine. As well as the obligatory eating and drinking (so tedious!), I consumed large numbers of delicious novels – including a batch of snow-and-weather-obsessed Icelandic novels, which was rather discombobulating in the Italian heat. The reading was in preparation for my week chairing events at the Reykjavik International Literary Festival which is where I will be when you read this. Followed by some time in Riga to bone up on the book industry in Latvia. Latvia is one of the three Baltic Market Focus countries at London Book Fair in April 2018. I am delighted to be on the LBF/British Council Steering Committee for that. For the sake of political and literary balance (my BBC values are still intact!), I will also be visiting Lithuania and Estonia. And before you get excited/angry – or even impressed? – by my ‘Europe-hopping’, I must reassure you that these trips are ‘by invitation’ and ‘pro bono’. Although I must say that ‘travel’ and ‘Europe’ are two of my top personal #ReasonsToBeCheerful. The benefits of these trips, though, are shared with everyone: the European Literature Network is producing a Nordic and Baltic Riveter print magazine (all available for free), and we are collaborating in several (free!) related events. 18th October sees not only the publication of The Nordic Riveter (Guest Editor, Gunnar Staalesen, Editor West Camel firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries), but also the (free!) Northern Noir symposium at Europe House. On 18th October, ELNet is responsible for the Swedish component at the symposium, including hosting the great Swedish author Hakan Nesser.
October also sees International Translation Day, Frankfurt Book Fair, London Literature Festival (also with a Nordic focus); Birmingham, Manchester and Cheltenham Festivals…and most important of all onOctober 9th our next European Literature Network meeting takes place at Europe House (please register with Anna at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). My ideal would be to have as many regional members attend as possible to share news and views human face to human face.
First, however, let’s celebrate September, which includes several favourite days: we publish our regular monthly #RivetingReviews on September 15th. Do read ‘the riveting rules’.
And this September day is a very favourite day: trumpets! champagne! chocolate! new shoes? I am incredibly proud to announce the inauguration of a major new international literature and translation prize. It is called The EBRD Literature Prize and I have been appointed chair of the jury for three years. The EBRD is committed to this for the long haul and I am honoured to help shape The Prize and ensure its future. Read all about it here and get your submissions in by October 31st (not to me but to the EBRD!).
Also today – what a day! – the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia, has appointed me their official UK Literary Consultant. So, if you’d been worrying, I won’t starve, not least because I adore Swiss chocolate and because German, French and Italian are ‘my languages’. Therefore, expect more Swiss authors and more Swiss chocolate in the UK. You may know that I already help edit and translate Pro Helvetia’s annual magazine ‘12 Swiss Books’ and if you are a Frank Wynne fan you won’t want to miss this one! We are in the process of completing the magazine for the French Focus at Frankfurt Book Fair and there’ll be lots of delicious Swiss magazines and literary website links in October.
Please don’t forget our Russian Riveter magazine – free to upload here. All our Russian reviews are also featured to the left of this newsletter, in the sidebar. Soon we’ll be able to post the photos and film of August’s Riveting Russian Translation and Literature events at the British Library, which was a very favourite day.
However, as Pooh and Piglet know too well, life consists of both happy days and sad days: we are sad to say ‘au revoir’ to Emma Langley, our incomparably indefatigable and gifted International Literature Officer at Arts Council England, who is leaving this month. Dear Emma, this quote is for you:
Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.
And finally, the unbearably sad news of the death of a friend and colleague, a great man, German and European, Professor Martin Roth, the former Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Thanks, once again, to Winnie-The-Pooh for these wise words:
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
Love, Rosie The Riveter