Welcome to October and welcome to Ted Hodgkinson, Samantha Schnee and Gabriel Gbadamosi, my judging panel for the 2019 EBRD Literature Prize. Exciting reading ahead. This is a reminder to all UK publishers that the deadline for submissions is November 1st and it’s free to submit. Everything you need to know is here: https://www.ebrd.com/cs/Satellite?c=Content&cid=1395275002942&d=Mobile&pagename=EBRD%2FConten
I’m currently in Romania, talking, listening and gathering ideas for our Spring 2019 focus on Romanian literature in English. We plan to publish a Romanian Riveter and hold events with writers and translators of Romanian poetry, novels and short stories in the UK. So little is known of contemporary Romanian literature and I have a vested interest in rectifying this.
Over the past week I’ve been in the sublimely multicultural, multilingual city of Timisoara – the trigger city for the 1989 revolution – at the ‘Litvest Literature Festival’, organized by poet and festival director Tudor Cretu, who staged mass public poetry readings in trams, on motorbikes, dressed in traditional costume and at a rock concert. Then, here in Bucharest, I’ve spent valuable time with Mihaela Ghita at the HQ of the Romanian Cultural Institute learning about the different regions of the country and their literary engagement. What a whirlwind of a weekend. The weather was beautiful, we compiled ground-breaking lists of writers and translators, visited the outstandingly beautiful and enterprising Cartarestu bookshop, the National Art Museum, Ceausescu’s monstrous-grandiose People’s Palace and key scenes of the 1989 revolution. Romania is significant for me personally and professionally: I first visited in January 1990 as a BBC journalist, a few days after Ceausescu’s executionm, then again during the dangerous stand-off between miners and government, and several times since. This is a damaged, fragile country but its indomitable spirit and defiant creativity are joys to behold. Since 1989, back in Blighty, thanks to my Romanian friends, I have been able to maintain my cultural and literary ties with Romania. Reading Romanian literature in translation since 1989 has had a profound impact on m
This October I’ll see you at festivals from Cheltenham to Hay, Birmingham, North Cornwall, London, Manchester, Ilkley, Jersey, Isle of Wight and Durham. There’s also FILL, the Italian literature and ideas weekend events in London, end of this month, https://www.the-print-room.org/theatre/literature/fill-festival-italian-literature-london-2018/ Lots more events on our calandar – and more, should you wish to submit YOUR events!
Hope you enjoyed our Grande Rentree French Riveting Reviews special in September. The deadline for our October monthly online Riveting Reviews is 19th October, with the wonderful West Camel editing and officiating: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll also hopefully see you this week in London or Manchester at the first ever UK events for Swiss wunderkind Arno Camenisch – either at the European Bookshop in London (www.europeanbokshop.com/events.php/) or the Manchester Festival (www.manchesterliteraturefestival.co.uk/events/arno-camenisch-nicolai-houm-38461/). The Swiss Riveter will be ouor next magazine print edition in December, launched at our big Swiss day on Wednesday December 5th – an afternoon translation workshop and an evening Swiss Literature cabaret – at the British Library. You can book for both now: https://www.bl.uk/events/come-to-the-cabaret-poetry-and-prose-from-switzerland
How about sharing your news and views in short blogs – or links – on our website? We need your input.
How was (is?!) your Frankfurt Book Fair? Give Georgia our love!
How was International Translation Day? We’d like to know.
And looking ahead: see you on November 1st at the Drawing for Europe event with Axel Scheffler, amongst many others https://www.panmacmillan.com/books/drawing-europe-together/9781529010879. In November I’m also looking forward to seeing John Rullestad at the SILK International Literature Festival in Norway and Walter Grond for our annual ELIT gathering in Austria and our Pro Helvetia friends Angelika Salvisberg in Switzerland for Buch Basel. And please don’t forget December 3rd for both a SWISS networking meeting in the afternoon and EUROPEAN meeting in the evening for our next European Literature Network meeting, at Europe House in London.