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European Literature Night 2015 - Celebrating Literature from Across the Continent

European Literature Night (ELN) returns to London - this time for a month-long celebration of the best European literature in translation. Now in its 7th year, ELN will take you on an exciting literary tour of Europe with great readings, translation pitches and debates. You can hear poetry and spoken word, fiction and short stories, from some superlative writers and translators, both emerging and established.

European Literature Night (ELN) returns to London - this time for a month-long celebration of the best European literature in translation. Now in its 7th year, ELN will take you on an exciting literary tour of Europe with great readings, translation pitches and debates. You can hear poetry and spoken word, fiction and short stories, from some superlative writers and translators, both emerging and established.

The ELN series kicks off with a full day of events at the British Library on 13th May. Free events range from a translation clinic run by The Emerging Translators Network, which offers advice to budding translators and a chance to contribute to a mass translation of a new piece of experimental writing, to an informal lunchtime discussion with Spanish writer Jesús Carrasco and his translator Margaret Jull Costa. Afternoon workshops will focus on the process of literary translation, accompanied by interactive performances by Ladies of the Press. This brilliant duo re-imagine the role of publisher and publicist, engaging the audience with live performances of print media and art.

The day is crowned with two parallel evening events: ELN: The Writers is chaired by journalist Rosie Goldsmith and features readings and conversation with six internationally acclaimed European writers, presenting their new works in English. Naja Marie Aidt (Denmark), Yasmina Khadra (France), Andrea Bajani (Italy), Wioletta Greg (Poland), Evald Flisar (Slovenia) and Jesús Carrasco (Spain) were selected by Rosie and the ELN judges from 44 submissions and 18 countries. In ELN: In Spoken Word you can hear a host of Europe’s most electrifying poets and spoken word artists, hosted by UK comedian Ava Vidal. Star composer-lyricist/beatmaker Baloji (Belgium) launches this event, with poet, singer-songwriter Xavier Baumaxa (Czech Republic), experimental poet Christodoulos Makris (Cyprus), spoken word artist Joelle Taylor (UK) and renowned poet Karlis Verdins (Latvia) who share the stories of the European continent through the universal rhythm of poetry.

Balogi, photo: Alasdair Mclellan Hassan Blassim, photo: Katja Bohm

This year ELN also draws attention to writers in exile. ELN: When Home is Far Away, chaired by Rosie Goldsmith at Waterstones Piccadilly on June 3rd, hears from some superb exiled authors who write in their own language and that of their adopted countries - Hassan Blasim (Iraq/Finland), winner of the 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, Hamid Ismailov (Uzbekistan/UK), the BBC World Service’s first Writer-in-Residence, and renowned poet Ribka Sibhatu (Eritrea/Italy).

And to help discover even more new literary voices, not yet translated into English, ELN stages the ELN Translation Pitch. 8 finalists chosen from 61 submissions will pitch their favourite European book - which they consider worthy of English translation - to an audience and expert jury. The winner will receive financial support and promotion from Free Word Centre and English PEN.

Also in this year’s wonderful ELN series you can attend Liars’ League, an award-winning short story format, which on ELN’s final night on 9th June showcases readings from fresh  new talents Sigitas Parulskis (Lithuania), Jan Krasnowolski (Poland). Nora Bossong (Germany), Tadej Golob (Slovenia) and Katerina Tuckova (Czech Republic).

We look forward to welcoming you to this year’s spectacular ELN series!


Press Contact: Renata Clark, Czech Centre
clarkova@czechcentre.org.uk, 020 77590072


ELN: The ETN Translation Clinic                          
13 May 2015, 11 – 13.00, British Library, Enrance Hall

Admission free
Are you interested in the world of literary translation? Do you have burning questions about how to get involved, how to approach publishers, how much to charge and just how long it takes to translate a novel? Come to the Clinic to ask the experts everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask. You’ll also be able to contribute to a mass translation of a new piece of experimental writing. All languages welcome!

ELN: The Lunchtime Launch                               
13 May 2015, 13 – 14.00, British Library, Entrance Hall

Admission free
A slice of European literature and translation. Buy yourself some lunch and get a taste of Europe. Spain’s Jesús Carrasco will treat audiences to a bite-sized reading of his new book Out in the Open, (Harvill) launched this year at ELN VII, followed by a conversation with his award-winning translator Margaret Jull Costa. Hosted by European Literature Night judge and prize-winning translator Daniel Hahn.

ELN: Bridging the Gap                                              
13 May 2015, 14.30, British Library, Conference Centre

Admission free                                                  
Booking: 01937 546 546

If writing attempts to create links between past and present, the foreign and the familiar, dreams and reality, then arguably translation is another kind of bridge between worlds. This panel of writers, translators and publishers will explore how literature in translation can give anglophone readers the opportunity to experience the stories and histories of other literary voices. WITH The Open University’s Fiona Doloughan (Chair), Istros Books publisher Susan Curtis-Kojakovic, writer Evan Flisar (Slovenia), poet Wioletta Greg (Poland) and translator Marek Kazmierski.

ELN: The Choreography of Translation          
13 May 2015, 16.00, British Library, Conference Centre

Admission free                                                  
Booking: 01937 546 546

How does literature from smaller European nations, written in less well-known languages or from less familiar traditions, reach wider European audiences? Explore the roles played by translators, agents, publishers and others in selecting what is translated and published. How are translations ‘choreographed’ between various intermediaries? And why do some books ‘dance’ whilst others stumble or fall? WITH Geopoetika’s Vladislav Bajac (Serbia), Istros Books publisher Susan Curtis-Kojakovic  (UK), translator from Portuguese and Spanish Margaret Jull Costa (UK), literary agent Nicole Witt (Germany) and researchers from the AHRC-funded research project Translating the Literatures of Small European Nations.

ELN: The Writers                                                
13 May 2015, 18.30, British Library, Conference Centre

Admission: £10 (£8 over 60s, £7 concs)                
Booking: www.bl.uk/whats-on,
01937 546 546
An engaging literary tour of the continent, travelling from the northerly reaches of Denmark, east to Poland and Slovenia, to the southern shores of Italy and then west through France to Spain. Prepare for a literary feast of compelling European poetry, fiction and short stories which explore the nature of relationships, childhood trauma, questions of morality and much more. WITH Naja Marie Aidt (Denmark), Andrea Bajani (Italy), Jesús Carrasco (Spain), Evald Flisar (Slovenia), Wioletta Greg (Poland) and Yasmina Khadra (France). Chaired by journalist Rosie Goldsmith

ELN: In Spoken Word                                                 
13 May 2015, 19.00 British Library, Entrance Hall

Admission: £10 (£8 over 60s, £7 concs)                         
Booking: www.bl.uk/whats-on,
01937 546 546
In Spoken Word tells the stories of the continent through the universal rhythm of poetry; a host of Europe’s most vibrant poets and spoken word artists gather together to share their work. Wide-ranging in the theme and style, criss-crossing the local and the global, the personal and the public, there is something for everyone to enjoy, as well as the underlying music of the words which connects us all. WITH Baloji (Belgium), Xavier Baumaxa (Czech Republic), Christodoulos Makris (Cyprus), Joelle Taylor (UK) and Karlis Verdins (Latvia). Hosted by comedian Ava Vidal (UK).

ELN: When Home is Far Away                                              
3 June 2015, 19.00, Waterstones Piccadilly
Free  admission                                                                      
Booking: piccadilly@waterstones.com

Living away from home, being away from family nowhere near the touchstones of childhood memories is something many of us choose to do. But what if you haven’t chosen such a life and it has simply been thrust upon you? How does it feel to know you can’t go back? Three writers who live in exile across Europe share the stories that come to them and reveal how their creativity breathes new life into new places when home is far away. WITH Hassan Blasim (Iraq/Finland) winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2014, Hamid Ismailov (Uzbekistan/UK) the BBC World Service’s first Writer in Residence and renowned poet Ribka Sibhatu (Eritrea/Italy). Hosted by journalist Rosie Goldsmith.

ELN: The Translation Pitch – New Literary Voices                        
4 June 2015, 19.00, Free Word Centre
£5 (£3 concessions)                                 
Booking: www.freewordcentre.com, 020 7324 2570

Eight enthralling books by contemporary European writers which have not yet been translated into English will be pitched live to an audience and expert jury consisting of Max Porter (Granta Books), Kerry Glencorse (Susanna Lee Associates) and Stefan Tobler (And Other Stories Publishing). With just three minutes per pitch, and complemented by extracts read by actors, this whirlwind journey of discovery will uncover brilliant new European literary gems. Featuring Jan Nemec's A History of Light (Czech Republic) by Melvyn Clarke, Vonne von der Meer´s Take 7 (Netherlands) by Laura Vroomen, Pierre Autin-Grenier´s That´s Just How (France) by Andrea Reece, Jan Van Loy´s Scraps (Flanders) by Anna Asbury, Vladimir Zarev´s Ruin (Bulgaria) by Angela Rodel, Krisztina Tóth´s Pixel (Hungary) by Owen Good, Verena Rossbacher´s Small Talk and Slaughter (Germany) by Anne Posten and Jesper Wung-Sung´s Proper Fractions (Denmark) by Lindy Falk van Rooyen. Hosted by Chris Gribble (Writers Centre Norwich).

Liars’League: Near & Far
9 June 2015, 19.30, The Phoenix
£5 (on the door)                                                                 
Info: 07808 939 535

Writers write, actors read, audience listens, everybody wins. That’s the motto of Liars’ League, the award-winning, globe-straddling short story night which has been running in London since 2007. This showcase of European literature in translation celebrates fresh talent from Lithuania (Sigitas Parulskis), Poland (Jan Krasnowolski), Germany (Nora Bossong), Slovenia (Tadej Golob) and the Czech Republic (Katerina Tuckova).

More information about the writers along with exclusive extracts of their work can be found at the ELN website: www.europeanliteraturenight.co.uk
Check into The British Library East Studies blog for discussion about ELN and posts from the writers: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/european/

About European Literature Night
European Literature Night is presented in partnership with EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) London, the European Commission Representation in the UK, the British Library, the Czech Centre London and Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions.

Authors for ELN: The Writers were selected by a panel of judges comprising: Gabriel Gbadamosi (writer), Daniel Hahn (writer, translator and Director of BCLT), Rosie Goldsmith (broadcast journalist), Kristian Jensen (Head of Arts and Humanities at the British Library) and Janet Zmroczek (Head of European Studies at the British Library).

Writers for ELN
: The Translation Pitch were selected by a jury comprising Louise Swan (English PEN), Dr Rajendra Chitnis (Bristol University) and Rosalind Harvey (Emerging Translators Network)

About Rosie Goldsmith
Rosie Goldsmith is a journalist specialising in arts and international affairs in the UK and abroad. As a BBC broadcaster she travelled the world, from Libya to Japan to East Timor, and is a high profile champion of European literature.

About the British Library
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - www.bl.uk - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.  

About EUNIC London
EUNIC London is a network of cultural institutes from the member states of the European Union in London, part of the worldwide EUNIC network. The London network was established in September 2007 and has at present 31 members and associate -members who share knowledge and resources with a common European agenda. EUNIC London is the initiator of the London European Literature Night, which is one of our many projects designed to further enhance awareness of European cultural diversity and creativity in the UK www.eunic-london.org.

About Speaking Volumes
Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions was set up by Sharmilla Beezmohun and Sarah Sanders in 2010 after producing the Free the Word festivals in eight countries for PEN International and in London at Shakespeare’s Globe, Southbank Centre and Free Word.  We have worked with the European Commission to produce a number of literary events in translation and are producing European Literature Night for the second year. In 2012, we ran Poetry Parnassus on Tour, the largest UK poetry tour of international artists ever produced, in partnership with Southbank Centre. In 2013 we hosted the first AfroEuropes cultural programme in London and we are currently producing a large-scale US Tour of Black British writers for 2015.

You can download the press release in pdf format here: