ELN 2012


Building on its 2011 success, ELN teamed up with Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions to present European Literature Night event on 16 May at the British Library. Chaired once again by our project champion Rosie Goldsmith, the ELN IV hosted eight acclaimed authors from across the continent, whose writing ranges from poetry to vampire tales, from crime thrillers to exposing hidden histories.

In 2012, ELN received unprecedented over 50 complete application from 23 countries. After the multiple stage selection process, the selected writers were named as:

AUSTRIA’s Paulus Hochgatterer – one of the leading contemporary authors on the German-speaking literary scene. His The Mattress House (trans. Jamie Bulloch) is a thriller that is as much about the everyday trials of life as it is about crime. It was published by Maclehose Press in January. ‘He is Austria’s answer to David Lynch’ – 3sat Kulturzeit

FRANCE’s Laurent Binet – the first-time novelist won the prestigious Prix Goncourt du premier roman and the Prix des Lecteurs du Livre de Poche for his novel, HHhH. Harvill Secker will publish the English translation (trans. Sam Taylor) in May. ‘Magnificent … unsurpassable … exerts a hypnotic sway over the reader ’ – Mario Vargas Llosa

GERMANY’s Ludwig Steinherr – one of his country’s foremost poets, also an essayist, translator, editor and lecturer, he has published 13 collections of poetry in German, as well as being translated into French, Czech and other languages. Steinherr’s first collection in English, Before the Invention of Paradise (trans. Richard Dove), was published by Arc in 2010.

HUNGARY’s Noémi Szécsi – the author of four novels to date, and winner of the European Union Prize for Literature in 2009 for her second novel, The Finno-Ugrian Vampire (trans. Peter Sherwood), a linguistic tour- de-force and play on myths. It’s set in contemporary Hungary and will be published by Stork Press in October.

MONTENEGRO’s Ognjen Spahić – the best-known of the new generation of Montenegrin writers to have emerged since the collapse of the former Yugoslavia. He is a novelist and short fiction writer and his novel Hansen’s Children, which has already been translated into six languages, was published by Istros Books in 2011 (trans. Will Firth).

POLAND’s Zygmunt Miloszewski – his work includes horror stories and novels for young people but it is his crime writing, which uses historical and political themes, that has made Miloszewski a household name in his country. His A Grain of Truth (trans. Antonia Lloyd-Jones), the second of his crime trilogy, will be published by Bitter Lemon Press in August.

ROMANIA’s Robert Şerban – a writer, editor, journalist, producer and television show host. His poetry has been translated into several languages and in 2004 the President of Romania granted him the status of ‘Knight’ for his cultural achievements. His work appeared in the anthology Of Gentle Wolves: An Anthology of Romanian Poetry by Calypso (2011).

SWEDEN’s Anne Swärd – who has published three novels and is a regular contributor to several Swedish newspapers. Her most recent novel, Breathless (trans. Deborah Bragan-Turner) will be published by Quercus Books in April. It won the Bokcirklar’s Stora Läsarpriset [The Readers Award] in her native land and has been sold in 13 countries.

Quim Monzó from SPAIN, one of the most widely-read and prize-winning writers in Catalan, was also chosen, but is unable to attend on the night. Monzó is published by Open Letter in the US; his book A Thousand Morons (trans. Lisa Dillman) will be out this autumn.

European Literature Night IV in Birmingham (Friday 12 October 2012)
European Literature Night took the audience on an epic reading journey across some of the most vivid cultural landscapes in Europe.

Hungary’s Noémi Szécsi, winner of the European Union Prize 2009 for her second novel The Finno-Ugrian Vampire, Sweden’s Anne Swärd, winner of the Bokcirklar’s Stora Läsarpriset (The Readers Award) for her novel Breathless, and Virginia Zaharieva of Bulgaria, 2008 Helicon Prize nominee for her novel Nine Rabbits, joined the Birmingham Book Festival to celebrate the very best of European Literature.
The chair of the writer selection panel BBC journalist Rosie Goldsmith, brought a taste of ELN to Birmingham Book Festival where she hosted an event presenting 3 of the very best contemporary European writers, encompassing a wide range and wealth of writing appealing to readers across the board.
Read more here.

A poetry selection from European Literature Night IV at StAnza Festival (Friday 8 March 2013)
European Poetry Special Reading: Robert ŞerbanLudwig SteinherrGeorge Szirtes
Fri 08 March | 5.00-6.00pm, St Leonards Music Auditorium, St Leonards School | £5.00/£3.00The European Literature events have been taking audiences on epic reading journeys across some of the most vivid cultural landscapes in Europe, and for 2013 they are coming to StAnza. Carefully selected from 50 entries from 23 countries across Europe submitted by publishers, cultural institutes and literary organisations, two poets have been chosen by Speaking Volumes to appear at StAnza. Ludwig Steinherr is one of Germany’s foremost poets. He has published 12 volumes of work, been widely translated and had work selected as Autoren-initiative Köln’s ‘Poem of the Year’. Robert Şerban is a Romanian writer, journalist and tv show host. His poetry has been translated into several languages and has appeared in English in anthologies and journals. They will both be reading their own work and discussing contemporary European poetry with the distinguished UK-based Hungarian poet George Szirtes.
More information here