European Writers’ Festival - The Stories We Tell

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European Writers’ Festival - The Stories We Tell

  • 20 May 2023 — 21 May 2023

On 20th – 21st May, almost 30 authors and poets, each representing one European country or territory, will come together at the British Library for a remarkable celebration of the best European poetry and prose translated into English. 
The ACF is particularly pleased to welcome the renowned Austrian author Raphaela Edelbauer in London to participate in this year's European Writers’ Festival .

Writers including the TS Eliot shortlisted, British-born Cypriot poet Anthony Anaxagorou, bestselling Czech author and playwright Kateřina Tučková, award-winning Scottish journalist Chitra Ramaswamy, Brazilian-born Hungarian novelist Zsófia Bán, Bulgarian poet and novelist Georgi Gospodinov and Ingeborg-Bachmann-Prize-winning Austrian novelist Raphaela Edelbauer will join six unique panel discussions, addressing subjects including history, war, translation and storytelling.  The festival will provide a chance to ensure that the cultural networks and exchanges between Britain and Europe continue to thrive. Each panel will be followed by a book signing with South Kensington Books, and readings and performances from the participating authors.

Organised by the European Union National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC) London in partnership with the European Literature Network and the British Library, and with the support of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom and the European Parliament Liaison Office in the United Kingdom, the European Writers’ Festival is curated by former BBC journalist Rosie Goldsmith, director of the European Literature Network and Editor-in-Chief of the Riveter magazines. 

Saturday opens with a panel on the topic of Stories from the New Europe, discussing how the preoccupations of European literature have changed in the last 30 years. It will be followed by Stories of Freedom, a panel about the reality of fighting for freedom of expression; and Writing About War, exploring what how literature can help us make sense of conflict with a panel of authors including award-winning Ukrainian author Olena Stiazhkina.

Sunday begins with Writing About History, discussing the best of historical writing – from pure escapism into the past, to teaching valuable lessons for the future. In the afternoon, Stories of Language and Translation will explore different approaches to language, dialect and translation. Finally, the festival will end on an optimistic note with Looking Forward: European Odes to Joy,focussing on how the best of art and culture can create hope, happiness and a valuable sense of community. 

The panels will be chaired by Rosie Goldsmith, festival curator and journalist; Tahmima Anam, author of The Startup Wife; BBC Radio 4 Open Book presenter Chris Power; journalist Claire Armitstead; writer and translator Daniel Hahn; and the British Library’s Bee Rowlatt. 

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Pigott Theatre at The British Library
The Knowledge Centre
London NW1 2DB