European Literature Night

The European Literature Night 2019, on 16 and 17 May will be celebrating the Library, in collaboration with the OBA, the Amsterdam Public Library, which marks its 100th anniversary. Twelve writers and poets from all over Europe will talk of librarians and readers, about accidental encounters with books and people, about the first library they ever visited, about nostalgia for paper and dust, endless rows of books on shelves, the thrill of digital texts available world-wide. About the past and future of reading.


European Literature Night at the Brakke Grond

19h00-19h45 Reading Out of Place with Jasin Mohamed and Jannah Loontjens 

19h00 - 19h45 Text and the City with Zoe Strachan, Kerem Eksen and Andrei-Paul Corescu 

20h00 - 20h45 The Algorithms of Reading​ with Marek Šindelka, Andrej Blatnik and Felicitas von Lovenberg 

20h00 - 20h45 Library Songs with Lina Buividavičiūtė, Delphine Lecompte and Gandolfo Cascio 

21h00 -22h00  Almudena Grandes interviewed by Pablo Valdivia Martin, Professor and Chair European Culture and Literature (RUG) and Director Netherlands School for Literary Studies

European Literature Night at the OBA

On Friday 17 May, from 13 till 16 hours, the authors will be at the OBA. The Amsterdam Public Library marks its 100 th anniversary, and will be hosting a series of talks and workshops this afternoon with students and other readers. Take part in a poetry translation workshop with the poet present, practice your interview skills by questioning your author of choice, speed date with your author of choice, be part of a discussion about reading as a way to make sense of a conflicted past, or about the rise of global literary citizenship. Hosts: Eric Metz, Suze van der Poll, Guido Snel

The European Literature Night is organized by EUNIC, the network of European national institutes of culture and national bodies engaged in cultural activities, and was made possible by the European Commission in collaboration with the Amsterdam Center for European Studies.

Who are the Authors?

The authors are: Andrej Blatnik (Slovenia), Lina Buividavičiūtė (Lithuania), Gandolfo Cascio (Italy), Andrei-Paul Corescu (Romania), Kerem Eksen (Turkey), Almudena Grandes (Spain), Delphine Lecompte (Belgium), Jannah Loontjens (The Netherlands), Jasim Mohamed (Sweden), Marek Šindelka (Czech Republic), Shumona Sinha (France), Zoe Strachan (United Kingdom), Felicitas von Lovenberg (Germany)


Andrej Blatnik (Slovenia)

Andrej Blatnik (1963) teaches publishing at the University of Ljubljana. He has published nine fiction and five nonfiction books and won some major Slovenian literary awards. His stories were translated into 30+ languages and included into numerous anthologies, including Best European Fiction and Shorts: Five Centuries of Short Short Stories. He has over 30 books in translation in twelve languages, including three in English. He was awarded the best Slavic book of short fiction (‘Premje Jugra’) award in 2016. Blatnik appeared on literary festivals such as PEN World Voices, Toronto Festival, Jaipur Festival and Cosmopolis. For more information, check

Lina Buividavičiūtė (Lithuania)

Lina Buividavičiūtė, born in 1986 in Kaunas, is a Lithuanian poet and a literary scholar. As a literary critic Lina works at Lithuanian Radio, writes for numerous literary magazines. She also teaches film at a local secondary school. Lina studied Dentistry, Lithuanian Philology and has a doctorate in the field of Lithuanian literature. In 2017 her first poetry book, "Helsinki Syndrome", was published. Her poems are published in numerous Lithuanian cultural almanacs and are translated into English, Greek, Hebrew and Polish. Lina’s poetry is full of unexpected collisions, cultural, mythological and theological associations, often grown into provocation. Lina lives in and works Vilnius.


Gandolfo Cascio (Italy)

Gandolfo Cascio was born in Germany (Nuremberg 1974), grew up in Italy, where he studied Classics, and resides in the Netherlands, where he teaches Italian Literature at Utrecht University. As many of his generation, although he strongly feels attached to his own culture, he sees Europe as his home. As poet, he has published Admeto (Mobydick, 2005), Il ragazzo bello/Ik Bemin (Serena Libri, 2009 en 2010) and is currently working on his new collection, entitled Giovenzio. His poems have been translated into English, Dutch and Slovenian. His work, marked by clarity and grace, intends to  recover the aesthetic value of uncompromised beauty and is fully committed to praise it.  In the wake of this year’s theme, Gandolfo Cascio will illustrate his personal poetical library, and his attention to joyous writers, such as Catullus, Dante, Frank O’Hara, Morrissey and, of course, his own verses.  


Andrei-Paul Corescu (Romania)

Andrei-Paul Corescu won several awards for poetry and translation in Romania. He worked as a translator and taught French at the University of Sibiu. He holds the 2005 Prize for Scientific Translation (for translating two French books on international trade into Romanian). His first book, Poema prinţului truver (The Poem of the trouvere prince),  2009, gathers his poems and translations from Verlaine, Baudelaire, Shakespeare, Byron, etc. By writing in or translating himself into English and French, he opened his creations to an international audience. Two new poetry books will soon be published. He currently lives in Brussels.

Kerem Eksen (Turkey)

Kerem Eksen (1976) is an Istanbul-based novelist and academic. He had B.A. in sociology and M.A. in philosophy from Bosphorus University. In 2010, he received his joint Ph. D. degree in philosophy from Bosphorus University and the University of Paris Ouest-Nanterre with his dissertation titled “Tragic Error and the Augustinian Morals”. Since 2011, he lectures on ethics, political theory and philosophy at Istanbul Technical University. Between 2000 - 2008, he worked as an actor and writer for the theatre group Seyyar Sahne. His two published novels are Buradayız [We Are Here] (Alef, 2013) and Uyku Krallığı [Kingdom of Sleep] (Everest, 2017). He also writes for the Turkish periodical Express and the webmagazine K24.

Almudena Grandes (Spain)

Almudena Grandes is one of Spain’s most acclaimed and bestselling literary authors. When published, her latest novel 'Los pacientes del doctor' García went straight into the Spanish Bestseller List. In Spain, her books Las tres bodas de Manolita, El lector de Julio Verne and Los pacientes del doctor García have sold more than a million copies.

Almundena Grandes will be interviewed by Pablo Valdivia Martin, Professor and Chair European Culture and Literature (RUG) and Director Netherlands School for Literary Studies.

Delphine Lecompte (Belgium)

Delphine Lecompte (1978) made her debut in English with her subversive novel ‘Kittens in the Boiler’. For her poetry debut ‘De Dieren in Mij’, she received the Buddingh’ award in 2010. Seven more books of poetry followed, the penultimate being the successful ‘Western’, and the last one being her 110 best poems: ‘The Best of Delphine Lecompte’. In November her ninth collection will be released, which presumably will be called ‘ Vrolijke Verwoesting’. Delphine Lecompte loves Tennessee Williams, Jack London and Chinese crested dogs.

Jannah Loontjens (The Netherlands)

Jannah Loontjens (b. 1974) is a writer and philosopher. She wrote several novels, works of poetry and two collections of essays. About Who knows, her most recent novel, De Morgen wrote: ‘Loontjens’ work teems with freshness and originality. Her brand-new fourth novel is an incisive reflection on our age.’ Her earlier novels include Good Luck, How Late Actually and But Then Again. Her work has been translated into Danish and Hungarian. Also see:

Jasim Mohamed (Sweden)

Jasim Mohamed, born 1962 (Ur, Iraq), is a poet and translator. He debuted in 2005 with the poetry book Övningar in i ett annat språk (Fredlaer Förlag).  Since then he has published two poetry books at Bokförlaget Edda; I Din Mun (2011) and Vittnen till meningslösa händelser (2017). That same year he published, together with Jan Henrik Swahn and Marias Taverna, on their meetings with refugees on Samos. Jasim Mohamed’s works have been translated into English, French, German, Greek, Spanish, Chinese, Urdu and Turkish. He has translated from Swedish into Arabic poetry of Bruno K. Öijer, Kjell Espmark, Hanna Hallgren, Eva Runefelt, Ann Smith and Hanna Nordenhök. Jasim Mohamed ran Bagdad Café, a Nordic-Arabic literary platform in Stockholm that has organized festivals and collaborative translations. For his literary activities, in 2010 Jasim Mohamed was awarded one of the prizes of the Society De Nio and the Swedish Academy Award for introducing Swedish culture abroad. Jasim Mohamed was previously a board member of the of Svenska PEN. He lives in Uppsala, Sweden.


Marek Šindelka (Czech Republic)

Marek Šindelka (1984) is one of the most translated contemporary Czech writers. His books are being published in English, German, Polish and several other languages. So far two of his books have appeared in Dutch – ‘Anna in kaart gebracht’ (Map of Anna) and ‘Materiaalmoeheid’ (Material Fatigue) – both translated by Edgar de Bruin, published by Das Mag. ‘Materiaalmoeheid’ has won the 14th Cutting Edge Award for the best book in Dutch translation and has been nominated for the Europese Literatuurprijs 2019. In addition, Marek has already twice obtained the Magnesia Litera Award. His last book is called Saint Barbara.

Shumona Sinha (France)

Shumona SINHA, born in Calcutta, 1973, is a French author who lives in Paris since 2001. She claims that her homeland is no longer India, nor even France, but the French language. Translated into German, Italian, Hungarian, her 2nd novel Assommons les Pauvres! (2011, L'Olivier), was highly acclaimed by the critics, got 2 prestigious French awards (2011 & 2012), the Internationaler Literaturpreis HKW Berlin (2016). Her third novel Calcutta was awarded by the French Academy for her contribution to the French language. She translated and published three anthologies of contemporary French and Bengali poetry in Calcutta and in Paris.

Zoe Strachan (United Kingdom)

Zoë Strachan is an award-winning novelist who teaches Creative Writing at University of Glasgow. Her work has appeared in various magazines and anthologies and been broadcast on BBC Radio, and performed at the Citizen’s Theatre and Òran Mór. Her short opera Sublimation toured Scotland with Scottish Opera before going to Cape Town. Zoë has an academic background in archaeology. She is a Patron of the Imprint Book Festival in East Ayrshire Libraries and a Director of Glasgow Women’s Library, winner of numerous awards and the only Accredited Museum in the UK dedicated to women's lives, histories and achievements.

Felicitas von Lovenberg (Germany)

Felicitas von Lovenberg (Münster, 1974) is a German journalist, author and literary critic. She studied Modern History in Bristol and Oxford and started working for the section for art and culture of the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung where she she became two years later critic of the literature section and in 2008 head of the literature department. Lovenberg moderates furthermore the literature tv programm Lesenswert. She is also board member of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. Lovenberg is now publisher at the prestigious publishing house Piper Verlag in Munich.