EWC presented: Invasion of Reality – Prose, Politics & Poetry. Watch the full video:

EWC

Posted on June 04, 2021, 6:00 pm
32 mins
Invasion of Reality: Full Video. Videodesign: © Daniel Carinsson for EWC / crispyphotos.
Picture rights: please see the imprint informations below.

5 June, 17:00 CEST: The EWC Literature Evening (online) 

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, 5 June 17:00 -19:30 (CEST) – enjoy discussions and poetry readings around burning issues of writers and the book world in the times of Corona. 16 speakers from 12 countries, moderated by Porter Anderson (Publishing Perspectives) and Lena Falkenhagen (Chair of the German Writers’ Union), talk about literary, social, political and poetic challenges in times of crisis and change.

INVASION OF REALITY
Schedule and Speakers
Saturday, 5 June, 17:00 CEST

17:00 Opening

With Nina George (EWC President) and Viveka Sjögren Bangoura (EWC Board Member).

17:05 Session I 
LOVE ETC. IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC

COVID-19’s impact on literature: How will the pandemic be portrayed in literature and what do the publishers want to publish – presence or absence of the virus? How could love etc. be romantic when wearing a mask? How are children’s book affected? The introductory session with Philip Pullman (novelist, President of The Society of Authors UK), Renate Punka (Janis Roze Publishers, President of Latvian Publishers’ Association), Marie Sellier (children’s book author, filmmaker, former President Société des Gens de Lettres, France) and Hannele Mikaela Taivassalo (novelist, President of The Society of Swedish Authors in Finland) will debate the challenge for writers in the time of Corona. 
Moderator: Lena Falkenhagen (novelist, Chair of the German Writers’ Union).

17:40 CEST Session II  
WORDS FOR DEMOCRACY IN BELARUS

The attacks against the cultural and the literature scene in Belarus violated the human and the democratic rights of writers and translators. Why tyrants tackle the defenders of free words and expression, how a revolution must move from the desk to the street, and what Belarusian poets, translators and writers expect and hope from Europe and the world: Meet Hanna Komar (poet, activist, Belarus), Maryja Martysevich (blogger, poet, essayist), Dmitri Plax (writer, translator, Sweden) and Alena Makouskaya (Director at CSO World Association of Belarusians Homeland, EWC Board Member).
Moderator: Porter Anderson (Editor in Chief, Publishing Perspectives).

18:15 CEST Session III
THIS IS NOT A FAKE!

Debate: How can non-fiction books and authors get us through the crisis? What debates do they spark? We discuss with Helena Ruuska (Professor of Finnish language and literature, author of biographies, former Vice-president of The Association of Finnish Non-Fiction Writers), Øyvind Strømmen (author, translator, journalist, Norway), John P. Portelli (Professor in the Depart­ment of Social Justice Education; writer, poet, Malta/Canada). 
Moderator: Lena Falken­hagen (novelist, Chair of the German Writers’ Union).

18:50 Session IV
TEN SQUARE CENTIMETRES OF POETRY 

A foray through poetry: Short, to the point, lyrical, political, erotic, humorously tender and resistant. This is how poets describe reality, dreams, visions, love, loneliness and politics. With Arne Johnsson (poet, literary critic, Sweden), Gino Leineweber (poet, translator, Germany), Raquel Martínez Gómez López (novelist, poet, 2010 Winner of the European Union Prize for Literature for Spain), Jitka Bret Srbová (poet, writer, President of the Czech Writers’ Association), Asuman Tümer (poet, author, Winner of the Oktay Akbal Short Stories Award, Turkey).
Moderator: Porter Anderson (Editor in Chief, Publishing Perspectives).

 

19:30 Exit Session & Closing

Remarks by Nina George (EWC President) and Viveka Sjögren Bangoura (EWC Board Member).

Co-funded by:

 

 

SPEAKERS & MODERATORS

Invasion Of Reality: The Moderators

Porter Anderson ( @Porter_Anderson ) BA, MA, MFA, is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives, the daily news medium of Frankfurter Buchmesse for the international trade publishing industry. Anderson was formerly with CNN, CNN.com, and CNN International–as well as the Village Voice, the Dallas Times HeraldThe Bookseller and other news outlets. He was named London Book Fair’s  International Trade Press Journalist in the fair’s 2019 International Excellence Awards. In addition to his career in news coverage, Anderson has worked as a diplomat with the United Nations, posted to the world headquarters of the World Food Programme in Rome. He has also served as Executive Media Producer of INDEX: Design to Improve life, the Danish government’s award for humanitarian design, a program that enjoys the patronage of HRH Frederik, Prince of Denmark. Anderson is a frequent speaker on the international publishing stage, in trade shows and book-fair settings in Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East.

Lena Falkenhagen is a German freelance author and narrative designer who fluctuates between worlds, genres and formats on a regular basis. Lena’s trademarks are stories and games that take a critical look at our own society. In 2017, she was elected one of the 10 most influential female developers of the German games industry by magazine „Gameswirtschaft„, in 2015 she won „Best Browsergame“ with „Drakensang Online – Rise of Balor“, in 2010, she was awarded with the DeliA-award for her historical fiction novel „Die Lichtermagd“. She teaches narrative and game design at several German universities of applied sciences. She also is the national chairperson of the Association of German Authors (Verband deutscher Schriftstellerinnen und Schriftsteller (VS in ver.di)) and co-founder of Phantastik-Autoren-Netzwerk (PAN) e.V. She was a member of the PAN board for 4 years and co-founded the Netzwerk Autorenrechte (Network Author’s Rights) in 2016.

Invasion of Reality: The Speakers

Session I 
LOVE ETC. IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC

COVID-19’s impact on literature: How will the pandemic be portrayed in literature and what do the publishers want to publish – presence or absence of the virus? How could love etc. be romantic when wearing a mask? How are children’s book affected? The introductory session with Philip Pullman (novelist, President of The Society of Authors UK), Renate Punka (Janis Roze Publishers, President of Latvian Publishers’ Association), Marie Sellier (children’s book author, filmmaker, former President Société des Gens de Lettres, France) and Hannele Mikaela Taivassalo (novelist, President of The Society of Swedish Authors in Finland) will debate the challenge for writers in the time of Corona. 
Moderator: Lena Falkenhagen (novelist, Chair of the German Writers’ Union).

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich in 1946, and educated in England, Zimbabwe, and Australia, before his family settled in North Wales. Today he lives in Oxfordshire, England. His first children’s book was Count Karlstein (1982, republished in 2002). That was followed by The Ruby in the Smoke (1986), the first in a quartet of books featuring the young Victorian adventurer, Sally Lockhart. His most well-known work is the trilogy His Dark Materials, beginning with Northern Lights (The Golden Compass in the USA) in 1995, continuing with The Subtle Knife in 1997, and concluding with The Amber Spyglass in 2000. These books have been honoured by several prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children’s Book Award, and (for The Amber Spyglass) the Whitbread Book of the Year Award the first time in the history of that prize that it was given to a children’s book. Philip Pullman was awarded the Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in the 2019 Queen’s New Years Honours List for his services to literature.

Renate Punka is President of Latvian Publishers Association, Chair of Council on Books and Reading for Latvian Ministry of Culture, and the representative of Latvian publishers in the Federation of European Publishers (FEP). But first and foremost she is managing director of Janis Roze Publishers – one of the oldest and most respectable publishing houses in Latvia (established in 1914). She has MAs in Latvian language and literature and in written translation and has studied business administration in Riga Business School. Renate Punka has worked also as literary critic, journalist, marketing manager, translator from English and Russian and host of radio programmes and lecturer on book-related subjects both in Latvian educational institutions and in international seminars.

Marie Sellier is a french writer,  author of over hundred children’s books, and filmmaker. She is former président of Charte des auteurs et illustrateurs jeunesse, and the EWC Member Conseil Permanent des Écrivains and Société de Gens de Lettres. Last release : Willy, published by Thierry Magnier, 2021.

Hannele Mikaela Taivassalo. In her novels, Hannele Mikaela Taivassalo explores the themes of continuous movement, of leaving, of restlessness and displacement, but also of the joy of discovering. She writes about desire and excels in describing the erotic charge between her characters. Taivassalo has published several novels, worked in theatre, written plays and studied at the Theatre Academy, as well as at the University of Helsinki. Among other prizes, she has been awarded The Runeberg prize for her first novel, ANDREJ KRAPL’S FIVE KNIVES (2007), and Finlandspris (from a Swedish culture fund) in 2017 for her “unique authorship”, her “novels with unexpected twists” and for “detailed, lyric and impressionistic prose”. Taivassalo is born in Finland, and writes originally in Swedish.

Session II  
WORDS FOR DEMOCRACY IN BELARUS

The attacks against the cultural and the literature scene in Belarus violated the human and the democratic rights of writers and translators. Why tyrants tackle the defenders of free words and expression, how a revolution must move from the desk to the street, and what Belarusian poets, translators and writers expect and hope from Europe and the world: Meet Hanna Komar (poet, activist, Belarus), Maryja Martysevich (blogger, poet, essayist), Dmitri Plax (writer, translator, Sweden) and Alena Makouskaya (Director at CSO World Association of Belarusians Homeland, EWC Board Member).
Moderator: Porter Anderson (Editor in Chief, Publishing Perspectives).

Hanna Komar Hanna Komar is a poet, translator, writer and activist. She studied linguistics at Minsk State Linguistic University, and after that took several non-degree courses in literature and writing.
Hanna has publications both in Belarusian and international newspapers, magazines and anthologies, her poetry translated into Polish, Ukranian, Russian, Swedish, Norwegian, German, Chezc and English. Hanna is an author of two poetry collections and a book of translations of Charles Bukowski poetry into Belarusian (together with Yulya Tsimafeyeva and Natalia Binkevich), she recently finished another poetry collection and is working on documentary prose about the protest after the election of 2020 in Belarus. Finalist and laureate of several independent literary awards, such as Maksim Bahdanovich Debut Award for the Best First Book in Translation and first poetry book in Belarusian, Natallia Arsenneva National Book Prize among others. Recently, together with Dmitry Strotsev, Hanna was awarded the 2020 Norwegian Authors Union Freedom of Speech Award. Member of the independent Belarusian Writers Union. 
Hanna has been actively involved in the civil and cultural resistance in Belarus beginning from summer 2020. 

Alena Makouskaya. Since 1992, Alena Makouskaya has been working for the civil society organizations of Belarus. She is a Member of Secretariat of the Union of Belarusian Writers, Director of the Civil society organization “Homeland”, and coordinator of the civic cultural campaign “Budzma Belarusians!” which is implemented in partnership with the Union of Writers and other cultural organizations since 2008. Alena Makouskaya was born on July 1st, 1970 in Kobryn, a small town in the western part of Belarus. She graduated from Minsk State Linguistic University in 1992, and from the Academy of Management under the Council of Ministers in 1998.  

Maryja Martysevič Maryja Martysevič (Марыя Мартысевіч, born in 1982 in Minsk) is a Belarusian poet, writer and literary translator from Czech, English, Polish and Ukrainian. She works on various cultural projects, acts as a literary event organizator. Since 2017 she runs Amerykanka independent book series. Since 2019 she is the 3rd vice-president of Belarusian PEN-Centre. She published four books: Cmoki latuć na nierast: ese ŭ vieršach i prozie (Dragons Fly to Spawn: Essays in Poetry & Prose) in 2008, Ambasada: vieršy svaje i čužyja (The Embassy: Poetry Own and Borrowed) in 2011, Sarmatyja (Sarmatia) in 2018 and Jak pazbycca Mamatuta (How to Kill off Momishere). In 2019 she got two literary awards for her book Sarmatia. She lives in Minsk.

Dmitri Plax. Dmitri Plax, writer and translator, born in Minsk, Belarus, lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. Board member of Swedish PEN, chairmen of its Linguistic committee.

Session III
THIS IS NOT A FAKE!

Debate: How can non-fiction books and authors get us through the crisis? What debates do they spark? We discuss with Helena Ruuska (Professor of Finnish language and literature, author of biographies, former Vice-president of The Association of Finnish Non-Fiction Writers), Øyvind Strømmen (author, translator, journalist, Norway), John P. Portelli (Professor in the Depart­ment of Social Justice Education; writer, poet, Malta/Canada). 
Moderator: Lena Falken­hagen (novelist, Chair of the German Writers’ Union).

Helena Ruuska. Reading, writing and teaching are the holy trinity to which Dr Helena Ruuska has entrusted her life. She does not speculate when work ends and where free time begins. Depending on the situation, Ruuska is a mother tongue and literature editor, textbook author, critic, literary scholar or biographer. She has changed jobs, even professions, depending on enthusiasm and happy coincidences. But books, writing and teaching have been everywhere. Helena is a teacher trainer by profession and works at the Helsinki Normal Lyceum – University of Helsinki’s teacher training school (Finnish language and literature). She is a well-known and highly respected author of four research-based biographies. Helena was for several years the vice-president of the EWC Member, the Association of Finnish Non-Fiction Writers.

John P. Portelli is a Full Professor in the Department of Social Justice Education, OISE, University of Toronto.  He has authored, co-authored and co-edited 22 books including four bilingual collections of poetry, a collection of poems in Maltese, an edited anthology of contemporary Maltese poetry, two collections of short stories (one of which is available in English: Everyday Encounters, Burlington, ON: Word and Deed, 2019), and a novel (Everyone but Fajza, now available in English; Word and Deed 2021).  A collection of his poetry was published in Greek (The Loves of Yesterday, Athens: Oropodo, 2020). Three of his literary books were short-listed for the Malta National Book Prize (2017, 2018, 2019). He settled in Canada in 1977 but currently lives between Toronto and Malta, and beyond.

Øyvind Strømmen is a Norwegian freelance journalist and author who has written extensively on the far right and extremism, including having published three books on the topic: Det mørke nettet (2011), Den sorte tråden (2013) and I hatets fotspor (2014). In August 2021, he is publishing the book Giftpillen (The Poison Pill), which deals with conspiracy theories. Strømmen has an MA in Religious Studies, and resides in the countryside outside Bergen.

Session IV
TEN SQUARE CENTIMETRES OF POETRY 

A foray through poetry: Short, to the point, lyrical, political, erotic, humorously tender and resistant. This is how poets describe reality, dreams, visions, love, loneliness and politics. With Arne Johnsson (poet, literary critic, Sweden), Gino Leineweber (poet, translator, Germany), Raquel Martínez Gómez López (novelist, poet, 2010 Winner of the European Union Prize for Literature for Spain), Jitka Bret Srbová (poet, writer, President of the Czech Writers’ Association), Asuman Tümer (poet, author, Winner of the Oktay Akbal Short Stories Award, Turkey).
Moderator: Porter Anderson (Editor in Chief, Publishing Perspectives).

Jitka Bret Srbová, born in 1976 in Prague, is a Czech editor, literary critic and the author of four poetry collections: Někdo se loudá po psím (Someone’s dawdling like a dog — Dauphin, 2011); Světlo vprostřed těla (Light amidst the body — Dauphin, 2013); Les (The Forest— Dauphin, 2016); and Svět: (The World: – Dauphin, 2019). Her work has been featured four times in the annual anthology Nejlepší české básně (Best Czech Poems — Host) and translated into several European languages. She lives in Hořovice, a small town west of Prague. Since December 2020 she is President of the EWC Member, the Czech Writers’ Association.

Arne Johnsson is a poet and literary critic. This Spring he published his fifteenth book of poems, Zoetrop. In a flow of images the reader travels with the poet through the cities of San Franciso, Santiago de Chile, Hanoi. But the poems are not only city images, they are also journeys in the mind and in childhood memories, the book is a journey through life. Arne Johnsson’s poetry (his first book was published in 1985) deals with love and death, childhood, nature, the contrasts between life in the countryside and urban life. His imagery can be baroque and elaborated, but also very down to earth. He was born in 1950,  grew up in the countryside near a small town in the south of Sweden. Since many years back he lives in the town of Lindesberg, not so far from Stockholm. Apart from writing, Arne Johnsson worked from the seventies and onwards as a librarian in Lindesberg, he has been a techer of creative writing, given lectures in Sweden and abroad on new Swedish literature and he has been involved with many groups and boards that award literary grants and prizes. He has also been awarded some of the largest literary Swedish prizes.

Gino Leineweber was born in 1944 and is working as a poet, writer, and translator since 1998. In between, he was editor of the magazine Buddhistische Monatsblätter (BM) for six years. In terms of cultural policy, from 1991 to 2015, he was active as an elected deputy of the council of the Hamburg Authority of Culture. For twelve years, he led the Hamburg Authors’ Association (HAV), which subsequently appointed him honorary chairman in 2015.  From 2013 to 2020, he served as president of the Three Seas Writers’ and Translators’ Council (TSWTC), based in Rhodes, Greece, and is currently a board member of the PEN Center German-Speaking Authors Abroad (formerly German Exile P.E.N). Having initially written and published novels and short stories, he is now publishing non-fiction and poetry. He writes in both German and American English. Since 2016, he has translated prose and poetry from English. His poetry has won numerous international awards.

Raquel Martínez-Gómez (1973) was born in La Mancha. She has published four novels: Los huecos de la memoria (Memory Gaps), awarded with the Antonio García Cubas´ Historical Novel Award (INAH, México) in 2018; Ceniza de ombú (Ashes of Ombu), published in Uruguay (2017); Sombras de unicornio (Unicorn Shadows), awarded with the Prizes European Union Prize for Literature (2010), the Young Ateneo de Sevilla (2007) and translated into eight languages- and Del color de la lava (The Colour of Lava), which won the City of Mostoles Prize (2002).
Currently she is living in the mountains of Madrid, where she has finished her sixth novel about a Mexican archaeologist (Arqueología del adiós), a new book of poems (rugido de jaguarA) and a book of short stories (Las grietas del cuerpo). Ceniza de ombú is her literary blog.
She has a PhD in International Relations from the Complutense University of Madrid and an MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature, Culture and Thought from the University of Sussex, UK. Raquel combines her writing with her work, specializing in the field of sustainable development and human rights. Prior to this, she lived in Uruguay, United Kingdon and Mexico, and participated in university programs in Argentina and Cuba.

Asuman Tümer, Poet and writer (b. 17 April 1955, Adapazarı), Winner of the Oktay Akbal Short Stories Award. Her full name is Asuman Figen Tümer. She completed her primary and secondary education in Adapazarı. She attended Cumhuriyet Primary School (1965), Private Sakarya College Secondary School (1968) and graduated from Adapazarı Commercial High School (1971) and the İstanbul Academy of Commercial Sciences (1976). After 1976, she worked at Turkish Airlines for twelve years where she became a manager. After working as Assistant Director of Flight Services at a private company (1990-91), she went to the United States. She returned to İstanbul in 1998. She then started working as the general editor-in-chief at the magazine The Best in İstanbul. Her stories have been published in many reviews and journals since 1977, the year in which she started writing stories. A great majority of her stories have been published in The Best as the United States correspondent (1996). She won first prize at the Ankara Story Days Oktay Akbal Short Story Competition with her three stories. Her earlier stories were influenced by Sait Faik but later she rejected all external literary influences and obtained a unique style of writing. More than 70 stories of Tümer, was composed by Dr. Hasan Cihat Örter.

Exit Session & Closing

Remarks by Nina George (EWC President) and Viveka Sjögren Bangoura (EWC Board Member).

Nina George, born in 1973 in Bielefeld, Germany, is a prize-winning international bestselling novelist and freelance journalist who has published 29 books (novels, contemporary, mysteries, non-fiction, children’s books), as well as over a hundred short-stories. George’s ‘The Little Paris Bookshop’ has been translated into 37 languages and hit the New York Times Bestseller list. Nina George is a member of the administrative board of the Collective Management Organisation VG Wort, and chairwoman of the VG-Wort ‘e-Book’ working group. She has been an advisor on the topics authors’ rights, AI and Literature, and Women Writers in the Boards of the German Writers’ Union VS and of the German PEN-Centre. Nina George is founder of several writers’ NGOs (Network AuthorsrightsFair Bookmarket), and Diversity-projects like #frauenzählen (Counting women). Nina George is married to the writer Jens J. Kramer and lives in Berlin and Bretagne. Since 2019 George is President of the European Writers’ Council.

Viveka Sjögren Bangoura, born 1966 in Stockholm, is a Swedish writer of children’s and young adults’ books, and illustrator. She has written a bit over twenty books, out of which several has been shortlisted or rewarded with literary prizes. She has also written poetry for stage and poetry and essays for literary magazines. Her engagements in literary organisations began on the board of the Norrländska litteratursällskapet/ Writers’ centre North 2002 – 2006, the latter years as secretary. 2003 – 2009 she was a member of the board of the Swedish Writers’ union, and from there went to BULT – the section for children’s and young adults’ literature in the Swedish Writers’ Union, during 2013-2015 in the position shared Chair. 2016 she took on being Chair of the International Council. 2016 started a collaboration between The International Council and Klas de Vylder’s fund for immigrant writer, something that led to her taking over the Chair of the foundation in 2019. She is also a board member of the BCWT. During her years within the Swedish Writers’ Union she has conducted several international projects, such as an educational exchange program with Nepal and Nepalese authors of children’s books, and a research trip to Eritrea to initiate a similar project there. Viveka’s special skills lies within the areas children’s literature and illustrations, creative writing, freedom of speech, gender equality and human- and LGBT rights.

Since 26 November 2020, Sjögren Bangoura is Board Member of the European Writers’ Council. Among other projects, she initiated the EWC #freewordsbelarus-campaign.

Further imprint informations:

The images of the hosts, speakers and moderators are under copyright, but free for non-commercial and media use in a reviewing or contextual usage related to the Invasion-of-Reality-Event by the European Writers’ Council. Please always link on this webpage. Further informations: background picture licensed to EWC by ©crispyphotos /123rf; visual background moderator: CC BY-SA 3.0 Thomas Wolf, www.foto-tw, and https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19376767; picture Philip Pullmann © Alamy Stock Photos / Geraint Lewis.