Launch of Literary Europe Live in Aberystwyth on 7 October 2015

Literature Across Frontiers, part of Aberystwyth University, awarded €455,000 from Creative Europe to lead a new literary platform

Literature Across Frontiers, a European platform for literary exchange, translation and policy debate, has been awarded a grant of €455,000 from Creative Europe to work with 16 other partner organisations from across Europe. Launching this month and continuing until September 2017, ‘Literary Europe Live’ is a project that aims to support the development of a vibrant and diverse European literary culture and ensure that it can be experienced by a broad range of audiences across Europe and beyond. 

Two further Welsh partners, Hay Festival of Literature & Arts and Bangor University, are taking part in ‘Literary Europe Live’ and will benefit from the grant, which covers up to 80% of the total project costs (20% match funding is required). The other partners include Scottish Poetry Library and organisations in Latvia, Croatia, Norway, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Malta, Spain and Turkey. 

’Literary Europe Live’ launched on 7 October with Words&Words&Words, an evening of poetry and spoken word at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, which is part of North Wales International Poetry Festival. Following this, there are 34 events planned to take place around Europe and overseas in the first year of ‘Literary Europe Live’. Through these events and other activities, the project will support the mobility and circulation of works by emerging European literary creators; encourage the creation of literary works and debates exploring European narratives, identity and ideas; develop a label awarding and recognising Europe-wide programming and transnational dissemination of European literary works; and it will consider the challenges posed by language barriers and the fragmentation of the European book market by helping to find innovative approaches to Europe-wide programming of live events and dissemination of literature in print and digital forms.

The grant was awarded through the European Platforms strand of Creative Europe’s Culture sub-programme, the EU’s support programme for the cultural and creative sector until 2020. A total of three European Platforms were awarded funding this year. 

Alexandra Büchler, Director of Literature Across Frontiers, said: “We are delighted to be supported by Creative Europe in our work as a European Platform. The Literary Europe Live project will allow us to focus on developing audiences for European writing in all genres and particularly to support emerging writers, something we have been successfully doing with earlier projects. The members of our Platform - from prominent large festivals to smaller grassroots ones - will share their expertise in organising literary events and learn from each other about the ingredients of successful pan-European programming. Digital dissemination of literature is another topic we will be focusing on in order to reach young readers in particular. European writing is booming and we are here to help make it travel.”

The Welsh Government’s Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, said: “Building on our already impressive reputation for producing world class authors, our ambition is to see Wales become the most creative nation in Europe and this funding announcement certainly supports that vision. That we have been chosen, as a country, to lead a network of 16 literature agencies across the EU is testament to our work in this field. This significant EU funding investment will also support economic growth in the region by developing opportunities for emerging writers from Wales and across Europe as well as being a platform for literary exchange, translation and policy debate.” 

Cultural, creative and heritage organisations in Wales who are interested in applying for Creative Europe funding can get free information and advice from Creative Europe Desk UK – Wales, which is part of the Welsh Government Creative Economy Sector. Creative Europe Desk UK – Wales is holding an event in Caernarfon on 12 November about EU funding and international opportunities for organisations in Wales.  

List of all the partner organisations taking part in ‘Literary Europe Live’

Lead partner: Aberystwyth University through Literature Across Frontiers

Partners: 

  • Latvijas Literaturas centrs (Latvian Literature Centre), LV
  • Inizjamed, MT
  • Festival of Literature Charitable Trust / Hay Festival of Literature & Arts, GB
  • Het beschrijf vzw (Passaporta House of Literature), BE
  • Kulturtreger - Association for promotion of cultures, HR
  • Foreningen Oslo internasjonale poesifestival (Oslo Poetry Festival), NO
  • Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (Barcelona Centre for Contemporary Culture), ES
  • Petöfi Irodalmi Múzeum (Petöfi Literary Museum), HU
  • Drustvo Slovenskih Pisateljev  (Slovenian Writers’ Association), SI
  • Artur Burszta Biuro Literackie (Literary Bureau), PL
  • Maratonas de Leitura - Consultores Editoriais PT
  • Bangor University, GB
  • Croatian Writers’ Society, HR
  • Literaturbruecke Berlin e.V., DE
  • Scottish Poetry Library, GB
  • Anadolu Kultur A.S, TR

Photo: Launch of Literary Europe Live in Aberystwyth on 7 October 2015. Left to right: Ania Rolewska (LAF, Aberystwyth University), Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones (Mercator, Aberystwyth University), Catrin Cooke (Creative Europe Desk UK - Wales), Nikola Petković (Croatian Writers’ Society), Alexandra Büchler (LAF), Dr Rhodri Llwyd Morgan (Aberystwyth University).