Under the title ‘New Dutch Writing’, Dutch literature will be presented at more than seventy festivals and events in the United Kingdom and Ireland from October onwards. By means of this major promotional campaign, the Dutch Foundation for Literature aims to introduce new generations of Dutch authors to an English-language readership. The campaign will also draw attention to literary translation.
On Saturday 12 October, at the British Library in London, an extensive and ambitious programme of events will take place, focusing on Dutch culture and literature, with Dutch authors Herman Koch, Joris Luyendijk, Naema Tahir and Esther Gerritsen, Flemish novelist Jeroen Olyslaegers, and British authors Bart van Es and Simon Schama. Later in the week and through the autumn, Dutch authors are due to appear at the Cheltenham Literature Festival (11 October), the Durham Book Festival (13 October) and Poetry in Aldeburgh (9 November). Further appearances have been planned in libraries, bookshops and other venues.
‘New Dutch Writing’ also encompasses a number of translation workshops and writers’ residencies.
In October Eva Meijer and Bregje Hofstede will be writers in residence at the National Centre for Writing in Norwich and on Wednesday 9 October they will be interviewed in front of an audience. Afterwards, on 10-12 October, a translation workshop will be held in Norwich for both new and experienced translators from Dutch into English and from English into Dutch.
On the evening of Wednesday 9 October, the BBC Radio 3 programme ‘Free Thinking’ will focus on contemporary Dutch literature, with Eva Meijer, Herman Koch, Rodaan al Galidi and Onno Blom.
All the authors mentioned here have recently published work in English translation. Details of more than 100 recent English translations of Dutch literature can be found in the Foundation’s translations database.
Looking ahead to 2020
Two themes are central to the campaign: new generations of Dutch writers and literary translation. They come together in May 2020 in a special series of chapbooks from Strangers Press. The ‘Verzet’ series presents eight translations of work by young Dutch authors including Karin Amatmoekrim, Thomas Heerma van Voss, Bregje Hofstede, Jamal Ouariachi and Gustaaf Peek. The translations are by talented beginners, working under the guidance of experienced literary translators.
In 2020 the campaign continues, focusing attention on Dutch literature at literary festivals in Dublin, Manchester, Hay, Birmingham and Sheffield, and at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August.
‘New Dutch Writing’ is organized by the Dutch Foundation for Literature, which recently mounted successful campaigns in Germany (‘Dies ist, was wir teilen’, when the Netherlands and Belgium were guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2016) and France (‘Les Phares du Nord’, 2018-2019). The campaign is intended to feature the entire range of literature in Dutch: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s and young adult literature and the graphic novel.
'New Dutch Writing' will present Dutch literature at more than seventy events in the UK and Ireland