Writer in Residence Programme 2010

Davide Longo as WIR in Amsterdam

1 Jul-31 August 2010

During his residency in the Netherlands, Davide Longo will not just experience the city of Amsterdam. In July he is invited to participate in the ‘City Books’ project in Utrecht by Vlaams-Nederlands Huis deBuren in cooperation with Vrede van Utrecht.

‘City Books’ is an artistic, principally literary residential project. Together with local partners, deBuren asks five writers and a photographer to take up residence for two weeks in a European city. The six artists will come to know the city over those two weeks and will translate their impressions into their own artistic language. The photographer will make twenty-four photos for the website. The authors will write a City Book: a text of roughly four thousand words, in which the city (Utrecht in this case) plays an important role. A City Book could be a short story, an essay or poetry.

The five City Books will appear on and will also be published in an e-book that will be downloadable free of charge. deBuren will make the e-books available in Dutch, English and French.

Davide Longo was born in 1971 in Carmagnola (in the Province of Torino). He graduated with honours in Language and Literature (majoring in Cinematography) and attended the Masters Course for narrative technique at the Holden School of Turin where he graduated winning a Scholarship for Merit. Following his education he wrote and directed shorts, documentaries and reportages for Rai Sat.

In 2001 his historical novel Un Mattino a Irgalem was published by Marcos y Marcos, winning the Premio Grinzane for best first novel and the Via Po Award. Longo takes the reader to Addis Abeba at a moment in time when Ethiopia is still part of the Italian empire. A young army lawyer slowly discovers he is kept in the dark about the real reason behind his impossible mission. Longo’s second novel Il Mangiatore di Pietre received wonderful critical acclaim and won the Premio Città di Bergamo and the Premio Viadana. The novel tells the story of a small and isolated community in the border region of Piemonte. His latest novel is called L’uomo verticale. Besides novels, Longo writes books for children, short stories and articles and his texts are also used in musical and theatre productions.

Longo has taught in a secondary school since 1999 and holds courses and writing workshops at the Holden School of Turin (the famous Baricco school).

Davide Longo is the first Italian author to come to Amsterdam as a writer in residence. On the question what it is that drives him to the Netherlands Longo responds: “The direction of my sight is rather Nordic. The idea to be able to stay in a silent city to write, in a room with large windows to look outside and with streets to go out on, where I can ride a bike between people who are not yelling, or where I can pedal to a sea without any parasols or sun beds, all these things together make me happy and calm. A happiness without agitation, that’s what I prefer.”

These are the two titles which are available in Dutch at De Geus Publishers; both translated by Pieter van der Drift:

  • Een ochtend in Irgalem
  • De Steeneter
Fleur van Koppen


Fleur van Koppen

Programme officer

[email protected]