European Literature Night 2021

One of the greatest opportunities to celebrate the faceted cultural diversity of Europe is about to make its way back to the Netherlands, with a 2021 Edition full of news and surprises.

The European Literature Night is a multi-cultural, pan-European event that beautifully enhances the richness of our continent’s literature and promotes fruitful dialogue and exchange among Europe’s countries and people. The variety of the authors invited to this special night is only the first clue to assure you an event of truly heterogeneous contributions.

On May 9 the European Cultural Foundation organized an online free-event to celebrate Europe Day, an planned an engaging live-streamed discussion with European changemakers, artists, thinkers, and doers to toast this unique union of cultural variety. #EuropeDay21 has also resembled a perfect opportunity to know more about the 2021 edition of ELN: indeed, on May 9 the central theme of this year and the great authors that will participate to the literature night was revealed. Our distinguished guests will address the topic of The Courage of the Writer, exploring how should a writer relate to the burning issues of European societies, and what courage does Europe need from its writers.


The European Literature Night will bring together a group of twelve writers who all relate to European issues from their own local context, and to local issues from a European context. We are honoured to present you the protagonists of this special Night: Monique Roffey (UK/TT), Boštjan Videmšek (SI), Olivia Wenzel (DE), Laurent Petitmangin (FR), Christoph Schneeberger (CH), Andrea Bajani (IT), Jan Škrob (CZ), Moni Stanila (RO), Elia Barceló (ES), Ramunas Bogdanas (LT), Maarja Kangro (EE), and Max Temmerman (BE).

The ELN 2021 is planning to keep you amused with novelists and poets from all over Europe. Visit our Facebook page for the freshest updates on this event; there you will be able to find a lot of insights about the authors’ careers, and their personal perspective on the role they play as writers in the 21st century. Furthermore, on the social media we collected a selection of quotes from our guests where they share what courage means for them as writers. Courage is indeed the fil rouge that will connect them one to the other, and to the whole public, during the European Literature Night 2021. What does it mean to be a courageous author in our times? What is the significance of this word in the literary world? And what impact does it have on the readers?

Get to know innovative poets and writers from every corner of the continent – from Spain to Lithuania, from Slovenia to the UK – in a literary feast of compelling fiction, poetry slam, short stories, and discussions. Clear your schedule for June 19 and get ready for a night of diving into European literature: the virtual event will be streamed at 20:00 from the theatre De Balie, in Amsterdam. Everyone is welcomed to join this online free event: the link to the Night will be made available soon via both EUNIC Netherland and De Balie’s websites, and on our Facebook page.

Stay tuned!


The great hosts of the 2021 edition are Margot Dijkgraaf, literary critic, author, and international advisor, and Guido Snel, writer and assistant professor of European Studies at UvA.

If you are as thrilled for this event as we are, do not worry: plenty of insights on the ELN 2021 are already available online. Besides the information and curiosities about our guests that you can find on EUNIC Netherlands’ Facebook page, the literary podcast Words of Courage has recently been uploaded on the website of De Balie. This initiative consists of six podcasts featuring interviews with six of the participating writers in the European Literature Night 2021: Boštjan Videmšek, Moni Stănilă, Maarja Kangro, Ramunas Bogdanas, Andrea Bajani, and Jan Škrob. In these recordings you can hear the authors talking about the role of literature in Europe today, addressing climate change, the threat of Putin’s Russia, identity politics, feminism, but also poetry and spirituality, translation as a European mode of existence, and what it means to be part of the European literary web.

The podcasts were made by undergraduate students from the program European Studies/Europese Studies of the UvA and, we promise, you don’t want to miss them. Have a look at the great job they did!


The European Literature Night 2021 is organized in collaboration with:

British Council, Embassy of Slovenia, Goethe Institut, Institut Francais des Pays-Bas, Embassy of Switzerland, Istituto Italiano di Cultura Amsterdam, Tsjechisch Centrum, Romanian Cultural Institute Brussels, Instituto Cervantes Utrecht, Litouws Cultureel Centrum, Embassy of Estonia, and Vlaams Cultuurhuis De Brakke Grond.


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