European Literature Night

In many ways the highlight of the EUNIC Netherlands calendar, the European Literature Night brings together both celebrated authors and promising literary talents from all over Europe. Writers are invited to tackle a central theme in small panels, led by a moderator. There is room for debate, for the reading of excerpts, for monologues and key-notes. The Night is a space for exploration, for understanding differences and recognizing similarities, for both authors and the audience to reimagine ‘Europeanness’. As such, each year, the European Literature Night sketches an impressionist, fragmented and dynamic picture of the European literary landscape.


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 ELN 2021 is planning to keep you amused with novelists and poets from all over Europe. 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 our website and EUNIC Netherland’s Facebook page.

If you are wondering who the stars of the evening will be, which great hosts we invited to lead the Night, and many more information about the 2021 edition of the ELN, you can find all the details on the page of the event!


In 2020, the European Literature Night was part of the Forum on European Culture‘s programme and was paired with the State of European Literature, a key note co-organized by UvA. 2020’s theme‘Literature, the Antidote’, took European writers as a starting point to explored our world after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Information about the edition of 2020 can be found on our event page.


Themed ‘the library’, the 2019 European Literature Night was the result of a collaboration with the Amsterdam Public Library to celebrate its 100th anniversary. Partly taking place at the library, partly at De Brakke Grond, the European Literature Night reunited twelve writers and poets from all over Europe to talk about librarians and readers, accidental encounters with books and people, the first library they ever visited, about nostalgia for paper and dust, endless rows of books on shelves, the thrill of digital texts available world-wide. In other words, about the past and future of reading.

Authors attending included Marek Šindelka (Czech Republic), Almudena Grandes (Spain), Delphine Lecompte (Belgium) en Felicitas von Lovenberg (Germany), Andrej Blatnik (Slovenia), Lina Buividavičiūtė (Lithuania), Gandolfo Cascio (Italy), Andrei-Paul Corescu (Romania), Kerem Eksen (Turkey), Jannah Loontjens (The Netherlands), Jasim Mohamed (Sweden), Shumona Sinha (France) and Zoe Strachan (United Kingdom). It was moderated and hosted by Eric Metz, Suze van der Poll and Guido Snel.


The 2018 edition of the European Literature Night took place at two locations: Amsterdam, and the Cultural Capital of Europe 2018, Leeuwarden. On Tuesday a dozen authors from all over Europe met in Leeuwarden, before reconvening on Wednesday in Amsterdam to discuss the theme “What time is it?”. The evening was full of stories, poetry and cinema, once again moderated by Guido Snel, lecturer in European Studies at the University of Amsterdam.

Participating authors included Marius Burokas (Lithuania), Jan Carson (United Kingdom), Robert G. Elekes (Romania), Elmar Kuiper (Friesland, only in Leeuwarden), Kostas Gouliamos (Cyprus), Dana Grigorcea (Switzerland), Çiler İlhan (Turkey),Mustafa Kör (Flanders), Svealena Kutschke (Germany), Marije Langelaar(Netherlands), Giorgio Montefoschi (Italy) and Jaroslav Rudiš (Czech Republic).

photos by Jan Carson