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.

The European Literature Night is partly made possible by the European Commission


This year, the European Literature Night will appear as a part of the Forum on European Culture‘s programme and will be paired with the State of European Literature, a key note co-organized by UvA. This year’s theme is ‘Literature, the Antidote’, taking European writers as a starting point to explore our world after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Information about this year’s night 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