EU Lit Awards, Festivals, Warrior Writers & More! Your Weekly Lit News Roundup by Laurel Dowswell

2017 European Union Prizes for Literature Announced


On April 21st, the twelve winners for the 2017 prize were announced. Funded by the Creative Europe programme, the winners include Rudi Erebara (Albania), Ina Vultchanova (Bulgaria) and Sine Ergün (Turkey). The prize recognizes excellence in new and emerging literary talents across the continent. Click here for the full list. Congratulations to all the winners!

Salman Rushdie Opens Unbound Book Festival

Rushdie presented the keynote address on Friday, April 21st, at the University of Missouri for the second annual Unbound Book Festival. On expressing the importance of literature, he said,

“The more pluralistically we see ourselves, the easier it is to find common ground with other people, even if they’re very different from us. And this is what the novel has always told us; it has always told us that human beings are not one thing, they are many things at once.” — Salman Rushdie

The festival featured panels, author conversations, poetry readings, and more. Other authors featured at the festival include Sara Paretsky, Meg Kearney, and George Hodgman.

LA Times Festival of Books Highlights Feminism, Art, Politics, and Much More

The country’s largest book festival held lectures, discussions, and a variety of panels over the weekend. From George Saunders, Rebecca Solnit, and Rep. John Lewis, the fest brought a diverse collection of writers and ~160,000 attendees. Panels included such topics as “The Future is Female” and storytelling in the age of Tr**p, as well as artists/musicians such as Anna Dellaria, J.VEN, Cutty Flam, and more.

Here’s a tweet on Saturday from Henri Cole in anticipation of the fest:

Poetry Continues to Charge Forward Against Injustice 

From such events over the weekend at the March for Science in Washington to poetry readings at the Lincoln Center, poets are continuing to make sure their voices are heard. Political activism through the arts is surging, and poets around the US and the world are rising up to injustice, confronting such arenas as Islamaphobia, institutionalized racism, health care, and more.

Warrior Writers Share Work at the National Museum of American Jewish History


Warrior Writers, a national non-profit based in Philadelphia supporting the creative works of individuals with the full range of military experiences, held an event at the National Museum of American Jewish History last week. The presentations included poetry from Davelle Barnes, an Army Reservist who served in Afghanistan. She recited an original poem inspired by Robert Graves’ “It’s a Queer Time.” An excerpt here:

“I was too many roles in too many third word countries/ … a two-headed woman, young in the oldest battle known to man: power.” — Davelle Barnes

The event was organized by the Moonstone Arts Center, museum staff, and Warrior Writers, bringing an audience of high school students historical context amidst contemporary experiences in a conversation about poetry dating back to World War I.

But wait, there’s more!

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaks on how reading books changed her life.

Celebrating Latin American music and literature in Houston.

A 10,000 book giveaway in Stockton, CA.

A demonstration to free Italian writer and activist held in Turkey.

And…your video pick of the week! Here is an extraordinary piece from performance poet Theresa Davis published by Button Poetry on April 20th titled “Copse.

laurelsunshineLaurel Dowswell is the Features Editor at Change Seven. Her short story “I Am the Eggman” was nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. She was a copy editor for an independent feminist newspaper in Santa Fe, NM, after being raised and educated in Florida. She lives and writes in Georgia, just outside of Atlanta with her son. She is currently working on a novel filled with oil paintings, family drama, a lot of red wine, and the spectrum of sexuality. Follow her on twitter @laurels_idea.

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