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Romania Rocks - first Romanian-British literary festival, from Saturday to Nov. 13, in London and online

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Ana Blandiana

The Romanian-British literary festival Romania Rocks, which brings together resounding names of the literature of the two countries will take place from Saturday to November 13, in London and online.

According to a release of the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) sent, on Tuesday, to AGERPRES, Romania Rocks - a first for ICR London - brings together famous contemporary British authors, such as Paul Bailey, A. L. Kennedy, Deborah Levy, David Mitchell, Ben Okri, Ian Rankin, Elif Shafak, Fiona Sampson, Axel Scheffler, and well-known Romanian authors such as Ana Blandiana, Magda Carneci, Ruxandra Cesereanu, Eugen Chirovici, Marius Chivu, Andrei Codrescu, Norman Manea, Ioana Parvulescu and Matei Visniec.

Prefaced on September 30 by the launch of The Romanian Riveter, the first British magazine dedicated fully to Romanian literature, the festival comprises a series of events that propose to bring Romanian literature closer to the reading public in the entire world.

Interviews, lectures and conversations in the series "Rock Talks" will be completed, thus, by an event organized in collaboration with PEN Romania, which brings together poets Svetlana Carstean, Claudiu Komartin, Radu Nitescu, Andra Rotaru and Radu Vancu, and features film projections, a meeting with architect Ioana Corduneanu, but also events for children, with the participation of writers Simona Antonescu and Florin Bican, as well as illustrators Maria and Ileana Surducan and artist Marlene Stanciu.

Also as part of the series "Rock Talks" there will also be an event where translators Philip Boehm and Sean Cotter will speak of their work, with reference to the two authors that they transposed the works of in English: Herta Muller, laureate of the Nobel Prize in 2009, and Mircea Cartarescu, one of the best known contemporary Romanian writers.

The program of the festival will also include an event dedicated to Romanian writers who live in Great Britain: Ioana Baetica Morpurgo, Stela Brinzeanu, Vica Demici, Cristina Muresan, Simona Nastac, Anda Vahnovan, Andreea Scridon, the event being moderated by Paula Erizanu, and a meeting with British authors who live in Romania, moderated by Bronwen Riley.

A translation workshop, organized in partnership with the British Centre for Literary Translation, will bring together translators Jozefina Komporaly, Diana Manole, Philip Ceallaigh, Gabi Reigh, Andreea Scridon, Adam Sorkin and Lidia Vianu, while the Publishing Romania workshop will have as protagonists representatives of publishing houses in Romania and Great Britain.

The festival will conclude on November 13 with a rock concert of the band Publika.

Romania Rocks is an initiative of ICR London, under the leadership of Magda Stroe, the director of the festival, and is a festival curated by British journalist Rosie Goldsmith, artistic director, and Gabriela Mocan, cultural entrepreneur and creative producer of the festival.

All the events, that will take place in 1 Belgrave Square, in the presence of a small public that has pre-registered, will be filmed by London Video Stories and will be freely accessible on the communication channels of the two partner organizations: ICR and European Literature Network.

The books of the authors included in the program will be available for purchase in the two partner libraries: The European Bookshop (for English-language books: shorturl.at/gnqsx) and Carti Romanesti (for Romanian language books: https://cartiromanesti.co.uk/gb/).

The Romanian Riveter is freely available at the address https://www.eurolitnetwork.com/the-romanian-riveter/.

The quoted source mentions that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, not all authors will be able to travel to London for the festival, their participation being to be rendered online.

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