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New Literature from Europe Festival featuring Jacek Dehnel

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - Friday, November 29, 2019

Instituto Cervantes New York, 211 E 49th St, New York

“Jacek Dehnel paints prewar Poland—‘laced with gilt and stucco in the cities, and heavy with the smell of cow pats and fruit lying in the grass in the countryside’—in the vibrant hues of a fairy tale. A multigenerational epic that spans a century and most of Eastern Europe, Lala is an astounding achievement, particularly considering Dehnel wrote it between the ages of 20 and 22 magical.”—Chicago Tribune

“Kovacik has entered so successfully into the world of the poet that much of this work honestly seems poetry of a very high order in English.”—Sasha Dugdale, EuroLitNetwork

The New Literature from Europe Festival (NLE)—New York City’s top European literary event—returns to the city for three days of conversations, panel discussions and readings on November 27-29, 2018. Now in its 14th installment, the festival brings together leading and emerging voices from 14 different countries with some of today’s foremost authors, editors and translators to celebrate cultural diversity and heritage while addressing the current challenges of globalization and migration. This year’s festival includes authors from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Spain.

Attendees will have the chance to hear one of Poland’s most versatile and creative younger voices. Jacek Dehnel (b. 1980) is the author of seven collections of poetry, seven works of fiction and four book-length translations, including works by Philip Larkin, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edmund White. He has been awarded the prestigious Koscielski Prize (2005) and the Polityka Passport Prize (2006), and he was nominated five times for the Nike literary prize and once for the Wislawa Szymborska Award (2014). His English publications include Saturn (Dedalus Europe, 2013) and Lala (Oneworld Publications, 2018), both translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, and the poetry collection Aperture (Zephyr Press, November 2018), translated by Karen Kovacik. Dehnel is also known for his series of mystery novels set in turn-of-the-century Kraków, co-written with his partner, the translator and historian Piotr Tarczynski. The first of these, Mrs. Mohr Goes Missing (Tajemnica Domu Helclów in Polish) will be published in English in spring 2019 by Oneworld Publications, in translation by Antonia Lloyd-Jones.

Joining Dehnel in New York will be poet and translator of contemporary Polish poetry Karen Kovacik. Her books include Metropolis Burning, with many evocations of cities at war; Beyond the Velvet Curtain, winner of the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize; and Nixon and I. Her translation of Agnieszka Kuciak’s Distant Lands: An Anthology of Poets Who Don’t Exist, longlisted for the 2014 National Translation Award, is available from White Pine Press, and in 2016, White Pine published Scattering the Dark: An Anthology of Polish Women Poets, edited and selected by her. Her translation of Dehnel’s Aperture is published this fall by Zephyr Books. Kovacik is Professor of English at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), where she teaches creative writing and American poetry. Her work has been honored with the Charity Randall Citation from the International Poetry Forum, a Fulbright Research Grant to Poland, and a Fellowship in Literary Translation from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Come hear important new voices in translation, discover new ones not yet known on this shore, and engage in a vital cross-cultural exchange for better understanding and kinship among cultures.

Dehnel will be featured in two events on Thursday, Nov 29:

Jacek Dehnel in Conversation with Translator/Poet Karen Kovacik

6:00 – 6:35pm

Afflicted Bodies and Disturbed Lands: A Poetic Approach

Featuring Jacek Dehnel (Poland), Esther Kinsky (Germany), Luna Miguel (Spain), Ursula Andkjær Olsen (Denmark)

8:10 – 9:25pm

All events will be held in English at Instituto Cervantes and are free and open to the public. RSVP required. For the full program and to RSVP, visit

New Literature from Europe is jointly organized by Instituto Cervantes New York, New York’s cluster of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), and the European Union Delegation to the United Nations in New York. This edition includes the participation of the Arts Council Malta; the Austrian Cultural Forum New York; the Balassi Institute – Hungarian Cultural Center, New York; the Consulate General of Denmark; the Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania in New York with the support of the Lithuanian Culture Institute; the Consulate General of Portugal in New York / Camões Institute; the Consulate General of Spain; the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria; the General Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA (Belgium); the Goethe-Institut New York; the Istituto Italiano di Cultura New York; the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York; the Polish Cultural Institute New York; and the Romanian Cultural Institute.

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