passa porta residence
At the end of last month, journalist Jan Gheysen visited Het Lijsternest. You can read his impressions on his personal blog (in Dutch). In December, the crew of CANVAS, the Dutch public broadcasting, will be there to make a coverage for their programme Hoera Cultuur!. Anne Provoost is looking forward to it!
© Peter Malaise
This week, Passa Porta celebrated ten years of residence. In those 10 years, almost 200 international writers found not only time and peace, but also inspiration, experiment and new ideas.
On Monday, the Passa Porta team and the press gathered at Villa Hellebosch to reflect on the past and to look at the future.
Starting this fall, Passa Porta is extending the residency possibilities for both Belgian and foreign writers. After a long cooperation with Villa Hellebosch, the focus in the future will be on residences in Brussels. Het Lijsternest in Ingooigem and the Torenpaviljoen from the Royal Academy for Dutch Literature and Linguistics in Ghent open their doors. In Brussels, Passa Porta proposes a second apartment and a work space in its own house.
Flemish authors who wish to work abroad will have two new possible locations to take up a residence. Berlin and Rome are those two new international locations.
Last Monday, the first writer in residence arrived at Lijsternest: none other than Anne Provoost will be staying there until mid December. During her stay, she will focus on a new book in which she will try to find out how a nine year old girl must have felt about living far away from home during war.
Anne Provoost is the first author staying at this new location, in the rural Ingooigem, for which Passa Porta collaborates with the province of West Flanders.
This week, the American author Kiran Desai is spending the last week of her residency at Villa Hellebosch in Vollezele. Last saturday, MO* magazine talked to her about loneliness, about what it means to be an author and a woman, about magic realism and about the relation between literature and politics. You can find the complete interview (in Dutch) here.
Tomorrow, Wednesday the 22th, she participates to writing away from home, an evening with two other writers in residence, Vonne van der Meer and Chantal Neveu. The three authors will give readings and will talk about how the place where they write affects their work. Reservations for the evening can be made here.
The Brasilian author Bernardo Carvalho talks about the benefits of his writer's residence in Brussels (in French):
The application round for the AKADEMIE SCHLOSS SOLITUDE residency programm in Stuttgart (during the period of 2015-2017) has started. Applying is possible on the application website.
Italian journalist and author Angelo Mastrandrea is staying in Brussels to research the commmunity of La Poudrière:
Fouad Laroui unveils part of the plot of his novel, which he is writing during his stay in Brussels.
Tuesday the 25th of March, Russell Working gave a lecture for journalism students at the University of Brussels (VUB) about his experiences as a foreign correspondent. Afterwards, the students got the chance to interview him.
On the 20th of March, Juan Gabriel Vásquez gave a lecture about ‘The Tragical Spirit of the Novel’ at the University of Antwerp. His discourse was inspiring and the audience really enthusiastic. Afterwards, Vásquez signed his books and stayed for a talk with the audience.
Ivo Victoria, who enjoyed a work residency in Pittsburgh in 2013, discusses how becoming a writer has made him a reader, how music is his biggest stylistic influence, and how he plays the "game between fact and fiction." You can watch the video here.
Patrick McGuinness’ most recent novel Other People’s Countries was published this month by Jonathan Cape. The novel, which he dedicated to his children, tells the story of his childhood in Bouillon, Belgium. He worked on the book during his Passa Porta residency in 2013.
Juan Gabriel Vásquez, our present writer in residence, met his readers to talk about his novel The sound of things falling. For this fourth Read & Meet in the Passa Porta bookshop, a lot of interested literature lovers turned up. They discussed many issues, like the plotline of the novel, the characters, the style of writing, the biographical elements in the book and the background of the Colombian war on drugs.
Vásquez also participates in the first Passa Porta Seminar The Time of the Author, where seven leading authors from different countries discuss the relationship between the literary imagination and current affairs. The 12th of March at Flagey, the authors present the results of the seminar to the public along with readings from their work.
On the 20th of March, Juan Gabriel Vásquez lectures about ‘The tragical spirit of the novel’ at the university of Antwerp. For this occasion, he writes a new text.
The 8th of February, our poet in residence Nikola Madzirov attended a poetry breakfast in the bookshop De Groene Waterman in Antwerp, where he read from his own work.
During his stay in Brussels, Madzirov had the opportunity to visit the Poetry Centre in Ghent and enjoyed dinner in Antwerp with some Flemish poets.
The Macedonian poet Nikola Madzirov about not destroying silence and being present yet invisible during his writer's residence in Brussels.
The 28th of January, writer in residence Hyam Yared talked with journalist Hadja Lahbib (RTBF) about living and working in the Middle East, amidst the permanent threat of war. The evening drew a large audience and proved to be very inspiring. During her stay in Brussels, Yared also met the Belgian writer Caroline Lamarche.
The Lebanese author Hyam Yared talks about the benefits of her writer's residence in Brussels (French spoken).
Alex Danchev, our writer in residence in Brussels, about the work, life and friends of René Magritte.
Khaled Khalifa received the Nagieb Mahfouz award for his novel
La sakakin fi matabikh hadhihi al-madina (No Knives in the
Kitchens of this City). The award includes that the novel will now be
translated into English. The Syrian novelist is an opponent of the Assad
regime and some of his works have been banned in his own country. In march
2013, Khalifa stayed in our writer’s flat in Brussels and participated in
the Passa Porta Festival. Click
here for more information.
Manu Joseph (IN) is very happy to have the time here in Brussels to reflect about his new novel. Unfortunately, he already left us, but it sounds like he wouldn't refuse a second residency at Passa Porta in the future...
On the 28th of November, Manu Joseph met his readers to discuss his novel Serious Man. A nice and interesting evening at the Passa Porta Bookshop.
Manu Joseph in Utrecht, the Netherlands, during a literary evening organized by Het Literatuurhuis on the 25th of November.
On the 20th of November, Bozar organised an evening devoted to contemporary literature from India, in the context of Europalia. Manu Joseph and two other writers talked about their work and read excerpts.
During her stay in Villa Hellebosch Anna Mackenzie researches World War I and her grandfather's involvement in the Great War...
The Spanish author Use Lahoz is really happy about his Passa Porta writers' residence in Vollezele (in French).
Aleš Šteger, current writer in residence at Passa Porta, on chocolate, beer, trees, Jan Fabre and beauty.
Aifric Campbell (EIR), Passa Porta's current writer in residence, is working on her fourth novel in Brussels.
Austrian author Anna Kim will stay in our writer's flat in Brussels until the end of July. She is working from the morning till the evening on a new novel.
Today, Román Antopolsky left Brussels, leaving behind the following words:
I came only to write, but now I'm leaving this city with new ideas that are becoming projects even as I type these lines. With the first part of the novel almost finished, a series of poems after trips to Antwerp and Bruges gaining shape, and drawings that seem to be forming part of something broader, Brussels proved to be the trigger of unexpected events.
Passa Porta's writer in residence Román Antopolsky recently gave a poetry workshop at the Klein Kasteeltje reception centre in Brussels. He taught asylum seekers young and old(er) of various nationalities.
Román Antopolsky, Passa Porta's current writer-in-residence, arrived in Brussels at the end of May. He is writing a novel set in a 5th-century Syrian monastery.
During her stay in Villa Hellebosch, French author Céline Curiol worked on an essay on odours.
Canadian author Ibi Kaslik stayed four weeks in Villa Hellebosch to work on Radical Road, a novel dealing with the difficult relationship between motherhood and self-fulfilment in North America's allegedly liberal society.
Patrick McGuinness, Passa Porta’s writer-in-residence in February 2013, explains how he is inspired by Belgian railway stations. “You begin to see they have a kind of sour, dark, ordinary poetry but I responded to that very well. There are spectacular stations like Antwerp and Liège which are like real cathedrals of movement.”
The Irish author Gerard Donovan is Passa Porta's current writer-in-residence. A participant to the recent Passa Porta Festival (Long Night of the Short Story and Parcours), he is back in Brussels for a four-week stay, during which he will be working on a new novel.
Khaled Khalifa's In Praise of Hatred, banned in Syria, has made the longlist for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2013. At the moment, Khalifa is staying in Brussels as Passa Porta's writer in residence.
Trieste of Croatian author Daša Drndić, who stayed in our writer's flat past January, is also figuring on the longlist.
The Syrian author
Khaled Khalifa arrived in Brussels today. Khalifa will
stay with us in residence for five weeks to work on a new novel set during
the fall of the Ottoman empire.
Khaled Khalifa is also an important guest at the Passa Porta Festival this coming March.
Patrick McGuinness on his stay in Brussels.
Daša Drndić on her residency @ Passa Porta, Brussels, January 2013
Alejandro Zambra talks about Brussels (English translation below):
I find the city very readable. At the same time, when you take a closer look, [Brussels] seems to have distinct layers, which in turn render it more difficult to read. It has a kind of hermetic quality, which is to do with its beauty. And also with the multilingualism.
Here, words occupy a space that is hard to pinpoint: are they
privileged or, vice-versa, are they very at risk, because everything is in
two languages? Like on the plaques with the street names on every
corner: it tells me something that I'm interested in codifying, but each
time I understand less and less about this city.
In other words: the first experience [of Brussels] is much more conventional than the last one; and the last one is more disturbing.
I have written quite a lot [during my residence], well, three or four short stories, which is much, for a book that will be called ... Bruselas.
Watch here the interview with Alejandro Zambra in Passa Porta, 5 December 2012. Conversation in Spanish by Ilse Logie en Bieke Willem (Univerity of Ghent).
American author Annie Proulx in conversation with publisher Nele Hendrickx (De Geus), at Passa Porta International House of Literature Passa Porta, Brussels. December 2012.
Watch the entire evening:
The Austrian author Robert Menasse spent some weeks in Passa Porta's writer's residence in 2010. The results of his stay are now published in German by Paul Zsolnay Verlag under the title Der Europaïsche Landbote. Die Wut der Bürger und der Friede Europas.
Flemish author Bart Moeyaert currently is writer in residence at the Writers Omi International Writers Residency in Ledig House, Ghent (NY) until mid-October. He will use his residency to work on his new book. Follow his New York sketches and notes via Tumblr.
We do not like to say goodbye to Inga Zolude, but it is nice to hear that her stay in Brussels gave her the inspiration and peace she needed to finish her fourth novel. Looking forward to the result!
Meet Inga Zolude, writer-in-residence in Passa Porta's writer's flat till 24 September 2012. She is working on a new novel, focusing on women's problems through centuries and across cultures.
Our previous writer in residence, the Macedonian author Goce Smilevski (Freud's Sister, novel) in conversation with Anna Luyten and Stijn Vanheule. Passa Porta, 6 June 2012.