Twelve authors were awarded the 2011 EU Prize for Literature (EUPL) during a gala ceremony that took place on November 28th at the Hotel Plaza in Brussels. The EUPL recognises the best new or emerging authors in the EU(1). This year’s winners are: Kalin Terziyski (Bulgaria), Tomáš Zmeškal (Czech Republic), Kostas Hatziantoniou (Greece), Ófeigur Sigurðsson (Iceland), Inga Zolude (Latvia), Iren Nigg (Liechtenstein), Immanuel Mifsud (Malta), Andrej Nikolaidis (Montenegro), Rodaan Al Galidi (Netherlands), Jelena Lengold (Serbia), Ciler Ilhan (Turkey) and Adam Foulds (United Kingdom). Each winner will receive € 5,000 and the opportunity to be placed on a priority list for the EC translation programme to boost the cross-border appeal of his or her book.
The awards were presented by Mrs Androulla Vassiliou, the Commissioner in charge of Culture, Education, Multilingualism and Youth, Mrs Doris Pack, chair of the European Parliament's Culture and Education Committee and Mr Bogdan Zdrojewski, Polish Minister for Culture and Heritage, in the presence of HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands and other public figures from the fields of culture, literature and politics.
Commissioner Vassiliou said: “The EU Prize for literature is unique. No other prize puts the spotlight in this way on the full richness of Europe's literary diversity and creativity. Moreover, the prize draws attention to new or emerging European authors and helps them reach new audiences outside their home country. I want to warmly congratulate the winners and wish them all success in touching as many readers as possible, as they certainly deserve”.
FEP President Fergal Tobin added: “After a mere three years of existence, the EUPL has already important visibility and credit in our sector. This is exciting and very promising for the emerging authors who are laureates of this Prize”.
"Europe needs stories and storytellers: writers bring vital sparks to the minds and languages, and only change keeps cultures alive; therefore, it is always a joy to celebrate the new literary voices assuring us that culture keeps growing and changing", said Dr. Pirjo Hiidenmaa, President of the European Writers' Council.
"As a bookseller and as EBF President, I am thrilled to be involved in this Ceremony for the third time. While it is obvious that the book chain is undergoing a profound transformation at the time being, the role of booksellers in bringing quality literature to a wide audience is as important as ever", declared John McNamee, President of the European Booksellers Federation.
As the European platform for literary exchange, translation and policy debate with a focus on encouraging greater diversity in publishing which would reflect the literary wealth of Europe, Literature Across Frontiers is pleased to cooperate in the promotion of the EUPL and its winners.
Passa Porta, Brussels's International House of Literature, welcomes writers from all over the world to share their thoughts on literature with a multilingual audience in Europe's capital. It also nourishes new literary work by offering writers a longer stay in Brussels, during which they can focus on their own writing project while being immersed in its rich cultural life. Passa Porta will offer one of the winning EUPL authors a fully accommodated stay of one month at Passa Porta's writers' flat as well as a stipend. Passa Porta shares with EUPL the belief in the importance of excellent literature in a multitude of voices and hence is happy to support the creative work of one of the winning authors through its writers in residence scheme.
(1) The European Union Prize for Literature is jointly organised by the European Commission, the European Booksellers Federation, European Writers' Council and the Federation of European Publishers. The competition is open to the 36 countries involved in the EU Culture Programme (27 Member States, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey). Each year, national juries in 12 of the participating countries nominate the winner authors, so that all countries in the programme are represented over a three-year period.
European Commission: Dennis Abbott (+32 2 295 92 58) - Dina Avraam (+32 2 295 96 67)
EUPL Press Agency - eu.Ness: Caroline Hayat (+32 2 374 07 05)
Find out more:
EUPL website: http://www.euprizeliterature.eu
Culture portal of the European Union: http://ec.europa.eu/culture