In August 2019, we will welcome Agustinus Wibowo from Indonesia, with support from the National Book Committee of Indonesia.
Agustinus Wibowo is a prominent travel writer. His work has pioneered a new genre in Indonesian travel literature by allowing readers to experience the writer’s physical and emotional journey as they contemplate their own anxieties. His third book, Zero: When Journey Takes You Home, became a national best-seller and will soon be adapted into a film. His latest work, Us and Them, will be published in 2019.
During his residency, Agustinus will run two travel writing workshops with the UK author Suzanne Joinson.
In September 2019, we will have our first UNESCO writer in residence at the Noirwich festival, Icelandic crime writer Yrsa Sigurdardottir.
Author of the bestselling Thora Gudmundsdottir crime series and several stand-alone thrillers, Yrsa Sigurdardottir was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1963 and works as a civil engineer. Her work stands ‘comparison with the finest contemporary crime writing anywhere in the world’ according to the Times Literary Supplement and has been translated into more than 30 languages.
Also in September 2019, we will be joined by two writers from Indonesia, Nuril Basri and John Waromi, who will take part in events as part of Banned Books Week.
Nuril Basri was born in a village in West Java, Indonesia, and raised in a staunchly Islamic community. Nuril has worked in a variety of positions—cashier, tutor, accounts manager, waiter, etc.—the combined experience of which has served to enrich his characters and settings. Nuril is the author of six novels. Website.
John Waromi was born in 1960 in West Papua, Indonesia. After studying law at Cenderawasih University, he moved to Jakarta and joined Indonesia’s most famous dramatic troupe, Rendra’s “BengkelTeater”. John was invited to the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in 2006, followed closely by the Balinale International Film Festival, Bali, and the Northern Territory Writers Festival, in Darwin, Australia. He now lives and writes in his home province.
In October 2019, we will be joined by two Dutch writers, Bregje Hofstede and Eva Meijer, with support from the Dutch Foundation for Literature.
Bregje will be working on her new novel – working title De oplossing van Hadewych (The Hadewych Solution). Dragon Hall will be the ideal location, as the Middle Ages feature large in the novel while Norwich is the most complete mediaeval English town to have survived and has more mediaeval churches than any other European city north of the Alps.
Eva Meijer is an author, artist, singer, songwriter and philosopher. Her non-fiction study on animal Communication, Animal Languages, is forthcoming in English in 2019. Bird Cottage is her first novel to appear in English, translated by Antoinette Fawcett and published by Pushkin Press. It has been nominated for the BNG and Libris prizes in the Netherlands and is being translated into several languages.
In October 2019 we will also welcome literary translator and non-fiction writer Ekaterina Petrova from Bulgaria, in partnership with the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation.
Ekaterina Petrova is a literary translator, nonfiction writer, and interpreter. She holds an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Iowa, where she was awarded the Iowa Arts Fellowship and helped edit the Exchanges Journal of Literary Translation.
Currently based in Sofia, she has been a translator-in-residence at Open Letter Books in Rochester, New York, and at the “Pristina has no river” program in Prishtina, Kosovo. Her literary translations and nonfiction writing have appeared in various Bulgarian and English-language publications.
In November 2019, we will be joined by two writers from Korea, Kim Heayeon and Kang Youngsook. Their residencies are supported by the Arts Council of Korea.
Kim Heayeon was born in Seoul, Korea. She majored in German literature and after a long period of working for a publishing company, she became fascinated with children’s books from England, especially the works of Roald Dahl and Philippa Pearce. In 2004, she won the Hans Christian Andersen Award in Korea with A Farewell Gift, and the Golden Goblin Award in 2009 with I’m a Cuckoo.
She has written approximately ten books for children and teenagers, including The Bakery of Coincidence.
Kang Young-sook is a feminist South Korean author. She often writes about the female grotesque, delving into varying genres, such as urban noir, fantasy, and climate fiction. Since her debut in 1998, she has published a number of novels and short story collections, and has received many prestigious awards, such as the Hanguk Ilbo Literature Prize, Kim Yujeong Literary Award, and Lee Hyo-seok Literature Award, among others.
She participated in the International Writing Program’s fall residency at the University of Iowa in 2009, and was also a visiting writer-in-residence at UC Berkeley in 2014. She currently teaches creative writing at Ewha Womans University and Korea National University of Arts.
In November, UK writer Katie Hale will head to Brussels for a residency at Passa Porta.
Born in Cumbria, Katie’s poetry pamphlet, Breaking the Surface, was published by Flipped Eye in 2017. She recently won the Buzzwords Poetry Prize, the Jane Martin Poetry Prize and the Ware Poetry Prize.During her residency Katie will be working on a collection of poetry that explores the ways in which our identity is shaped by those who come before us. Her debut novel, My Name is Monster, is due from Canongate in June 2019.
The Passa Porta exchange will continue in April 2020, when Flemish writer Els Beerten will spend a month at Dragon Hall in Norwich, while UK writer Claudine Toutoungi will head to Brussels to spend a month at Passa Porta.
Els Beerten is one of Belgium’s leading young adult novelists, who is working on a coming-of-age novel about two young Italian boys in the wake of the Second World War. The story is set in Belgium, Italy and England.While in Norwich, Els is keen to interact with the city and its inhabitants. She says: ‘I would like to find out in Norwich what traces the war left in the hands of the coastal inhabitants. In Norwich I would like to spend some time in exchange with the inhabitants of the city and surroundings, listening to the stories.’
Claudine Toutoungi is a playwright and poet. While in Brussels she will be working on her second collection of poetry, Scrap (Carcanet, 2020). She says: ‘I am keen for the poems to explore varied forms of dislocation – spatial, linguistic, and emotional and to investigate the double takes, confusions and collisions of modern urban life. One hugely appealing aspect of a stay in Brussels is the opportunity to absorb the atmosphere of a highly cultured, multilingual city. I find cities which offer a melting-pot of languages and literary influences incredibly inspiring.’