Off-venue event at RILF

The Reykjavik International Literary Festival takes place 19th-23rd April this year. We will have an off-venue event in Iðnó on Friday 21st at 5 pm where poets from Slovakia will share their works alongside foreign-born writers who have made a mark on Iceland’s literary scene in recent years. The event is titled “Not being heard is no reason for silence,” a quote from Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables.”

During the discussion, moderated by Victoria Bakshina, we’ll delve into the status of literature in Slovakia and Central Europe and compare it to that of Iceland. We’ll also explore the role of authors during difficult times and the significance of literature for minority groups. The event will also feature a discussion about the experiences of being a foreign-born writer in Iceland.

Organized by the Gunnar Gunnarsson Institute and the Writers’ Union of Iceland, this off-venue event is part of the Reykjavík International Literary Festival and the Epic Residencies project, which promotes cultural collaboration between Iceland, Slovakia, and Norway.

Join us for an event that celebrates the importance of literature as a tool for expression. It will be an hour of reading and discussion, primarily in English.

The writers are:

Dominika Moravčíková is a fiction writer and poet based in Košice, Slovakia. One of the most exciting young voices in contemporary Slovak literature, she debuted in 2020 with the poetry collection Deti Hamelnu (The Children of Hameln). The book received widespread critical acclaim across Slovakia and the Czech Republic and was nominated for Slovakia’s national prize for best poetry book, Zlatá vlna, in 2021. In 2022 she published her second book, a collection of short stories titled Dom pre Jeleňa (A House for the Deer, KK Bagala publishing house). The book is currently shortlisted for this year’s Anasoft Litera Prize, Slovakia’s most important literary award. The stories, marked by Moravčíková’s imaginative use of language and world-building through the development of fictional rural mythologies, has also received much attention since its publication. In 2019 she became the first writer to win both the country’s short story prize Poviedka and the poetry prize Básne SK-CZ in the same year. She regularly publishes essays with the leading Slovak left-wing cultural and political monthly Kapitál. In her academic work as a postgraduate researcher she conducts ethnographic research on the music education of Roma children in Slovakia. Her research also translates into her creative work, where she explores themes of exclusion, fate, knowledge, and memory. She is involved in the cultural management of two contemporary art galleries in Košice and collaborates with the Košice Literary Residencies programme.

Jakub Juhás is a fiction writer and sound curator at LOM, a cultural space in Bratislava that focuses on contemporary forms of sound art and acoustic ecology. In 2016 he debuted with the book Novoročný výstup na Jaseninu (The New Year's Ascent to Jasenina), which was shortlisted for the country’s most prestigious fiction prize, the Anasoft Litera Prize and won the Ján Johanides Prize for Young Authors. His second book, PS, was published in 2022 by the Prague-based publishing studio Rubato and is currently shortlisted for this year’s Anasoft Litera Prize. The formally inventive book centers around a fictional account of the final days of the legendary 19th century Hungarian poet Petöfi Sándor, who famously disappeared in 1849. In the book we find him holed up in the small town of Lučenec (in today’s Hungarian-speaking south of Slovakia), tortured by the screeching sounds of the bronze cockerel atop the local church. The book, whose structure melds passages of fictional narrative with essayistic reflections and sensorily dense descriptions of Central European geography, landscapes and Hungarian-Slovak personal relations and interactions, draws heavily on Juhás’s obsession with sounds and their communication in literary forms. Juhás regularly publishes texts on sound art and experimental music in various international cultural and music magazines. He runs the experimental music label mappa editions. The label’s activities also include curating concerts, installations, residencies and workshops.

Juliana Sokolová is a poet and essayist. Her first book of poems My house will have a roof, published bilingually in English and Slovak by the Prague-based publishing house Fra in 2013, explores the relationship between grief and language. Her second book of poems, Domáce práce (On Housework), will be published in autumn/winter 2023 in Slovak by Literárna bašta. The book explores what it is we touch while we do housework: a darkness that is prehistoric and waits. Characterised as “a poet’s poet” by the Slovak Literary Review, she writes condensed, frequently minimalist poems with an acute attention to language. She frequently reflects on language from her position of writer not writing in her mother’s tongue, Hungarian. Her poems have featured on the radio in Sweden and Norway. She publishes essays in journals, artist monographs and exhibition catalogues internationally. Juliana Sokolová is a postgraduate researcher in architectural theory at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. She cooperates with the art-house cinema Kino Úsmev in Košice, where she curates their literary programme, and is a co-founder of the Košice Literary Residencies programme.

Jakub Stachowiak was born in Poland in 1991 and has lived in Iceland since 2016. He is a librarian. He holds a BA in Icelandic as a second language and is now studying creative writing at the University of Iceland. He is a published poet, writing in Icelandic. For his first book of poems Næturborgir (Nocturnal Cities) published in 2021, he received a Grassroot Grant from the Icelandic Literature Center. In 2022 he also published two other books of poetry, úti bíður skáldleg veröld (outside awaits a poetic world) and flæði 3(flow 3). He has also published poems in the poetry collection Pólífónía af erlendum uppruna, which contains poems by foreign poets in Reykjavík and in various magazines, including Skandali and Tímarit Máls og Menningar. He has recently performed in a theater play Góða ferð inn í gömul sár(Safe travel into old wounds) that revolves around the HIV pandemic in Iceland in the 80s and 90s and written personal articles for a radio programme Lestin. His 4th book, Stjörnufallseyjur (Islands of a falling star) will be published in autumn by the publishing house Dimma.

Mao Alheimsdóttir is Polish in origin, living in Iceland since 2006. She graduated with MA in creative writing from the University of Iceland 2020 and writes in Icelandic. She received a Grassroot Grant from the Icelandic Literature Center in 2021 for her first novel Veðurfregnir og jarðarfarir (Weather forecasts and funerals). Her writing has previously been published in Tímarit Máls og Menningar and Ljóðabréfið. She is a working artist and has been involved in various stage works. In 2021 in collaboration with Icelandic National Radio she created a miniserie of radio programme Að fjallabaki (Behind the mountains).

Spring exhibition with colorful crafts

The cultural center and café at Skriðuklaustur opened on Saturday 1st April. In April and May it is open every day from 11 am till 5 pm. The spring exhibition is a joint project of HANDVERK OG HÖNNUN / CRAFTS AND DESIGNS and Gunnarsstofnun and has the title "Spring is coming, the world is warming..." a quote to the poet Jóhannes from Kötlum. After a heavy winter throughout the country, it was decided that spring and the spirit of growth would be the theme. Most of the works are multicolored, in bright colors and in a variety of materials. The exhibition will hopefully remind us that summer is coming, with its colors and beauty.
The works on the exhibit are very diverse and the exhibitors come from all over the country. They are: Anna Gunnarsdóttir, Auður Bergsteinsdóttir, Bjarni Þór Kristjánsson, Embla Sigurgeirsdóttir, Erla Björk Sigmundsdóttir, Guðný Hafsteinsdóttir, Guðrún Halldórsdóttir, Ingibjörg Ósk Þorvaldsdóttir, Jedúddamía (Kristrún Helga Marinósdóttir) and Ólöf Erla Bjarnadóttir.
The exhibition will be at Skriðuklaustur until 1st May.

Rithöfundalest(ur) 2022

Austfirskir höfundar fylla lestina í ár

Rithöfundar verða á ferð um Austurland 17. - 20. nóvember að kynna verk sín venju samkvæmt. Að þessu sinni verður Rithöfundalestin alfarið austfirsk þar sem allir höfundar eiga rætur eða eru búsettir á Austurlandi. Kjarna lestarinnar mynda fjórmenningarnir: Benný Sif Ísleifsdóttir með skáldsöguna Gratíana sem er framhald Hansdætra; Jónas Reynir Gunnarsson með skáldsöguna Kákasus-gerillinn; Smári Geirsson með stórvirkið Sögu Fáskrúðsfjarðar; og Ragnar Ingi Aðalsteinsson með þrjú verk, Líkið er fundið - sögur af Jökuldal, kvæðasafn systkinanna frá Heiðarseli og bók um Skáld-Rósu. Aðrir höfundar sem stíga um borð í lestina á mismunandi stöðum eru: Unnur Sveinsdóttir með barnabókina Skotti og sáttmálinn; Ásgeir Hvítaskáld með skáldsögu byggða á sönnum atburðum, Morðið í Naphorni; ; Jón Pálsson með glæpasöguna Skaðræði; Jón Knútur Ásmundsson með ljóðabókina Stím; Anna Karen Marinósdóttir með ljóðabókina Kannski verður allt í lagi; og Björn Ingvarsson með þýðingar á ljóðum Inúíta.

Upplestrarsamkomur Rithöfundalestarinnar verða sem hér segir:

Allir velkomnir á meðan húsrúm leyfir.


Rithöfundalestin er samstarfsverkefni Gunnarsstofnunar, Skaftfells, Menningarstofu Fjarðabyggðar, menningarsviðs Múlaþings og menningar- og atvinnumálanefndar Vopnafjarðarhrepps.

Verkefnið nýtur stuðnings Uppbyggingarsjóðs Austurlands, Síldarvinnslunnar, Alcoa, Atlantsolíu, Brims, Forlagsins, Bílaleigu Akureyrar og Gistihússins á Egilsstöðum.

Allar upplýsingar um viðburðina er að finna á Facebook-síðum samtarfsaðilanna.

Once upon a the future

Conference on digital promotion and preservation of heritage will be held in Reykjavik 16th June 2022 as the final event in the project PHIVE (Promoting and preserving heritage in virtual environments) which is funded by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme. At the conference there will be talks (30+) about virtual heritage and the future of heritage in virtual worlds dicussed in various sessions. Participants will be able to learn about new technical solutions and outputs from different projects and organisations. Innovative projects in gaming and experience industry that build on cultural heritage will get the change to present their products onsite. The event is hybrid and will be streamed and participants can join session online. The conference program with abstracts included can be downloaded here. Or follow the conference homepage.

To register please visit Eventbrite. There are limited seats at the venue but more online.

For more information on the PHIVE project and the future Northern Heritage Network visit:

Icelandic organisers of the conference:

isl samstarf

Open call: Residencies in Slovakia

Residencies for writers and translators from Iceland and Norway in Slovakia

The Gunnar Gunnarsson Institute (Skriðuklaustur, Iceland) in collaboration with the Writers Union of Iceland, Tou Scene (Stavanger, Norway) and the programme Literary residencies Košice (Slovakia) are inviting writers and translators from Iceland and Norway to apply for writing residencies in Slovakia. To apply for the residency, please fill out the online application form and submit it by the 15th of June 2022.

Four residencies for authors from Iceland and four residencies for authors from Norway will take place in the city of Košice, Slovakia between July 2022 and October 2023 facilitated by the programme Literary residencies Košice.

The project Epic Residencies offers writing opportunities to authors from Iceland, Norway and Slovakia regardless of their ethnicity, nationality, gender or language of writing and is thus also open to those working in minority languages.

The Epic Residencies project is open to authors working in a wide range of literary genres (prose, poetry, literary essay, experimental work, script writing, etc) and to translators of literature. The project is built upon the values of intercultural exchange, gender equality, the importance of minority experiences and a diversity of voices in literature.  

The selected candidates will be provided with

  • private accommodation in a furnished, 1-bedroom flat with a separate bathroom and kitchen in the Old Town of Košice
  • a stipendium of 1 500 €
  • travel costs to and from the residency
  • free access to the programme’s partner art house cinema, Kino Úsmev and the partner literary museum, the Sándor Márai Museum 
  • support and assistance during their stay from the programme Literary residencies Košice
  • (Travel and health insurance is not covered by the project and is the responsibility of the selected candidates.)

Literary residencies Košice is a new residency programme based in a cultural heritage building from the 18th century in the historical center of the city that also houses the Sándor Márai Museum dedicated to the work of the Hungarian writer and his brother, the film director Géza Radványi, whose family had rebuilt the house in 1913 as the family’s residence. The literary residency programme was established by the National Minorities Club, which has its headquarters in the building, and a collective of young writers and cultural professionals who curate the literary programme in the nearby art house cinema Kino Úsmev. The programme co-operates with the national Slovak Literary Centre (LIC) as well as with a number of small cutting-edge cultural initiatives in the city and the country. The programme works with both established writers and translators and up-and-coming and experimental authors. 


The residency is open to authors who:

  • live, work, were born in or have a different connection to Iceland or Norway without regard to their age, gender or ethnicity
  • create or translate works of literature
  • Please note an ability to communicate in English in writing/speaking is preferred within the context of an international residency exchange

The Application Form

The deadline for submitting applications to the residency is the 15th of June 2022. Please apply via the online application form. Please attach the following to your application:

  • a brief CV (please specify your publications and other relevant work)
  • a description of what you would like to work on during the residency (½ - max. two A4 sides, in English) 
  • a sample of work you wish to develop during the residency or a related piece of work (max. 10 pages in the language of the original text, please include a translation to English if available) in docx., pdf or an URL link; in the case of translation project, a sample of translated work 

Please submit your application by filling out this form. 


The application will be considered by a panel of experts representing the three partner countries and organisations. The candidates will be notified of the result by email by the 15th of July 2022.

Support from the EEA grant scheme

The EPIC RESIDENCIES benefits from a 150 000 € grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants. The project has been co-financed from the State Budget of the Slovak Republic in the amount of 22 000 €. The aim of the project is to build capacities of the partner organisations, inclusive education, intercultural exchange and audience development. If you would like to know more about programmes and projects financed by the EEA in Slovakia, visit All projects are co-financed by the State Budget of the Slovak Republic in the amount of 15%. The EEA Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway towards a green, competitive and inclusive Europe. There are two overall objectives: reduction of economic and social disparities in Europe and to strengthen bilateral relations between the donor countries and 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. The three donor countries cooperate closely with the EU through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA).  #SPOLOCNEzaDOBREnapady #EEAgrants #EPICRESIDENCIES

 ILN slovak

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