Fiston Mwanza Mujila, DR Congo, Austria
Fiston Mwanza Mujila was born in 1981 in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo. He is currently completing his PhD studies at the Karl-Franzens University in Graz. He writes poetry, short stories and plays. His theatre texts have been staged in Germany and Austria. He has also published three collections of poetry in French and the bilingual collection in French and German Le Fleuve dans le Ventre / Der Fluß im Bauch (River in the Belly, 2013). He received the Gold Medal for Literature at the 6thFrancophone Games in Beirut in 2009. He was named Writer of the City of Graz between 2009 and 2010.
Photo © Gaël Turine
Andrej Nikolaidis, BiH, Montenegro
Andrej Nikolaidis was born in 1974 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina into a mixed Montenegrin-Greek family. Since 1994 he has been writing pieces for regional independent and liberal media and articles for cultural magazines. He is a novelist, short story writer, and cultural advisor to the Montenegrin parliament. His novel Sin (The Son, 2006) received the European Union Prize for Literature in 2011. He is considered by many to be one of the most influential intellectuals of the younger generation in the former Yugoslavian region and is particularly known for his anti-war activism, minority rights activism and for being an avid protester against police violence.
Photo © Radoslav Ratković
Tomislav Osmanli, Macedonia
Tomislav Osmanli was born in 1956 in Bitola, Macedonia. He is a writer of prose fiction, an essayist, playwright, screenwriter, media theorist, journalist, and film and theatre critic. He is the author of 22 books and 11 plays. He has also published various books of essays and short stories, non-fiction books, as well as the novels. His works have been translated into nine languages. He is a member of the Macedonian Writers’ Association and the Macedonian PEN Centre. He lives in Skopje, where he works as the editor-in-chief of the arts-and-culture programming with the independent television station TV Telma.
Photo © Igor Todorovski/Andrej Ginovski
Ioana Pârvulescu, Romania
Ioana Pârvulescu was born in 1960 in Braşov, Romania. Her literary life began after the Romanian Revolution of 1989. She is a writer, essayist, translator and publicist. She is currently a professor at the Faculty of Letters at the University of Bucharest, where she teaches modern Romanian literature. She has published over ten books. Her novel Viaţa începe vineri (Life Begins on Friday, 2009), which has been translated into Swedish (2011), was awarded the European Union Prize for Literature in 2013.
Photo © Radu Sandovici
Mile Pešorda, BiH, Croatia
Mile Pešorda, born in 1950 in Grude, Croatia, is an anthology poet, the author of 10 collections of poetry, winner of several literary awards, and a translator from French and Slovenian. For many years he worked as an editor at the Sarajevo publishing house Veselin Masleša, edited several literary publications, and worked as a university lecturer in France. He studied for his master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Zagreb and the University of Paris, respectively, and Milan Kundera mentored his doctoral dissertation entitled The Idea of Europe in the Works of Ivo Andrić and Miroslav Krleža. Two of his poetry books have been published in Slovenian: Drevo z dušo (The Tree with a Soul)and Baščanska plošča,poema(Bascharshia Panel, poem).
Alek Popov, Bulgaria
Alek Popov was born in 1966 in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is best known for his satirical novel Мисия Лондон (Mission London, 2001), which has been translated into 15 languages. The film adaptation of the novel became the most frequented Bulgarian movie of the last 20 years. He has received numerous awards for his work, such as the Elias Canetti Prize, the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation Award and the Helikon Award for best Bulgarian prose book of the year. Alek Popov has published several collections of short stories and books of essays; he also writes screenplays and plays.
Photo © Valentina Petrova
Jaroslav Rudiš, Czech Republic, Germany
Jaroslav Rudiš was born in 1972 in Turnov, Czechoslovakia. He is the author of novels, graphic novels, as well as plays for theatre, radio and the screen. In 2002, he was awarded the Jiří Orten Prize for young writers for his first novel Nebe pod Berlínem (The Sky under Berlin). In 2011, the Alois Nebel graphic novel trilogy was made into an animated film. The film won the European Film Award 2012 for the Best Animated Feature Film. Rudiš lives in the Czech Republic and in Germany and writes in Czech and German.
Photo © Jan Rasch
Pol Sax, Luxembourg, Germany
Pol Sax was born in 1960 in Luxembourg.After finishing his studies of philosophy he worked in restaurants, and he was owner of a pasta factory in Heidelberg, Germany. After that he was employed as a bartender, and he was writing reviews and feature stories for the radio and daily papers. After receiving a literary scholarship from the foundation for the promotion of German writers he lived in Baden-Württemberg. He has been living as a freelance writer in Berlin since 2001,and writes reviews of German literature. In 2008, Pax made his literary debut with the novel U5, named after one of the metro lines in Berlin. In 2009, he was awarded the Servais Prize.
Photo © Andrea Schaufel
Roman Simić Bodrožić, Croatia
Roman Simić Bodrožić was born in 1972 in Zadar. He served as the editor of the Croatian Quorum literary magazine, and has, for the past 13 years, been the director of the international Croatian “Festival europske kratke priče”(Festival of the European Short Story). His collection of short stories U što se zaljubljujemo (With What We Fall in Love, 2005), won the prize for the best Croatian book of fiction awarded by the newspaper Jutranji list, while the collection of short prose Nahrani me (Feed Me, 2012), won the “Kiklop” 2013 prize for the best Croatian book of fiction. Roman Simić Bodrožić lives in Zagreb, where he works as an editor for the Fraktura Publishing House.
Photo © Sarah Jane Eyre
Linda Spalding, USA, Canada
Linda Spalding was born in 1943 in Topeka, Kansas, USA, and lived in Hawaii for fourteen years before immigrating to Toronto in 1982. She is the author of three novels. Her non-fiction work, The Follow (1999), about the work of the famous primatologist Birutė Galdikas in Borneo, was short-listed for the Trillium Book Award and the Pearson Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize. Her most recent novel, The Purchase (2012), won the prestigious Governor General’s Award for fiction. Spalding is an editor of Brick – a literary journal of reviews and ideas – and has been awarded the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the Canadian literary community.
Photo © Derek Shapton
Dimitra Xidous, Canada, Ireland
Dimitra Xidous was born in 1977 in Ottawa, in the Province of Ontario in Canada. She is a poet based in Dublin, and her work has been has been published in literary journals in Canada, Ireland and the US. Most recently, she was a finalist in the 2014 Open Season Awards. She was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize (2013) and the “Over the Edge” Emerging New Writer Award (2013), and long-listed for the Montreal International Poetry Competition (2011). She co-edits The Pickled Body, a quarterly poetry and art magazine, with Patrick Chapman.
Photo © Aidan Murphy
Visar Zhiti, Albania
Visar Zhiti was born in 1952 in Durrës, Albania. He is a writer, poet, essayist, translator and publicist. He was arrested in 1979 after the outbreak of the so-called Purge of the Liberals in Tirana and taken to a labour camp. The numerous national and international awards he has received for his work includethe Italian “Leopardi d’oro” prize for poetry (1991), the prestigious “Ada Negri” award (1997), “career awards” in Italy and Albania; he has also been decorated with the Albanian presidential order “Grandmaster of Work” in 2012. He is a member of the International Academy of Art “Alfonso Grassi” and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.
Photo © Roland Tasho