AN INITIATIVE FOR THE PROMOTION OF ITALIAN LITERATURE
AN ANNUAL EVENT TO STRENGTHEN LITERARY EXCHANGES BETWEEN ITALY AND THE UNITED STATES.
The first edition of the Festival of Italian Literary Fiction will take place from June 6 to 8 in three prestigious venues closely linked to Italian culture in New York: the Italian Cultural Institute, the Italian Center for Modern Art (CIMA) and the bookstore Rizzoli This literary celebration, thematically titled Multipli Forti: Voices from Contemporary Italian Literature is a transatlantic window into the main literary trends in contemporary Italian fiction. An initiative open to the public and the entire literary community, the festival was imagined by the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, with the collaboration of the FUIS (Italian Unitary Federation of Writers).
The artistic director of the festival is Maria Ida Gaeta, supported by a leading group of scholars and experts from renowned universities – Alessandro Giammei, Lucca Briasco, Chiara Benetollo, Monica Calabritto, Eugenio Refini. Six major themes have been identified that shape Italian language literature today: collective/individual destinies, “Italianness”, political engagement, classicism, autoscopy and place. Festival events will center on a select group of renowned Italian writers and their reactions to these themes, which have taken the form of short stories, literary reminiscences and meditations, quick little essays and, in some cases, even personal confessions.
The group of internationally renowned Italian authors who have been invited to participate include: André Aciman, Edoardo Albinati, Jonathan Bazzi, Lauren Cerand, Teresa Ciabatti, Claudia Durastanti, Alain Elkann, Arianna Farinelli, Teresa Fiore, Michael Frank, Jonathan Galassi, Ann Goldstein, Eli Gottlieb, Margo Jefferson, Jhumpa Lahiri, Amara Lakhous, Vincenzo Latronico, Giancarlo Lombardi, Carlo Lucarelli, Valerio Magrelli, Jenny McPhee, Michael Moore, Michela Murgia, Francesco Pacifico, Lorenza Pieri, Todd Portnowitzs, Minna ZallmanProctor, Elisabetta Rasy , Walter Siti, Anthony Tamburri, Chiara Valerio and Sandro Veronesi; with video contributions from Donatella Di Pietrantonio, Melania Mazzucco, Paolo Rumiz, Antonio Scurati, Nadia Terranova and Emanuele Trevi.
Among the planned program is a round table moderated by Micahel Reynolds (Europa Editions) and Luca Briasco of Minimum Fax, with Beniamino Ambrosi (Liz Chenay Agency), Tynan Kogane (Editor, New Directions), Sarah McNally (McNally Jackson Bookstories) and Dan Simon (Editor, Seven Stories Press), which will deal with the promotion of Italian fiction in America.
A special event includes the announcement of the 2022 nominations for The Bridge Award. Several members of the American and Italian juries will be present as well as nominated authors and former recipients of the Prize.
The first theme is that of individual and collective destinies, in a line that links Dante to contemporary attempts to write in the first person while writing about the whole world. The second is that of “Italianness” itself, and what we call “Italian literature” is informed by an amalgam of influences. The third, political engagement, extends from the Renaissance concept of inchiesta to today’s hybridizations of fiction and reportage. The fourth is classicism – how the traditional idea of the novel lives on today. The fifth theme is autoscopy: literary journeys in oneself (auto-fiction, auto-theory, autobiography). The sixth and final theme encapsulates places, vernacular and dialectal traditions in a land of proudly different territories, and the thin line that separates the familiar from the unfamiliar.
Each day’s events will be concentrated in one place, creating a centralized lounge-like hub, giving attendees the ability to have multiple conversations in a single day. June 6 events are held at the Italian Cultural Institute (686 Park Avenue); June 7 at CIMA (Italian Center for Modern Art, 421 Broome Street); and June 8 at the Rizzoli Bookstore (1133 Broadway).
The Italian Literary Fiction Festival will travel to Naples at the end of September, in the splendid setting of the Royal Palace and the National Library, in the first edition of the Reading and Listening Festival promoted by the Campania Festival of Festivals. Literature serves as a wonderful bridge between two cities and worlds that have long had intertwined paths.
JUNE 6: Registration link // Italian Cultural Institute:
JUNE 7: Registration link // CIMA (Italian Center for Modern Art):
JUNE 8: Registration link // Rizzoli Bookstore: