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Literarischer Sommer / Literaire Zomer

Binational literature festival with authors from NRW and the Netherlands

This year, the "Literarischer Sommer" (Literary Summer) celebrates its 25th anniversary. Following the Netherlands/Flanders guest country appearance at the Leipzig Book Fair 2024, the Literary Summer will also offer many opportunities to engage with current literature from the Dutch-speaking neighbouring regions and to talk to their authors at readings. The voices of German writers will not be neglected either. The overall programme of the German-Dutch festival thus provides a broad insight into the current literary landscape and at the same time promotes cross-border dialogue.

In the anniversary year, around 50 events are planned in 20 cities: in libraries and cultural institutions, but also in more unusual venues for readings such as museums, parks or forest stages. In addition to traditional readings, other formats are also on offer, such as the Literary Walks, which trace authors, works and publishing history in Aachen, Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Venlo.

This bilingual literary event places particular emphasis on crossing linguistic borders, with not only authors reading in the neighbouring country, but often the respective literary translators are also invited to report on their work and enrich the discussion with a broader perspective on the world of books.

The German member cities of Aachen, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Krefeld, Mönchengladbach and Neuss participate in the festival, which was initially supported by the NRW KULTURsekretariat for many years as part of the "Cooperated Projects" and has been continued as a separate programme since 2018. They are joined by the Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Heerlen, Kerkrade, Roermond, Vaals, Valkenburg and Venlo.