The Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature is proud to announce that the Canadian writer Chantal Ringuet from Québec City has been selected to be the first writer to stay in Gröndalshús (Gröndal's House) as the Reykjavík City of Literature invited guest from other UNESCO Cities of Literature this coming October.
This free residency is now offered for the first time after an open call for writers from or with strong ties to any of the UNESCO Cities of Literature around the world. Currently there are 28 Cities of Literature within the wider UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
We received over 50 strong applications from writers in our sister Cities of Literature for the residency, making it a hard task for the committee to select one author.
Residencies and the mobility and cooperation of authors across borders is one of the main focuses of the UNESCO Cities of Literature. It is therefore a great pleasure for Reykjavik to take further part in this cooperation by inviting a writer from one of our sister cities for this free residency. This is done to enhance the relationship between the cities and the creative people that live in them. One author or a translator is invited to stay for one month in Gröndalshús and during the stay, the writer gets a chance to get to know they literary life in the city and to introduce his or her work to the local population as well as to do creative work.
Over fifty authors from sixteen UNESCO Cities of Literature applied this year, which shows the interest authors have in staying in Reykjavík and being connected to the literary life of Iceland. In the same manner, Icelandic writers are invited to apply for visits to many UNESCO Cities of Literature, such as Granada, Prague, Ulyanovsk, Heidelberg, Ljubljana and Tartu.
The Reykjavik Residency for UNESCO Cities of Literature authors will be offered annually.
Chantal Ringuet is a French speaking Canadian. She was born and raised in Québec City, a UNESCO City of Literature since 2017, but now lives in Montréal. She is an award-winning author, scholar and translator from Yiddish and English to French. She has published essays and translations on Yiddish culture and literature and on Jerusalem and the Middle East. A Fellow of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York (2015-16), Chantal Ringuet has been Scholar-in-Residence at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (Brandeis University, 2016) and Writer-in-Residence and literary translator in residence at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (2016). She has published two collections of poems, Le sang des ruines (2009 Jacques-Poirier literary award) and Under the Skin of War (inspired by the photographs of Don McCullin, BuschekBooks, 2013) and is the co-editor of the collective work Les révolutions de Leonard Cohen (PUQ, 2016), which received a 2017 Canadian Jewish Literary Award.
We are very pleased to welcome Chantel here in Reykjavík and look forward to getting to know her and introduce her work to the Icelandic public and the literary community.