Berlin International Literature Festival

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Logo of the Berlin International Literature Festival

The Berlin International Literature Festival (also international literature festival berlin or short ilb, * 2001, Berlin, Germany) is an annual event based in Berlin. The festival takes place in early autumn and its purpose is to present contemporary developments in prose and poetry from all around the world. The festival programme has an annually varying theme or focus and several subsections such as "Literatures of the World", Children’s and Young Adult Literature, 'Reflections', 'Specials' such as: New German Voices, Slam Revue, and Scritture Giovani, 'Speak, Memory' and 'Literature on Celluloid'. All authors read their texts in the original version and an actor will then read the German translation of the text. Presenters and translators are on hand to allow a discussion between the author and the audience to take place.[1] The festival is an event of the "Internationale Peter-Weiss-Gesellschaft" and Berliner Festspiele under the patronage of the German U.N.E.S.C.O. committee.

Annual publications[edit]

  • The Berlin Anthology: All authors who participated in the programme section 'Literatures of the World' come together and select 99 poems, that will be published in their original language and a German translation.
  • Catalogue: gives an overview of all participating authors of the festival through the means of a short biography, bibliography, photos, and an author pen portrait.
  • Scritture Giovani: Each year, the ILB publishes five short stories which have been exclusively written for the ilb Scritture Giovani contest according to a specific theme in the languages of the five participating countries (UK, Italy, Norway, Germany and a guest country).

Selected authors' opinions and press reviews[edit]

"I do feel an extraordinary energy here for both – dialogue with the audience and communication between the authors." Nuruddin Farah, Somalia

"The festival provided an opportunity to test ideas and share experiences with writers and thinkers from all over the world. There was more brain power and creative energy in Berlin than perhaps anywhere else in the world during that week! I was glad to be a part of it." John Prendergast, USA

"Ten days, with more than 320 events in 60 locations across the city, from 9 o’clock in the morning to midnight, over 130 authors from across the world, well over 32 000 visitors, one third of them children and young people. A current advertising campaign may claim that stinginess is sexy. The Literature Festival seduces – without the slightest aristocratic attitude – through abundance." Der Tagesspiegel, 22 September 2003

"Truer and more beautiful and better than Frankfurt, because there aren’t any deals being done here; it is just literature. Pure." Die Zeit, 18 September 2003

"Bubbling unrest, richness and quality, these are the characteristics of the very young international literature festival, that took place for the 4th time in Berlin from the 21st September to 2nd October ... " Le Monde 8 October 2004


External links[edit]