Literature Festival in The Hague

Winternachten International Literature Festival in The Hague

On 16th and 21st April Winternachten International Literature Festival 2023 continues in The Hague welcoming writers, poets, spoken word artists and musicians. Under the motto All the World’s a Book, each program focuses on a different topical theme. The lectures, interviews and conversations are about writing in wartime, about the literary and poetic answers to slavery and colonialism and about the exhaustion of the earth. Festival location is Theater aan het Spui in The Hague.

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances…”
William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Why do writers write and readers read books? To get a grip on the world. In a novel, you can imagine a different reality. Not surprising in these turbulent times, and for Winternachten’s writers and readers, perhaps even a necessity.

While the war in Ukraine deeply affects the Ukrainian people, Europe and the whole world, and various crises dramatically change Earth, people continue to write and read books: to understand, to change and to escape. And sometimes even to laugh. The whole world can be found in literature, in a book.

Winternachten 2023 presents topical themes to authors and visitors by readings, interviews and debate. Such as the upcoming commemoration of the abolition of slavery, 150 years ago, by The Netherlands in Suriname and in the Antilles islands. How did slavery enter the literary imagination, and what influence did it have on the development of language and literature? How do authors in a war-ridden country, Ukraine, write about their lives? How does an author create a new world in his books, and why? And how does the depletion of Earth become audible and palpable in language and poetry?