We were at literary festival Meet Me at the Lighthouse on Schiermonnikoog with writers and publishers participating in the European project LIT-UP. In the project LIT-UP, Boeken fan Fryslân and Leeuwarden UNESCO City of Literature work together with six European partners to raise awareness of literature in minority languages in Europe.

On Thursday afternoon publisher Eddy van der Noord gave us a tour of the island. On Thursday night writer Ixiar Rozas Elizalde (Basque Country) performed at the opening of the festival.

On Friday morning Mathijs Sanders, professor Modern Dutch Literature at the University of Groningen, led two inspiration sessions about the publishing and promoting of books in minority languages. Participating in these sessions were: Mireille Berman from the Nederlands Letterenfonds, poet and writer Tsead Bruinja, Frisian children’s book ambassador Tialda Hoogeveen, writer Anita Terpstra, poet and writer Nyk de Vries and Ernst Bruinsma from Boeken fan Fryslân.

Friday afternoon Mathijs Sanders presented the program Kleine Talen (‘Small Languages’), a literary program about the power of tradition. International writers Ixiar Rozas Elizalde (Basque Country), Pia Prezelj (Ljubljana) and Paco Inclán (Valencia) held a conversation with each other and recited, as did Tsead Bruinja. Linguistic researcher Dyami Millarson spoke about the importance of the preservation of languages that are in danger of disappearing.

Photos: Natalia Balanina