A Look Back as DBF Goes to The Norwegian Festival of Literature


Jesper Wung-Sung and Anne Enright

We were delighted to partner with The Norwegian Festival of Literature for their 2023 festival, which took place last week, bringing two renowned Irish writers to Lillehammer to join a fantastic line-up of Norwegian and international authors. Anne Enright and Niall de Búrca took part in a total of five events, bringing audiences a powerful taste of Irish writing and storytelling. Anne and Danish author Jesper Wung-Sung discussed the common theme in their work of focusing on the people behind geniuses, while Anne and Norwegian author Lars Mytting discussed the common theme of exploring how traditional, conservative countryside is changing.

Niall de Búrca

Niall regaled audiences, both young and less young, with solo storytelling performances, and also joined ranks with Norwegian storyteller Johan Einar Bjerkem for a celebration of “Kveldseto”: an old Norwegian term that describes the time of day when people gathered around the fireplace in the evening, to do various needlework and tell stories.

Our director Julianne went over to attend Anne and Niall’s events, and was also part of an international festival directors delegation, allowing her the opportunity to meet with festival directors from around the world, including Nicholas Laughlin from Trinidad and Tobago’s Bocas Lit Fest; Lola Shoneyin from Aké Arts and Book Festival in Lagos; Philip Teir from Helsinki Lit Festival; and Wanjiru Koinange from Book Bunk, Kenya. 



“We spent three days visiting events featuring authors from around the world –  there were about 30 different nationalities represented – and there was so much variety in the events programmed. It was a delight to see our own Anne Enright and Niall de Búrca amongst this wonderful programme. Anne engaged in captivating conversations alongside Danish author Jesper Wung-Sung and Norwegian author Lars Mytting, discussing similar themes explored in their works, while Niall delighted the Norwegians with his Irish myths and tales, sweeping them along with his storytelling! We were delighted to have Ambassador Keith McBean, Ambassador of Ireland to Norway and Iceland, in attendance supporting the Irish contingency, and it was also wonderful spending time with fellow festival directors exchanging ideas, sharing challenges, and getting excited about future collaborations! Some other event highlights for me included visiting Sigrid Undset’s homeplace, the Literary Gala at Maihaugsalen, Ocean Vuong’s event, which was amazing and inspiring, and the event ‘From a Different Perspective’ with Aaiún Nin, Torrey Peters and Koleka Putuma, who were all amazing speakers. A huge thank you to Marit, Yukiko and all the team at The Norwegian Festival of Literature for what was such an enjoyable and inspiring few days in Lillehammer.”

Read more about Anne Enright and Niall de Búrca‘s events over on The Norwegian Festival of Literature 2023 website.

Anne and Niall’s events at The Norwegian Festival of Literature 2023 were made possible through Culture Ireland funding.