Comoros and the EU

#EuropeanLiteratureNight - 12 May

08/05/2018 - 20:52

This free one-night-only special event is open to the public and takes place on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 5PM throughout Bohemian National Hall (BNH), Upper East Side. Audiences will be able to move from room to room to experience the European café culture while viewing readings, musical compositions, films, and art exhibit inspired by European contemporary books. A collaboration between CCNY, EUNIC, Delegation of the EU to the UN, Mannes School of Music, The New School of Drama, and Parsons School of Design.

Author Pierre J. Mejlak

After a highly successful premiere last year, European Literature Night (ELN) returns to New York City on May 12 from 5 PM to 10 PM. In a special collaboration with The New School: Mannes School of Music, Parsons School of Design, and The School of Drama, guests will have a one-time opportunity to experience European literature as never before.

Programme and free RSVP here:

As spectators move from room to room to discover these literary works, they will also have the chance to experience the unique impressions these novels have left on a plethora of artists. The inspirations they took away will be expressed through different mediums -- whether it be art, film, or music -- and will give viewers a truly sensational first look into the novels being presented. Art and literature are often thought to belong to their own separate worlds, but this exceptional night brings them together and makes them equally accessible to all visitors. 

Guests will not only be a part of the audience, they will also have the opportunity to participate in conversations with writers, translators, and artists, among others. Throughout the evening, events will be divided into reading and discussion. Authors have chosen excerpts from their works to serve as springboards for conversations with the attendees and for discussions of themes important to their writing.

For the musical component of ELN, students of Mannes’ Composition Department chaired by Lowell Liebermann, “one of America’s most frequently performed and recorded living composers” will showcase 11 compositions in their world premieres.  Each of these student compositions is directly inspired by the literary work with which it is paired. In addition, Liebermann’s own Immer, from Six Songs on Poems of Nelly Sachs, Op. 14, will be performed as part of a special closing event in the BNH Ballroom. 

For the first time in the New York edition of ELN, young artists from Parsons School of Design, a division of The New School, will participate in a multi-media exhibition in the second floor gallery. Twenty graduate and undergraduate students in programs as diverse as Communication Design, Design and Technology, Illustration, Fine Arts, and Photography were inspired by the literary works to create visual responses in the media of their choice. Coordinated by Lucille Tenazas, Associate Dean in the School of Art, Media, and Technology, the collaborative event epitomizes The New School’s values of internationalism and literary global awareness.

A very special guest is the internationally acclaimed and award-winning Czech-born American author and illustrator Peter Sís, perhaps best known in New York for his illustrations featured on the NYC subway trains. A recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Award -- the highest recognition that can be given to a writer or illustrator of children’s books – and eight-time winner of The New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year, Sís will speak about the genesis of his current book - a work in progress - whose subject is Sir Nicholas Winton. Dubbed the “British Schindler,” Winton’s Czech Kindertransport saved the lives of 669 children in the months before the outbreak of World War II.  This discussion will take place at the closing event and be followed by a Q&A and reception.

The other highlight is the attendance of Pierre J. Mejlak, Maltese winner of the 2014 EU Prize for Literature with 'Having Said Goodnight', translated by Clare Vassallo and Antoine Cassar.

Along with the abundance of live performances and readings, the much-loved European café culture is also being brought back. There will be assorted delicacies and beverages provided by the represented countries for people to sample, perhaps for the first time. Additionally, Bohemian Spirit, an authentic and delicious Czech restaurant connected to the BNH, will be open for dinner until 11PM.

Select books will be available for purchase throughout the evening in their English translated versions at the Book Fair in the Ballroom. They represent diverse and varied countries of Europe: Belgium (Flanders), Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain. 

European Literature Night is the second largest project of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) in New York. Besides the Panorama Europe Film Festival, we are proud to welcome twenty partner organizations at ELN and more than a hundred individuals from a wide array of writers, translators, editors, publishers, actors, composers, musicians, artists, diplomats, and teachers.

ELN's second year coincides with the European Year of Cultural Heritage. Throughout 2018, the European Union is celebrating its diverse cultural heritage to encourage more people to discover and engage with Europe’s creative and literary output. For more information, visit

All guests are welcome free of charge to partake in this spectacle that brings together writing and the arts. Join us for ELN 2018 and witness how literature can serve as a medium for connecting ideas and launching necessary conversations in our rapidly changing global world.


Bohemian National Hall
321 East 73rd Street

10021 New York
United States