Bateman bound for Brussels
The culture and creativity of Northern Ireland will be ably represented in Europe this week by award winning writer Colin Bateman.
Under the auspices of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Brussels Platform, the Bangor based novelist, children’s author and screenwriter will be guest of honour of the Northern Ireland Executive Office at the internationally acclaimed Brussels Book Fair (20th-24th February).
The Brussels Book Fair or ‘La Foire du Livre de Bruxelles’ is expected to attract over 70,000 visitors and 14,000 publishers from across Europe and beyond. Considered a ‘must’ for anyone with an interest in the literary world – including authors, illustrators, publishers, distributors, booksellers, critics, librarians and readers – the high profile event is now in its 44th year.
As well as reading and discussing his work, including his latest novel Fire and Brimstone, Colin will also attend an evening reception hosted by the British Embassy to Belgium, Northern Ireland Executive, Scottish Government and Welsh Government Offices to recognise and celebrate the UK’s contribution to literature.
Speaking about his upcoming trip, Colin Bateman said; “I’m honored to be invited by the Arts Council and the Northern Ireland Executive Office to represent Northern Ireland at this international event. I look forward to sharing some of my recent work and to championing the diversity and wealth of quality literature that we produce from these shores. Although I hope it will be more fun than that sounds!”
Damian Smyth, Head of Drama and Literature with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added: “Colin Bateman is one of Northern Ireland's most successful and highly-regarded writers. From his stunning debut Divorcing Jack (1995), through a series of ever more raucous and inventive novels, introducing the private eye Dan Starkey and the sleuthing bookseller known as 'Mystery Man', Bateman's blackest of black humour has won readers right across the globe. His visions of 'alternative Ulsters', anarchic, dangerous and absurd, helped gain for the Bangor man an Arts Council of Northern Ireland Major Individual Artist award in 2014. We are delighted to be able to offer the very best to the Brussels Book Fair."
Gerry Mulligan, Head of Office in Brussels, said: "The Brussels Book Fair is the ideal opportunity to showcase our talent on a global stage and to highlight the region's ever growing reputation as a centre of excellence in the arts. We couldn’t have asked for a finer ambassador than Colin Bateman and I look forward to welcoming him to Brussels.”
The Brussels Platform collaboration between the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Executive Office in Brussels involves local musicians, writers, dancers, theatre practitioners and visual artists showcasing their talents at a series of events in the city of the European Parliament to promote the culture and creativity of Northern Ireland.