Festival Eñe

Tell me a Story

11/11/2019 · By Rosario Fernández
Photo of the previous edition of Festival Eñe.
Photo of the previous edition of Festival Eñe at the Círculo de Bellas Artes. © Courtesy of La Fábrica

Journalists, poets, essayists, monologuists and artists will participate in the 11th edition of Festival Eñe, held in Madrid and Malaga and which, for the first time, has a guest country, Mexico. The programme will dive into the limits within creative writing and its genres, as well as its relationship to other disciplines.

“Literature continues to be a living celebration that resists being dissected by philologists or shrouded by museums”, claims writer Sergio del Molino, director of this edition of Festival Eñe. This will be illustrated by the journalists, poets, essayists, monologuists and unique artists who will meet in Madrid and Malaga from November 11 to 23.

“I want the festival to bring together storytellers, dazzling people who go onstage and are capable of becoming the Pied Piper and captivating the audience with their words, body language and gestures. This is why I try to make it a very fun event. Above all, I want people to leave us gob-smacked with their words, their voice and their storytelling, beyond the written narrative”, explains Del Molino.

“I want the festival to bring together storytellers, people who are able to captivate the audience with their words”, Sergio del Molino

The festival, organised by La Fábrica, will cover both literary topics and beyond, such as the relationship between fact and fiction, mixed genres or narrators that pass themselves off as journalists. It will also break free from traditional constraints by bringing together literature with such diverse forms of expression as music, illustration, journalism, gastronomy or even football.

A total of 135 authors will participate in the 92 activities held in 22 locations, including the Instituto Cervantes, the Royal Spanish Academy, the National Library of Spain, Casa de América and the Biblioteca Regional de Madrid. Additionally, for the first time, several bookshops in Madrid will open up spaces for readers to participate in gatherings, round tables, presentations, performances, workshops and readings.

The Eñe Week

So, the Eñe Week starts in Casa de América, on Monday, November 11, with a debate moderated by Sergio del Molino, where Peruvian authors Santiago Roncagliolo and Joseph Zárate and Mexican author Elda Cantú will delve into fiction and chronicle.

On the following day, at the Instituto Cervantes, Héctor Abad Faciolince and Leila Guerriero will engage in conversation with Sergio del Molino. Both of these great authors have depicted the essences of Colombia and Argentina in works that transcend their countries of origin to become chronicles of an entire continent. On the same day, those who go to the Royal Spanish Academy will be in for a treat with a live session of “RAE informa”, where academics José Manuel Blecua, Pedro Álvarez de Miranda and José Antonio Pascual, moderated by journalist Marta Flich, will solve the public’s linguistic queries.

Journalists, their craft and their ability “To talk about everything without knowing anything” will be the point of departure for the second proposal held at the Instituto Cervantes on November 14, which will include Rubén Amón, Rosa Belmonte and Guillermo Altares.

At the National Library, Miguel Pardeza, Valentín Roma and Juan Tallón, moderated by Ignacio Martínez de Pisón, will discuss football, books and how the king of sports has gone from being an awkward hobby to becoming the subject of literary fiction.

At the Biblioteca Regional de Madrid, Víctor Manuel, Mikel Iturriaga, Xabier Gutiérrez and Sergio del Molino will explore the “flavours” of literature. At the same location, Andrés Trapiello and Pilar Álvarez will touch on metaliterature, inspired by books themselves or by the writers who create them.

Additionally, at the Iberostar Las Letras Gran Vía hotel, Berna González Harbour will interview Argentinian María Moreno about her latest novel, Black out, a raw memoir collection.

Many of the festival’s activities, which will enjoy free access on Friday and Saturday, November 15 and 16, will be held at the Círculo de Bellas Artes. The most important voices in Spanish literature will engage in round tables, gatherings and other formats where literature will be presented hand in hand with other disciplines. During the official opening, Sergio del Molino will bring together one of the most important pairs of writers in Spain, Elvira Lindo and Antonio Muñoz Molina. A unique opportunity to see the synergies or conflicts that arise from having two literary voices under the same roof first-hand. Another unmissable event these days will be the conversation between Juan José Millás and Manuel Vilas at the Teatro Fernando de Rojas, located inside the Círculo, under the heading “La familia, bien, gracias” [My family is fine, thanks], which will revolve around life and fiction.

At the same location, on Saturday, November 16, Javier Cercas, 2019 Planeta Prize, will be awarded the Premio Festival Eñe [Festival Eñe Prize] for his professional career. After receiving the award, the author will analyse the limits of the literary genre with Sergio del Molino. The Círculo will also house the monologue “Escríbete algo” [Write something], by journalist and writer Sabina Urraca, and the multi-disciplinary performance “Abrir la boca y decir lo nuestro” [Opening our mouths and saying our part], by artist Paula Bonet, together with poet and novelist Lara Moreno and musician Dani Llamas, among others.

Eñe Malaga

Festival Eñe will return to Malaga with a full activities programme about literature, held on November 22 and 23 at the Centro Cultural Generación del 27. Literature’s frontier spirit will be reaffirmed by Eñe’s programme in this Andalusian city, which will bring together authors such as Héctor Abad Faciolince, Antonio Soler, or Mónica Zgustova, among others, featuring headliners from other disciplines such as cinema or illustration, like Paula Ortiz or Rodrigo Cortés.

The pathways between imagination and reality in literature, the courage of writers who create in a language which isn’t their own, the relationship between cinema and literature or the chronicle as a genre will be some of the topics covered at Eñe Malaga. In addition, the festival will include two literary coffee breaks with Sergio del Molino and Carlos Zanón, with a quick workshop by illustrator Adão Iturrusgarai.

Mexico under the spotlight and events before Christmas

For the first time, the event, which celebrates its eleventh year with this edition, has a guest country, Mexico. This country will be present throughout the festival, through some new voices from its literature such as Fernanda Melchor, Elda Cantú, Luis Jorge Boone, Jorge Valdés Díaz Vélez, Liliana Blum and Carlos Velázquez. To reflect how playful literature should be, Sergio del Molino has designed a programme that will delve into Frontiers, a concept applied both to the limits within creative writing itself and its genres, and its relationship with other disciplines.

This edition of the festival will feature two new events. On the one hand, in December, it will have a space in Matadero focused on Colombian literature; and, on the other hand, it will come to Madrid’s WiZink Center with music by Andrés Suárez and poetry by Elvira Sastre, blending both disciplines on November 21 during a proposal called “Desordenados” [Disorganised]. Let the writing party begin.