Romania Rocks: Romanian Voices in the UK

10/11/2020 @ online

Romanian and Moldovan authors who have made the UK their home and inspiration for many years – Ioana Baetica Morpurgo, Stela Brînzeanu, Vica Demici, Cristina Mureșan, Simona Nastac, Andreea Scridon and Anda Vahnovan – meet to discuss and read from their most recent work. Hosted by Paula Erizanu.

Stela Brinzeanu is a Moldovan-British writer and poet. Her prose explores issues of identity, belonging, female emancipation and women’s rights. With poetry she seeks to capture the invisible connections of existence and the converging lines of science, mysticism and consciousness. Her poems are published or forthcoming in various online literary magazines.

Vica Demici is a London-based Romanian poet, songwriter and author of four books. Her book Egal was published in Bucharest at the Eminescu poetry publishing house. The book of short stories paraLELE is in the bestsellers top of the Cartier publishing house. Vica also writes music. Her songs made it to international stages. The song A Century of Love represented the Republic of Moldova at the Eurovision International Song Contest. She also wrote the lyrics for the famous Wals composed by Eugen Doga and made the Romanian version of A Love Story movie track sang by Paula Seling. Vica is a UCL graduate and works in the International Relations field, specialising in Communication and Digital Marketing.

Ioana Morpurgo was born in Southern Romania in 1980. She holds a BA in Romanian-English Studies from the University of Bucharest and an MA in Cultural Anthropology from the National School of Political and Administrative Studies, Bucharest. She researched the culture of transition in post-communist societies at Exeter University, UK,  where is also taught a seminar on Contemporary Societies. She is the author of three novels (Registration File, The Immigrants and Shrapnel - all published by Polirom) and has contributed to several prose and essay anthologies worldwide. She has written articles, essays and short stories for publications such as Romȃnia Literară, Dilema Veche, Academia Cațavencu, Observator Cultural, New Internationalist, Contemporary Review, Lichtungen, Buchkultur, etc. In 2016, following the Brexit Referendum in the UK, she organized a series of lectures and public debates on the theme of Europe - common spirit. During the spring-summer pandemic lockdown, Ioana curated an international project exploring the state of isolation, involving 100 poets from 47 countries. Since 2004, Ioana Morpurgo lives in UK, where she writes and coordinates a project celebrating ideas – Lectures on Everything. She is an activist of human rights and the environment, a member of the Romanian Union of Writers, of PEN Club Romania and of Green Party UK.

Award-winning poet, blogger, book reviewer Cristina Mureșan was born in Romania and immigrated to the UK in 2015. She published her original debut volume Angel Dust in the UK in 2015. Since then, she has published in poetry anthologies in the UK but also in translation in literary magazines from Romania and Mexico. In 2017 she was awarded second prize in the International Poetry Prize by University Centre Grimsby. Cristina wrote her first poems at the tender age of six and later on reconnected with poetry as an adult. She started out as a blogger and soon after she was discovered by an English editor who agreed to publish her work in the UK.

Simona Nastac is an art curator, critic and poet. She studied Art History and Theory in Bucharest and holds an MA in Creative Curating from Goldsmiths University, London. She has curated exhibitions and live poetry events in London, Seoul, New York, Berlin, Brussels, Prague, Vilnius, Cluj and Bucharest, which featured renowned artists Anish Kapoor, Hito Steyerl, Tony Cragg,  Katalin Ladik, Christian Bök, Jaap Blonk, and Dan Perjovschi, among others. In 2017 she published The Depressing Colour of Honey (Tracus Arte, Bucharest), which won the Alexandru Mușina Prize “The King of the Morning” for poetry debuts. The volume was also shortlisted for the “George Bacovia” National Debut Prize in 2018. She has performed at the European Poetry Festival in London & Manchester, Vilnius Book Weekend, and various venues in Romania. Since 2016 she has been the curator of the experimental poetry night at the Bucharest International Festival of Poetry. Her poetry and curatorial work have been featured in Asymptote Journal, Poesis International, Harana PoetryThe Blue NibWhy Now, Eunoia Review , Black Bough Poetry (Deep Time: Volume 2), and the Europoe anthology (Kingston University Press, 2019) among others. She can be found here.

Andreea Iulia Scridon is a Romanian-American writer and translator. Born in Romania, she immigrated with her parents to the United States as a child and grew up in Florida. She studied Comparative Literature at King’s College London and Creative Writing at St. Anne’s College at the University of Oxford. She is assistant editor at Asymptote Journal, fiction editor at the Oxford Review of Books, contributing editor at E Ratio Poetry, and an occasional assessor for English PEN’s PEN Translates programme. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in World Literature Today, Oxford Poetry, Asymptote Journal, Wild Court, Harana Poetry, The Blue Nib, and elsewhere. As a hybrid of two cultures, she has written a novel set in 18th century Romania and a book of poems inspired by George Enescu’s compositions.

Anda Vahnovan was born in Chișinău, Moldova and later graduated from Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, specialising in journalism. She later completed her Masters and PhD at the same university’s sociology department with a focus in publicity. Back in Chișinău she became editor for Timpul newspaper and Punkt magazine, and assistant at the National University of Journalism and Communications. Anda ran a business in Cluj-Napoca, Romania for 12 years and afterwards decided to emigrate to London in 2017 where she started a literary blog, Her writings have since appeared in magazines Contrafort, Itaca, Cultural Realities, A Thousand Signs and Poetic Stand.

Paula Erizanu is the Culture Editor of The Calvert Journal. She’s written on arts and culture for The Guardian, CNN, Aeon, Dazed, Chatham House, The Architectural Review and other publications. Erizanu did her BA in History with English and History of Art at the New College of the Humanities in London, and her MA in Magazine Journalism at City University London. Shortlisted for the Words by Women Award as UK's Culture Journalist of the year 2019.  She published a book on the 2009 protests in Moldova, This is my first revolution. Steal It (Cartier, 2010, trilingual edition in Romanian, English and French) and a poetry collection, Take Care (Charmides, 2015, in Romanian).

When: 10 November 2020, 18.30
Where: online | Livestream on RCI London's Facebook page and recorded, from 11 November, on YouTube channel.