FarLit – an abbreviation of Faroese Literature - is a project that promotes awareness of Faroese literature on the international book market. FarLit is funded by the Ministry of Culture.
The cross-organizational collaboration that preceded FarLit between the Faroese publishing houses, the Ministry of Culture and the Nordic House began in 2011 under the name ‘Faroese Books’ with the aim to promote Faroese books at the Frankfurt Book Fair the same year. This was made possible as Iceland was Guest of Honour the Frankfurt Book Fair 2011, and kindly provided a special window to the Faroe Islands in association with the Icelandic stand.
The Faroese Ministry of Culture decided to utilize this excellent opportunity to highlight Faroese literature and a literary committee was appointed to select a range of books representing contemporary Faroese literature. The members of the committee are Dr Malan Marnersdóttir, Professor of Literature at the University of the Faroe Islands, Dr Guðrun Gaard, teacher at the Tórshavn Gymnasium and Dr Bergur D. Hansen, Associate Professor of Literature at the University of the Faroe Islands.
The ten books selected included five novels, one volume of poetry, two collections of short stories, one children’s book and one academic publication. Translations of excerpts were made available in German and English.
Furthermore, a special edition of the Faroese literary magazine Vencil was published in English.
The Faroese delegation at the Frankfurt Book Fair consisted of some 20 people, including a selection of featured authors and representatives from some of the publishers.
LISA, the Faroese Artists’ Association, coordinated the Faroese participation at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2011.
After the 2011 Frankfurt Book Fair the delegation assessed its project and found that in order to ensure that the messages and efforts of the participants were conveyed as a collected and focused whole further strategic plans were necessary. It was decided to appoint a co-ordinator who would take lead in the promotion of Faroese literature for the book fairs in Göteborg and Frankfurt in 2012.
The works committee has made revisions to the list, updating some and adding others. In 2012, the list consists of six novels, one poetry collection, two short story collections, two children’s books and three academic publications. Excerpts of these titles will be made available in German and English shortly.
The goal of FarLit’s 2012-project at the two book fairs in Gothenburg and Frankfurt are:
This website is a window into a selection of contemporary Faroese literature and the objective is to continually extend the body of works represented.
In 2013 VisitFaroeIslands, the official Faroese Tourist Board, has joined our other supporters in making the FarLit project a reality for this years book fairs. FarLit is up and running and will attend the book fairs in Gothenburg and Frankfurt. We will continue the work of promoting Faroese literature based on the past years’ ground work, and inform publishing houses and agents of translation grants, authors, works, etc.
In 2014 FarLit assumed the administrative role of managing the grant monies for the Faroese portion of the Nordic Ministry's Translation Grant. This means that all Nordic publishers wishing to translate Faroese titles into another Nordic language can now apply for the translation grant from us directly. The list of works for special attention at the book fairs is now up to 16 titles. FarLit attended the London Book Fair with other Nordic literary offices at the joint Nordic stand. At the Gothenburg Book Fair in September, we will hold a seminar on contemporary poetry and poets in the Faroes and release an anthology of poetry in Swedish translation with entries by three Faroese poets. As we have the previous years, we will also attend the largest European book fair in Frankfurt in October.
By 1 March, Ms Urd Johannesen took over the half-time position as literary coordinator of FarLit. FarLit participated at the joint Nordic stand at the London Book Fair 14-17 April, and also took part with own stand at the Gothenburg and Frankfurt Book Fairs. Nordic publishers who want to translate Faroese titles into another Nordic language may apply for the Nordic translation grant directly from FarLit. Application dead-line is 1 April and 1 October.
By 1 January, FarLit is fully funded by the Ministry of Culture and will continue to take part in the bookfairs in London, Gothenburg and Frankfurt. FarLit is also involved in other activities like the Book Festival in November and new initiatives that will promote Faroese literature abroad.