Peirene’s EU Open Letter

Before the 2016 EU referendum, Peirene Press wrote a letter stating the cultural case for remaining inside the EU. It was signed by over 250 cultural professionals. The full text and list of signatories is below:

Dear reader,

We, the undersigned, representing a range of literary arts and institutions, believe that Britain should remain within the EU. The In/Out debate often neglects arguments from culture. We maintain that an isolationist step away from Europe is a step away from our own heritage. It is a step towards an insular position antithetical to the open interchange of ideas and support that has defined European culture.

Cultural exchange is a crucial part of a vibrant national culture. The freedom of movement between EU countries has allowed the free movement of ideas. European artists, students and cultural experts have enriched our creative sectors, enabled by the relative low risk of moving to a fellow EU state. Likewise, British artists have been able to expand their audiences and build international relationships. Creative Europe, an EU programme, has supported 228 UK cultural and creative organisations in the past two years with grants totalling €40 million. A withdrawal from the shared space would lead to the UK’s creative industries suffering.

Last year, a report from Literature Across Frontiers (LAF) indicated that in recent years, foreign literature has become more popular in the UK. General translations grew by 53% between 1990 and 2012 and literary translations by 66%. The late Umberto Eco said that ‘translation is Europe’s only common language’, and we cannot underestimate how translated literature opens doors to other cultures. The rising number of translations is in line with the UK’s closer relationship with Europe. Raising barriers at this time when mutual understanding is so important is dangerous, culturally and ideologically.

Brexit would mean jeopardising cross-cultural institutional relationships dependent on the free movement of people and goods, as well as EU funding initiatives. It would be an existential threat to our island’s identity as an active, outward-looking cultural leader.

Yours sincerely,

Meike Ziervogel, publisher at Peirene Press
Galina Achkasova-Portianoi, journalist
Timothy Adès, translator and poet
Alev Adil, writer
Jane Aitken, managing Director at Gallic Books
Mitchell Albert, publisher and commissioning editor at Periscope
Stuart Allen, translated fiction blogger
Moniza Alvi, poet
Lisa Appignanesi OBE, writer
Judith Baggott, translator
Roberta Bailey, managing director at Bailey Publishing Associates
Rosemary Bailey, writer
Virginia Baily, author
Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, publisher at Cassava Republic
Roelof Bakker, publisher at Negative Press London
Vipasha Bansal, linguist
Dr M L Banting, art history researcher and events organiser
Laura Barber, editorial Director at Granta Books & Portobello Books
Richard Beard, writer & director at the National Academy of Writing
Anthea Bell, translator
Katja Bell, translator
Katharina Bielenberg, Associate Publisher at MacLehose Press
Jacob Blakesley, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Leeds
Carey Born, Producer/Director at First Born Films
Charlotte Bosseaux, Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies, Edinburgh University
Nic Bottomley, owner of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights
Charles Boyle, publisher at CB Editions
Ka Bradley, Junior Editor at Granta & Portobello Books
Simon Bruni, translator
Elizabeth Buchan, writer
Alexandre Büchler, director at Literature Across Frontiers
Jamie Bulloch, literary translator
Emmeline Burdett, translator
Jen Calleja, writer and literary translator
Dr Jo Catling, translator and Senior Lecturer in German and European Literature at UEA
Hannah Charlton, translator
Tom Cheesman, lecturer, translator and publisher at Hafan Books
Clare Conville, literary agent at Conville & Walsh
Charlotte Coombe, translator
Amanda Craig, novelist and critic
Howard Curtis, translator
Susan Curtis-Kojakovic, Publisher at Istros Books
Vito D’Onghia, consultant at Ampi Margini Literary Agency
Emma Darwin, author
Catherine Davies, Director of the Institute of Modern Languages Research at the University of London
Richard Davies, publisher at Parthian
Tim A. Davies, literary translator and writer
Paul Davighi, sales and marketing director at I.B. Tauris
Claire Davis, translator
Sacha Davison-Lunt, designer and art-director
Sarah Death, translator and publisher at Norvik Press
Katy Derbyshire, literary translator
Rebecca DeWald, freelance translator and editor at Glasgow Review of Books
Isobel Dixon, agent and poet
Tasja Dorkofikis, International festival & events organiser
Sasha Dugdale, editor at Modern Poetry in Translation
Honorine Dupuy d’Angeac, literary agent
Tom Elsner, artrabbit.com
Gilla Evans, writer and translator
Frank Finlay, Professor of German Language and Literature, University of Leeds.
Melanie J Florence, translator
Klaus Flugge, publisher at Andersen Press
David Flusfeder, writer
Imogen Forster, poet and translator
Jan Fortune, publisher at Cinnamon Press
Beth Fowler, literary translator
Steven J Fowler, poet and lecturer at Kingston University
Will Francis, literary agent
Ana Frankenberg-Garcia, Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies, University of Surrey
Andrew Franklin, publishing and managing director at Profile Books
Adam Freudenheim, publisher at Pushkin Press
Professor Regenia Gagnier, University of Exeter
Paul Garrett, literary translator
Clare Gaunt, translator
Michael Geoghegan, European book sales agent
Roland Glasser, translator
Dagmar Glediztsch, literary scout
Paula Góes, translator
Rosie Goldsmith, Journalist, Broadcaster & Director of European Literature Network
Rebecca Gould, translator and Reader in Translation Studies at the University of Bristol
Katherine Gregor, translator
Chris Gribble, CEO at cc’ Centre Norwich
Bronwen Griffiths, writer
Neil Griffiths, director at Republic of Consciousness
Philip Gross, poet and professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Wales
Tommi Grover, Managing Director at Multilingual Matters
Daniel Hahn, writer and translator
Chris & Jen Hamilton-Emery, publishers at Salt Publishing
Olivia Heal, writer, translator & academic
Darren Heath, producer/director at First Born Films
Dr Ruth Hemus, lecturer at School of Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures, Royal Holloway
Imke Henkel, journalist
Richard Hibbitt, Director of the Centre for World Literatures, University of Leeds
Irena Hill, translator and curator
Jane Hill, author
Andy Hine, rights director at Little, Brown Group
Ted Hodgkinson, broadcaster
James Humphreys, director at IndieBooks and writer
Adriana Hunter, literary translator
Gesche Ipsen, commissioning and managing editor at Pushkin Press
Anne Marie Jackson, translator
Erica Jarnes, translation programme manager
Tom Jenks, poet
Emily Jeremiah, translator
Fleur Jeremiah, translator
David Houston Jones, University of Exeter
Ellen Jones, criticism editor at Asymptote
Philip Jones, editor at The Bookseller
Simon Jones, translator
Gwennyd Jones, freelance translator
Justine Jordan, journalist
Sam Jordison, publisher at Galley Beggar Press
Marek Kazmierski, publisher, translator and writer
Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, literary translator
Stephanie Kitchen, managing editor at the International African Institute
Marek Kohn, writer
Jozefina Komporaly, translator and academic
John Z. Komurki, translator and founding editor of Mexico City Lit
Candida Lacey, publisher and managing director at Myriad Editions
Sara Laksimi, writer
Louise Rogers Lalaurie, translator
Barbara Beatrice Lavitola, senior translator and managing Director at Bibielle Global Translations SL
Lesley Lawn, translator
Alison Layland, writer and translator
Charles Lee, translator
Deborah Levy, writer
Sophie Lewis, senior editor at And Other Stories
Nicholas Lezard, critic
Antonia Lloyd-Jones, Literary translator from Polish and co-chair of the UK Translators Association
Andrew Lockett, publisher at Explore Books
Silke Lührmann, translator
Sara Maitland, writer
Emma Mandley, translator
Zeljka Marosevic, Co-Publisher at Daunt Books
Ruth Martin, translator and lecturer
Lyn Marven, translator and academic
Sophie Mayer, writer and activist
Eimear McBride, author
Neil McCallum, translator
Jamie McGarry, publisher at Valley Press
Laura McGloughlin, literary translator
Maren Meinhardt, German literary editor at The TLS
Ulrike Meinhof, professor of German & Cultural Studies at University of Southampton
Micha Meyers, translator
Marinella Mezzanotte, literary translator, writer and editor
Eloise Millar, publisher at Galley Beggar Press
David Miller, literary agent at Rogers, Coleridge & White Ltd.
Sam Mills, publisher at Dodo Ink
Alison Moore, writer
Christian Müller, Editor at Alma Books
Nicholas Murray, publisher at Rack Press Poetry and poet
Julia Nicholson, assistant editor at Pushkin Press
Susie Nicklin, owner of the Marsh Agency & Dulwich Books
Simon Okotie, writer
Peter Owen, founder of Peter Owen Publishers
Ruth Padel, poet
Ra Page, founder of Comma Press
Simon Pare, translator
Alice Paul, literary translator
Daniela Petracco, UK Director at Europa Editions
Sabine Pfannenstiel-Wright, Senior Agent at Andrew Nurnberg Associates
Francoise Pinteaux-Jones, translator
Dr Olumide Popoola, author and lecturer
Max Porter, author & senior editor at Granta
Shelley Power, literary agent
Professor Julian Preece, author and academic
Donald Rayfield, author, translator & managing editor of The Garnett Press
Andrea Reece, translator
Andrea Reinacher, translator
Fiammetta Rocco, books and arts editor, The Economist, and administrator of the Man Booker International Prize
Rosemary Rodwell, freelance translator
Dr Andrew Rothwell, professor of French and translation studies at Swansea University
Jonathan Ruppin, founder of the English PEN translated literature book club
Piers Russell-Cobb, publisher at Arcadia Books
Gill Rye, Professor Emerita, Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London
Daniela Schlingman, literary scout
Ros Schwartz, translator
Axel Scheffler, illustrator
Victor Schonfeld, producer-director
C.J. Schüler, author and editor
Anita Sethi, writer & journalist
Daniel Seton, commissioning editor at Pushkin Press
Miranda Seymour, writer
Jim Sheehan, sales representative at Signature Books
Robert Sheppard, professor of poetry and poetics at Edgehill University
Emma Shercliff, publisher at Ankara Press
Franca Simpson, publisher at Calisi Press
Ali Smith, writer
Deborah Smith, publisher at Tilted Axis Press
Carolin Sommer, translator
Kate Sotejeff-Wilson, translator
Alex Spears, publisher at Dodo Ink
Claire Squires, Director of the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication
Elizabeth Stephens, translator
Karolina Sutton, literary agent at Curtis Brown Book Group
George Szirtes, poet and translator
Ginny Tapley Takemori, literary translator
Catherine Taylor, journalist, critic and editor
Jacques Testard, publisher at Fitzcarraldo Editions
Stefan Tobler, publisher at And Other Stories
Boyd Tonkin, writer and critic
James Tookey, publishing assistant at Peirene Press
Richard Turbet, writer & historian of music
Jane Turnbull, literary agent
Robert Vilain, translator and academic
Hannah Vincent, writer
Cristina Viti, translator and poet
Dan Vyleta, author
Laura Waddell, marketing executive at Freight Books
Martin Wagner, publisher at Pinter & Martin
Joanna Walsh, writer
Rachel Ward, translator
Dame Marina Warner, writer and mythographer
Sarah Waters, author
Laura Watkinson, translator
Anna Webber, literary agent at United Agents
Shelley Weiner, writer
Godela Weiss-Sussex, Institute of Modern Language Research at the University of London
Shane Weller, Head of School of European Languages & Culture at the University of Kent
Shaun Whiteside, translator
Eley Williams, co-editor of fiction at 3:AM Magazine
Dr Mike Wilson, professor of drama at Loughborough University
Dr Chantal Wright, associate Professor of Translation as a Literary Practice, University of Warwick.
Roy Youdale, PhD student in literary translation
Angela Young, writer
Sylvie Zannier-Betts, literary scout