(Managua, 1948) is a Nicaraguan poet, writer and political activist. She was involved in the Nicaraguan Revolution from a very young age and occupied important positions in the Sandinista Party and in the revolutionary government. She left the Sandinista Party in 1993. She debuted in 1970 with publications in magazines, wrote politically and erotically oriented poems and received her first literary award in 1972 with many prizes to follow. Her debut novel La Mujer Habitada (The Inhabited Woman), published in 1988, was her international breakthrough. Belli now is a bestselling author whose works have been translated in twenty languages. She now is an influential critic of the government of her former fellow party member Ortega.(WN 2019)
Archive available for: Gioconda Belli
Opening NIght of the Winternachten festival is dedicated to freedom of expression, featuring poetry, music, the Free the Word! speech, and the Oxfam Novib PEN Awards ceremony.
Robert van Asten, The Hague Elderman for Mobility, Culture and Strategy opened the festival. Radna Fabias, winner of the 2018 C. Buddingh Prize for best Dutch-language poetry debut, started the night off with a reading from her collection Habitus. Then the Mexican-American writer Jennifer Clement, chair of PEN International, delivered a statement about freedom of expression. After that, Canadian writer Madeleine Thien delivered the Free the Word! speech.
Nicaraguan writer and poet Gioconda Belli and Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour who currently risk their freedom and lives to seek out and publish the truth were honoured during the prestigious Oxfam Novib PEN Awards ceremony. Oxfam Novib director Michiel Servaes handed out the prizes. Also Italian writer Roberto Saviano received an Oxfam Novib PEN Award. Since the publication of his book Gomorrah (2006), he lives under police protection and could not attend. Afterwards, the other two winners discussed their work and experiences with writer and journalist Hassnae Bouazza and Dutch national news presenter Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal. They read from their own poetry. English spoken.
The Opening Night programme was framed with musical performances by singer-songwriter Raj Mohan and hosted by Hassnae Bouazza. The evening is a collaboration between Oxfam Novib, PEN International and PEN Nederland.
Get to know international literary stars and their recent books. Expect to hear about their motivation to write, the creation of their characters and the worldwide success of their books. Writer and essayist Chris Keulemans talked with Ayelet Gundar-Goschen (Israel) about her second novel Waking Lions and with Gioconda Belli (Nicaragua) about her novel El país de las mujeres (The Land of the Women).
After her debut, One Night, Markovitch, Gundar-Goshen builds up the suspense in her second novel, Waking Lions, which is about a surgeon who must live with the consequences of a car accident. Belli made her international breakthrough with The Inhabited Woman; in 2012 she published The Land of the Women, about a South-American country that since two years is governed solely by women.