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When fiction met football

23 May 2017

Fans cheering in football stadium

Cardiff University’s international fiction and poetry festival has teamed up with Wales Arts International and UEFA to host a series of free events this year.

Now in its sixth year, Fiction Fiesta will celebrate our love of football and short story writing in a two-day event in Cardiff coinciding with the build up to the UEFA Champions League Final in the city.

On 31st May 2017, acclaimed international writers Juan Villoro (Mexico) and Andrés Neuman (Argentina) will be in conversation with Cardiff University’s Director of Creative Writing, Richard Gwyn for The Latin American Short Story.

Book of the Year

Both writers are acknowledged masters of the short story. Passionate about football, Villoro is perhaps best known for his book God is Round. Neuman is author of Traveller of the Century, selected as a Book of the Year by The Guardian, Financial Times and The Independent in 2013. As part of the event, they will read excerpts of their work, discussing the form and the influences on their writing.

On 1st June 2017, Villoro and Neuman will kick off Football Fiction Fiesta with Writing Football.  Inspired by the UEFA Champions League final, writers respected internationally for their football writing will discuss the craft of writing about the beautiful game in the literary genre.

Football Fiction Fiesta completes its hat-trick of events with Liverpool and Wales legend Ian Rush-ambassador for the UEFA Champions League final - in conversation with Niall Griffiths. The Welsh novelist and journalist will find out more about Rush’s career, including his memories of scoring the winning goal in Wales’ victory against Germany in 1991.

Creator of Fiction Fiesta, Richard Gwyn, of the University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy said: "The UEFA Champions League Final provides the perfect opportunity to bring three great writers to Cardiff...”

“Juan Villoro, with God is Round, has written what is possibly the greatest book ever about football, while Andrés Neuman writes regularly in the Spanish media on the game. Both are passionate advocates of the belief that football and great literature can mix. Niall Griffiths and Ian Rush make that fusion a living reality.”

Professor Richard Gwyn Professor

The Latin American Short Story takes place on Wednesday 31 May (6pm – 7.30pm) at the University’s Main Building (Council Chamber). Reservations are recommended.

Football Fiction Fiesta kicks off on Thursday 1 June with Writing Football (2.30pm – 3.30pm), ending with Ian Rush in conversation with Niall Griffiths (4pm – 5pm) in the Japan Room at the Wales Millennium Centre.

Fiction Fiesta is a festival dedicated to the celebration of international fiction and poetry in translation alongside Welsh writing. The free events are made possible through the support of Wales Arts International, UEFA (via the Football Association of Wales) and Cardiff University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy.

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