Skellefteå's own literature festival grows

"Local literature is alive and well and deserves our attention," say the staff at the municipal library and the municipality's cultural promoters, who are once again gearing up for Skellefteå's own literary festival, SkeLitt. On September 9 and 10, book lovers of all ages will be welcomed to an extensive program. Completely free of charge!

Librarian Katarina Kling Löfbom and festival organizers Therese Eriksson and Maria Wallin are pleased with the program for this year's edition of SkeLitt.

Librarian Katarina Kling Löfbom and festival organizers Therese Eriksson and Maria Wallin are pleased with the program for this year's edition of SkeLitt.

Foto: Per Strömbro

Litteratur2023-08-25 10:25

This is the third time that SkeLitt has been organized. Previously, the entire festival was held at the Sara kulturhus, but this year it's divided into two days. The first day will offer a program for an adult audience in Nordanå. The second day, SkeLittle, as the name suggests, is for children and will take place in the cultural center.

– The move to Nordanå is mainly due to lack of space. We want to accommodate more visitors on the main stage and distribute them in a different way from what we used to do,"explains Katarina Kling Löfbom, librarian and one of the initiators of SkeLitt.

She mentions that an area and stage for exhibitors is a new feature this year.

These will mainly be book tables, publishers and self-published authors, who will have access to the Café stage, which will have its own program. The offering will range from fantasy stories by Skellefteå-based writer Lisa W Lindblom to new writing by poet Lo Ragnar Lindström.

"The Long Sámi Girl – The Legend of Stor-Stina" became author Åke Lundgren's first novel. 40 years later, he is releasing a new book about "Sápmi's Giantess" and will be making an appearance at SkeLitt.

At the same time, there will be a program at Nordanå Theatre, starting with a segment by Malå author and journalist Åke Lundgren about "Stor-Stina," the Sami girl who caused a sensation in the mid-1800s because of her height. More than 40 years after his debut novel about Kristina Katarina Larsdotter, her real name, Åke Lundgren is to publish a follow-up with new details about her fascinating life.

Kling Löfbom herself will moderate a discussion with the author duo Åström Sandlund, who write crime novels set in Piteå. The authors who make up Sandlund are Sara Åström from Luleå and Anette Sandlund from Skellefteå.

– But Anette was born Lidman and is actually a descendant of Sara Lidman. It's a bit of fun in view of the current Sara anniversary, says Kling Löfbom.

Another part of the program, "Voices in Västerbotten," focuses on the region's writers and how they are reflected in contemporary literature. Local writers Maj Degerstedt, Nils Lundkvist and Ulrika Nohlgren will share their insights in a discussion led by Maria Wallin, cultural officer at Skellefteå municipality and former journalist.

Her colleague Therese Eriksson has a background in literary criticism. She will be in conversation with the author Sara Meidell. Meidell, who is also the cultural editor of Västerbottens-Kuriren, was the subject of a heated debate about a year ago in connection with the publication of her debut book, "Ut ur min kropp" (Out of my body). The autobiographical account of a lifelong struggle with eating disorders was initially praised by critics, but soon criticized for glorifying the disease. Under the heading "Sara Meidell - One Year Later", they will discuss what happened and how Sara sees it now.

– It is always a bit challenging to talk about provocative topics, but I think it will be an interesting and important conversation, says Eriksson.

SkeLitt focuses mainly on literature in Skellefteå and the surrounding area, and intends to keep it that way.

– Of course it would be cool to have a big name as a draw, but at the same time it's about showcasing what's here locally. This also makes SkeLitt a unique festival, says Wallin.

Umeå-based duo Jeff Elliot, consisting of Jessica and Amanda Lindgren Klingsell, will perform with their personal and politically-charged folk-pop at SkeLitt.

That doesn't mean the festival can't grow. New this year is a musical performance by Jeff Elliot, an Umeå-based duo consisting of Jessica and Amanda Lindgren Klingsell. The duo, who interweave music with words by important contemporary writers, will treat the SkeLitt audience with their literary EP "Existens", released earlier this year. The music has been described as "honest, personal, and politically-charged folk-pop at its best."

Jeff Elliot's concert concludes SkeLitt, but the next day the children's version, SkeLittle, takes place at the Kulturhaus.

The children's book author Anja Gatu will be coming to SkeLittle - Skellefteå's literature festival for the younger audience.

It promises book-inspired crafts, an art workshop, handicrafts, storytelling sessions, and a dance fairytale. But there's also a meeting with author Anja Gatu. The former sports journalist is the author of books such as "Passa bollen! Ropar Kosse" (Pass the ball! Shouts Kosse), "Rött kort, Therese!" (Red card, Therese!) and "Dröm stort, Zećira!" (Dream big, Zećira!) - all inspired by the childhoods of athletes Kosovare Asllani, Therese Sjögran, and Zećira Mušović. Gatu is currently publishing a series of books about the spy cats of Rosengård, with James Bond-inspired titles like "Katt med rätt att klösa" (Cat with the right to scratch) and "Man lever bara nio gånger" (You only live nine times).

– We hope we have a good program. It certainly feels good, says Kling Löfbom.