Orient Express
The Best of Contemporary Writing
from Enlargement Europe

     Editor's Note
     Readings & Events

Current Issue

Orient Express brings together some of the most important and exciting writing today. From the Baltic States to the Balkans, Central Europe to Turkey: in fiction, poetry, prose and photo-essays.

A response to the changing face of Europe, this book-length publication is the only periodical in English specialising in the literatures of the entire E.U. Enlargement region.

Bosnia & Herzegovina
Czech Republic
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia


(submit to address below, cheques made payable to Orient Express)
£11 (£5 in Enlargement Countries) 
Institutions £37 (£11 in Enlargement Countries) 
Copies:  £5 + £1.50 p&p (£2 + £1 p&p in Enlargement Countries)

Correspondence and editorial address
Wythgreen House, Coleshill near Swindon SN6 7PS U.K.


Europe is a shape-shifter. Something that can't be relied upon from region to region, decade to decade. Half idea, half all-too-lived reality, it's alive with the tensions of that contradiction. Europe, named for a symbolic act of violence, nationalised L'Arte della Guerra but internationalised the art of roman courtois. Invented Equal Temperament and the Rubik Cube, discovered patisserie and Protestantism. It is a place, or series of places, perhaps above all identifiable by that lack - of cultural, religious, linguistic or political coherence - which is both the best and worst of its legacy.

Constantly negotiating the complexities of difference, the nations and cultural groups of patchwork Europe live out transitions both painful and popular. As if to be European is to live transition, to experience identity not as automatic but as something achieved through a series of accommodations. As if to be European is to be in perpetual motion. A non-European might say, We're on the road to no-where. But the secret of perpetuum mobile is oscillation, a movement to and fro. Like a train running in both directions: bridging distance, hyphenating difference.

The most famous European rail-route, the Orient Express, tracks a spinal cord across the continent: Paris - Vienna - Budapest - Bucharest - Istanbul. Istanbul - Bucharest - Budapest - Vienna - Paris, with connections to every European capital en route. And Orient Express names a kind of history too. In the Anglophone world it's a metonym for an early-twentieth century glamour of Central European culture, conspicuous consumption, illicit elegance.

This Orient Express, the one you hold in your hands, is in motion too. Though lacking a dining car and Wagon Lit, it's ready to ferry readers and writers to and fro across the changing map of Enlargement Europe. The lingua franca of Europe after communism, the new Latin, is English. And so, for reasons of transparency, that is the language of Orient Express. But as Europe shifts on her axis again, the critical mass of the E.U. Enlargement Countries is what engenders this shift. And resists the forces of globalisation by its insistence on the particular, on the coloured-in detail of what is characteristic.

The extraordinary literary, imaginative and intellectual richnesses of Enlargement Europe are no secret, but Anglophone insularity has sometimes stubbed its toe on the need for translation. Europe's very linguistic variety, too, can hinder literary communication within region. OE hopes to make the journey a little easier. And what an itinerary it is!

Fiona Sampson, Editor

cover of Orient Express, Vols 1 & 2, Autumn 2002

Contents - Vol 1 & 2, Autumn 2002


Péter Zilahy Nehnad Velickovic Aleksandar Prokopiev
Jaan Kaplinski Magda Cârneci Ioana Ieronim
Diana Manole Iosif Király Tomas Venclova
Sándor Tar Georgi Gospodinov Milan Richter
Vojislav Karanovic Vizma Belsevica Ondrej Stefanko
Natasza Goerke Marija Knezevic Cevat Çapan
About the Writers


Readings and Events

17 January, 2003
Romanian Embassy, Den Haag, Nederlands
Launch of
Orient Express, 16.00
(by invitation only)

March, 2003
Orient Express magazine was recommended (and quoted from) in the Minister for Europe's speech during the adjournment debate in March on European Enlargement in the House of Commons.

8 May, 2003
6.30pm   Orient Express is part of launch of eight-week promotion of the cultures of Enlargement Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office with Borders Bookshop, Charing Cross.

25 June, 2003
6.30pm   You are invited to the launch of Volume 3 of Orient Express at Borders Bookshop, 120 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0JR. Free.

Some Links

Péter Zilahy: www.hungarianbookfoundation.hu

Nehnad Velickovic: www.nenadvelickovic.com

Jaan Kaplinski: jaan.kaplinski.com

Magda Cârneci: www.rollenspiele-dionysos.de

Tomas Venclovawww.pogranicze.sejny.pl

Sándor Tarwww.hungarianbookfoundation.hu

Natasza Goerkewww.traktor.cz/twisted

Marija Knezevicmmc.et.tudelft.nl/~sii/guests/marija/

Cevat Çapan:  www.turkish-lit.boun.edu.tr

website : design by jules