Legends line up at Louisiana

Running for its fourth consecutive year, Louisiana Literature is making its mark as Denmark’s most engaging and diverse literary festival. Readers, writers, poets and performers will flock to Louisiana Museum of Modern Art from Thursday to Sunday to indulge in what promises to be the ultimate literary feast.

The annual international literary festival welcomes over 40 writers and artists from Denmark and abroad to give readings, interviews and performances on several indoor stages, as well as outside in the picturesque Louisiana Sculpture Park.

This year’s line-up includes big international names such as major English writer Ian McEwan (Sweet Tooth, Atonement), Zadie Smith (White Teeth), Norwegian writer Per Petterson (I Refuse), award-winning Irish poet Nick Laird, hyped novelist of Nigerian and Ghanaian origin, Taiye Selasi (Ghana Must Go), and Waciny Laredj, one of Algeria’s most respected and award-winning authors.

Among the other participants there will be a host of Danish authors, including Anders Abilgaard, Lone Aburas, Peter Adolphsen, Ursula Andkjær Olsen, Peter Asmussen, Suzzanne Brøgger and many more.

Louisiana is hailed by many as their favourite museum in the world, and last year the literary festival was spectacularly well attended. The headliner, the writer and singer Patti Smith, attracted such a large audience that over-crowding became a problem.


Thanks to the high attendance, the festival was a success, and in a recap video by Louisiana, the ‘Godmother of Punk’ herself shared what she gained from the festival: “When I think about being here, I don’t want to leave. Everything that I’m interested in … I found someone who can teach something.”  

While the festival organisers have aimed to reduce any possible over-crowding this year, the event certainly doesn’t lack variety thanks to a programme featuring readings and conversations in English alongside songs and performances, once again ensuring that artists and audience alike won’t want to leave.

So be sure to bring a picnic blanket if the August weather withholds the cold and enjoy the spectacular performances and prose before a backdrop of breathtaking views.



Jenny Hval

The performers include Norwegian singer and author Jenny Hval who has been described by the Guardian as “hallucinatory visual power.” In a prepared statement the singer’s new album, On Innocence is Kinky, is said to convey “not only a unique singing voice, often compared to PJ Harvey’s, but also the voice of a poet”.

Concert Hall, Fri 21:30; Villa Stage, Sat 15:30

Tomomi Adachi

Another performance enhancing the festival’s diversity and bound to create a unique experience is that by sound-poet Tomomi Adachi. The Japanese performer and composer creates improvised music using his voice, a computer and homemade instruments, such as an infrared sensor shirt that forms sounds as he moves. Saturday’s performance will include Japanese sound poetry, including a work by Yoko Ono.

Weiwei Stage, Thu 18:00; Villa Stage, Sat 14:00

Olof Olsson

If you prefer a little humour weaved through your literature, Olof Olsson, who combines stand-up comedy with monologues and silent film, is a must-see. The unique performance draws on Olson’s grandfather’s unpublished fiction, which explores language and storytelling, in a lecture-style format.

Morris Louos Stage; Sat & Sun

The Audio Walk
A staple feature of the festival, The Audio Walk, will also run this year with two English-speaking artists contributing, Tomomi Adachi and Yoko Ono. In total, eight selected authors and artists have written about spaces and art at Louisiana and Adachi’s The Honey Bee is Almost Gone With … draws from the story of the man who gave the Louisiana Museum its name. The Audio Walk offers the audience their own literary experience and Yoko Ono’s Yoko Ono: Letter to a Young Artist shares inspiring advice for young artists



The ongoing Yoko Ono retrospective can also be seen during the festival. The retrospective features work from the 1960s and 1970s, as well as some of Ono’s recent peace activism and human rights work.

ends Sep 29, open Tue-Fri 11:00-22:00, Sat-Sun 11:00-18:00


Louisiana, Gammel Strandvej 13, Humlebæk; starts Thu (Aug 22), ends Sun; entry with museum ticket or 170kr for a four-day pass, one-day admission 110kr, free admission with Louisiana Club Card; www.louisiana.dk