Iceland’s captivating waterfalls, deep canyons of jagged rock, lava fields and mossy valleys make for what The Daily Beast calls “a catalyst for extraordinary creativity”. With one in ten Icelanders writing and publishing books, Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country in the world. In this article, The Daily Beast explores Iceland’s literary culture and reveals the inspiration behind the nation’s love of storytelling.
At the very heart of Icelandic culture is literature that dates back to the 10th and 11th centuries. Iceland is home to sagas that tell the inspiring tales of the nation’s first settlers in this remote country. Since this early time of epic sagas, the nation’s love for storytelling has become embedded in the culture.
“It may be the country’s remoteness, its long nights, and inclement weather that have fostered a love of storytelling,” writes The Daily Beast. With the stunning geography and unique culture it harbors, it’s no wonder writers rejoice in Iceland.
The country’s rich storytelling culture inspired the first ever Iceland Writers Retreat, which took place April 9-13, 2014. The author of The Daily Beast Article attended the event along with other award-winning novelists and travel writers. Founder of the retreat, Erica Green, describes why Iceland is the perfect location for the event. “Iceland is located between North America and Europe, so it’s easy to reach. But once here, you feel you are somewhere very far away, out in the middle of the Atlantic. It’s a place full of contrasts: the population is so small and isolated but also so well educated. You can eat world class cuisine in Reykjavik and then drive for an hour and climb a glacier.
The retreat hosts a series of small group workshops, author readings, panel discussions and cultural tours. Participants also have the opportunity to learn about Iceland’s literary history, enjoy the country’s food and music, and of course, take in Iceland’s unforgettable landscape. The next Iceland Writers Retreat will take place April 8-12, 2015.