THE CIRCLE excerpt

Look Inside

You are cordially invited

to a book launch for

The Circle

A Brussels Anthology

7 p.m. on November 22, 2018 at Waterstones

Blvd Adolphe Max 71, Brussels

<< Read the excerpt!


Open this book, and you will enter a world refracted in a prism of thirty-four polished surfaces. A gem, cut in the technocratic diamond district, emitting multifarious literature through its many faces. Approaching a perfect circle with each new facet. Some reflect the wistful melancholy of the Brussels drizzle, some tear open the sky with a bolt of genius that will have you groping for your sunglasses. A brain drain of thirty-four emerging and prize-winning authors, itinerant and settled, shares and sharpens its largely expat outpourings of human love and beastly bombings, reassuring community and bewildering exile. The private explodes in public, the petty corrupts the grand, the funny elbows the dire—in the heart of the old world, lives and stories converge and drift apart. This collection portrays our troubled and exciting times through short story, poem, script and novel excerpt of both seasoned pros and promising hacks. Whether brutally marooned on the damp flatlands, or cosily embedded in red-brick ale houses, their dreams and nightmares shine from this beloved, accursed, ramshackle Europe of ours. Come inside.



The Circle

By various authors
Edited by Patrick Ten Brink
Release date: October 14, 2018
Genre: Anthology of contemporary literature
Price: €15.88, $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-941861-70-7



“Several inclusions in this anthology are prize winners, including Colin Walsh’s ‘The Flare Carves Itself Through the Dark’…. Another prizewinning writer is Dimitris Politis, whose piece vividly-written ‘The Extraordinary Colours of an Ordinary Day’ is based on the 2016 bombing of Maalbeek metro station and brought to life with stunning detail….Now if you’ve ever joined a writers’ group, Andreas Bergsten’s “Poetic License, by Gilbert Jones” might strike a familiar note. In order to even the score after receiving unkind feedback on his writings, Gilbert composes a running tell-all limerick using the actual names of the group’s writers….and one of the most emotional pieces in the book allows Richard Boland, who refers to himself as a “coincidental survivor,” to pay tribute to friends who died of AIDS…. Poetry holds its own in this anthology. S. R. Harris, best known for her children’s book series about a sheep called Skye, departs from that genre in ‘Another Country,’ where she reflects on the country she left…. Reading an anthology is a great way to sample all types of writings, even those one might normally skip over. In the case of The Circle: A Brussels Anthology, if you read them all, you’ll get a taste of the works of thirty-four diverse authors, each expressing a unique version of life in Belgium’s capital city.”



“This stunning anthology will not only appeal to those familiar with Brussels incognito, but also to those with an appreciation for divine inspiration, as international writers engage with a capital city and its unique way of life.”

Brussels Express


“This collection of short stories, poems, fairy tales and film scripts is proof of Brussels’s international talent. Entertaining takes on life, love and revenge are complemented by nuanced thoughts about everything that makes us human…. The collection of literature dives into topics like religion, minorities, grief and terrorism and does so in a respectful and reflective manner. Its unusual mix of topics and forms reveals a usually hidden face of Brussels.”

Midwest Book Review


“Over fifty contributions contain some real gems. Short film scripts, non-fiction pieces, fairy tales and poems are united in their unique portrayal of the surreal aspect of Brussels exploring different dimensions of the human condition. The anthology opens with Andreas Bergsten’s ‘Poetic license by Gilbert Jones’. This amusing short story evolves around revenge building on writers’ shortcomings. ‘So, this was it. I was leaving Brussels, hopefully never to return. Twelve dull years of pointless work, fickle friends, and fries with mayo.’ Colin Walsh’s ‘The Flare Carves Itself Through the Dark’, which won the RTÉ Radio 1 Francis MacManus Short Story Prize in 2017, is an outstanding snippet out of the life of a young man in suburban Ireland…. ‘St. Roman the Melodist’ by Lida Papasokrati is a modern tale that intertwines mythology with the everyday and breathes life into a mischievous saint, who loves to eavesdrop on the practicing of the school orchestra. While generous with light and humorous everyday topics, The Circle also respectfully takes on complicated and controversial issues like terrorism, race, religion, diversity and grief across five emerging themes: terrorism, travel and immigration, life, love, and loss…. Ciprian Begu’s poem’s—‘To the City of Hopes and Steel’—deals with the challenges facing migrants, taking a dark, humorous look at their/our aspirations and efforts, reminding us of the need to maintain a sense of humor even in trying times…. Antoinette Naomi Reddick’s ‘Sliding Memories’ moves to the US and Lyric’s final hours in New York and the existential decision she needs to take. Perhaps the most heart-wrenching of all entries in this Brussels anthology is Richard Boland’s ‘Above and Beyond All Reason,’ a beautiful and deeply moving tribute to friends lost to AIDS….”

—Pleiades Book Review


THE CIRCLE contributors win an Are You Series? Award for Best Pitch


“The Anthology is made up of fifty-five contributions by thirty-four authors (including award-winning Jeanie Keogh and Colin Walsh) from nineteen countries. It dabbles in poetry, prose and script; fiction and non-fiction, packing in a number of themes: fantasy, love, death, violence, humiliation, humour, devotion, grief, loss, history, memory…. The Anthology has something for everyone, and it is a tribute to this great city to read the beauty of English embraced by many nationalities and cultures.”

Together Magazine




Thirty-four authors from nineteen countries launch
new anthology in Brussels

THE CIRCLE, by Brussels Expats—The Bulletin

Brussels Writers Series

Brussels Writers Series VI

Brussels Writers’ Series V

Brussels Writers’ Series VIII


Authors in The Circle:


Andreas Bergsten
Jeanie Keogh
Colin Walsh
Junko Oikawa
Dimitris Politis
SR Harris
Aisling Henrard
Mimi Kunz
Mauricio Ruiz
Joost Hiltermann
Cynthia Huijgens
Shyam Sunder Gopalakrishnan
Antoinette Naomi Reddick
Richard Boland
Sarah Strange
Ross Noble
Andrea Rees
Nicholas Parrott
CS Begu
Lida Papasokrati
David Ellard
Alex Dampney
Océan Smets
Martin Jones
Claire Davenport
Genevieve Shapiro
Klavs Skovsholm
TD Arkenberg
Paul Speight
Barbara Mariani
Jay Harold
Patrick ten Brink
Hamed Mobasser
Kevin Dwyer


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