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Portrait of Teresa Grøtan

Teresa Grøtan

Festival director

Teresa Grøtan (b 1974, Norway) is the director of the Bergen International Literary Festival. With a background as a journalist and author, she holds an MA from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Grøtan has published a number of books, most recently Før øya synker (Gyldendal, 2018). She was the editor of the literary journal Syn og Segn and the founding editor of the magazine Global Knowledge. Grøtan won the Blix prize in 2013 for her books aimed at children and young people.

+47 922 88 550

Portrait of Hjørdis Losnedahl

Hjørdis Losnedahl

Managing Director

Hjørdis Losnedahl (b 1971, Norway) works with programme and production for the Bergen International Literary Festival. She is former project manager of the Nordic Media Days, has worked for the Bergen International Festival and as administration manager at the Logen Theater. Losnedahl holds a BA in comparative literature, Theatre studies and French.

+47 922 30 992

Maxine Elma Padayachee

Administrative assistant

Maxine Elma Padayachee (b. 1979, South Africa) is an administrative assistant at  Bergen Literary festival. Maxine has her Bachelor in English and Theory of Literature with a specialization in Creative Writing from the University of South Africa and a Master in English Studies from Oslo and Copenhagen University.

+ 47 904 29 946

Ingrid Serenne Aakre Kibsgård

Festival assistant

Ingrid Serenne Aakre Kibsgård (f. 1998, Norway) is a festival assistant at Bergen Literary Festival. Ingrid has a Bachelor in English and a Master in History from the University of Bergen.

Kari Jegerstedt

Leader of Bergen International Book Club

Kari Jegerstedt (b 1963, Norway) heads the centre for women’s and gender research at the University of Bergen, and secured a PhD in comparative literature.

The board

Portrait of Birthe Kåfjord Lange

Birthe Kåfjord Lange


Birthe Kåfjord Lange (b 1973, Norway) holds an MSc Econ from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), and secured a PhD in management from the same institution in 2008. She has ten years of experience with leadership and expertise development, including at Statoil, and as a former vice president for NHH Executive. Kåfjord Lange also has broad experience of university college and university teaching, and is a board member of Sparebanken Vest.

Anne Karin Sæther

Board member

Anne Karin Sæther (b 1975, Norway) is an author with an MA in journalism from the University of Oslo. Her career includes working as a journalist for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) and Dagsavisen, and five years as communications manager for the Bellona environment foundation. Sæther has been with the Union of Education Norway since 2011, most recently as political adviser to the leadership. She has also taught journalism students and helped to manage various Norwegian performers. Sæther sits on the board of the Norwegian Non-Fiction Writers and Translators Association (NFFO).

Portrait of Camilla Bernt

Camilla Bernt

Board member

Camilla Bernt is a professor and leader of the research group for Civil Procedure and Dispute Resolution at the University of Bergen.


Portrett av Magnus Thomassen

Magnus Thomassen

Board member

Magnus Thomassen (b. 1981, Norway) is the director of the media fund Zefyr. He is a lawyer and is also a trained film producer from the Norwegian Film School in Lillehammer, where he graduated in 2006. He graduated from UiB in 2012 with a specialization in copyright and trademark law, as well as design and patent law.

Mah-Rukh Ali

Board Member

Mah-Rukh Ali (b.1982, Norway) is a writer with extensive experience as a journalist and news anchor for among others, TV2 and NRK. She has written books about the Middle East and has been a columnist for DN for many years. She is a coveted speaker about Foreign Affairs and Issues of Security.

Portrait of Gunnar Martin Sørbø

Gunnar Martin Sørbø

Board member

Gunnar Martin Sørbø (b 1948, Norway) is the former director of the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI). He is a social anthropologist with extensive international experience from research, research management and consultancy work. He has held positions as trustee of several boards, including the Research Council of Norway, the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights and several international research organizations. From 1993-1995, Sørbø was a member of the North-South/Aid Commission, appointed by the Norwegian Government.

International artistic advisory board

Portrait of Alisa Ganieva

Alisa Ganieva


Alisa Ganieva (b 1985, Dagestan) is an author, journalist and literary critic. She made her literary debut with Salaam, Dalgat!, published under the male pseudonym Gulla Khiratsjev. The book describes the everyday life of Dagestani youth in the cities, and addresses current social and religious issues. Salaam, Dalgat! won the prestigious Debut Prize in 2009, and Ganieva did not reveal her true identity until the award ceremony. Since her debut, she has written several novels: The Mountain and the Wall, Bride and Groom and, most recently, Оскорбленные чувства (Offended Sensibilities). Ganieva has been shortlisted and received numerous prizes and her books have been translated into such languages as English, Spanish and Turkish.

Portrait of Leila Guerriero

Leila Guerriero


Leila Guerriero (b 1967) is a journalist who writes regularly in a number of newspapers and magazines, including El Pais (Spain). She has published a number of books, including Una historia sencilla (A Simple Story) and Frutas Extrañas (Strange Fruit: Crónicas) and most recently Opus Gelber. Retrato de un pianista. She was awarded the CEMEX-FNPI journalism award in 2010 for El rastro en los huesos, chronicling an Argentinian forensic anthropology team which travels the world to identify the bones of victims of military dictatorships. A Norwegian translation was published in the Plot magazine. Her books have been translated into English, German, French, Portuguese, Italian and Polish.

Portrait of Daniel Medin

Daniel Medin


Daniel Medin (b 1975) is a professor of comparative literature and English at the American University of Paris, where he is associate director of the Center for Writers and Translators and an editor of its Cahiers Series. Medin is also co-editor of Music & Literature magazine (Houston); commissions translations for The White Review (London); and curates a series about Berlin and international writing at the Literaturhaus-Berlin. A past judge for leading translation prizes in the UK (Man Booker International Prize) and USA (Best Translated Book Award), he is now on the jury of their German equivalent (HKW Internationaler Literaturpreis).

Portrait of Jonny Steinberg

Jonny Steinberg

South Africa

Jonny Steinberg (b 1970) is the author of several books about everyday life in the wake of South Africa's transition to democracy. Two of them, Midlands, about the murder of a white farmer, and The Number, a biography of a prison gangster, won South Africa's premier non-fiction prize, the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. Steinberg is also a recipient of the inaugural Windham-Campbell Prizes for Literature awarded by Yale University. He teaches at the University of Oxford, where he is professor of African studies.

Portrait of Ece Temelkuran

Ece Temelkuran


Ece Temelkuran (b 1973) is one of Turkey’s best known authors and political commentators. She was previously a columnist for the Haberturk, before her outspoken criticism of government repression led to her losing her job. Temelkuran’s articles have recently featured in Der Spiegel, the Guardian and the New York Times. She has written several books, including Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy, Women Who Blow On Knots, The Time of Mute Swans and, most recently, How To Lose A Country. Her books have been translated into many languages, including English, Arabic, German, Dutch and Croatian.

Tishani Doshi


Tishani Doshi (b 1975) is a poet, novelist and dancer of Welsh-Gujarati descent. Described by American author Gary Shteyngart as “one of the world’s best poets”, she is the author of several poetry collections and novels. Her first novel, The Pleasure Seekers (2010), was longlisted for the Orange Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; her latest, Small Days and Nights (2019), was an Irish Times Book of the Year. Her most recent poetry collection, Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods, was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award. She is currently based in Tamil Nadu, India.

Norwegian artistic advisory board

Portrait of Pedro Carmona-Alvarez

Pedro Carmona-Alvarez

Pedro Carmona-Alvarez (b 1972, Chile) is an author and musician. He made his literary debute with Helter, and has subsequently published several poetry collections, novels and essays. Carmona-Alvarez has served as editor for Cappelen Damm’s new writing anthology Signaler and (with Gunnar Wærness) for Verden finnes ikke på kartet, an anthology of international contemporary poetry in translation. His work has been translated into Danish, German and English, and he has won a number of prizes. He plays in several bands.

Portrait of Jan H. Landro

Jan H. Landro

Jan H Landro (b 1948, Norway) is an author, journalist and regular contributor to Dag og Tid. He is also the former culture editor of Bergens Tidende. Landro has written a number of books, including Jeg er ikke ironisk. Samtaler med Dag Solstad (2001) and Bernt Tunold. Vestlandsmålar i grønt og grått (2016). His latest work is Frå Nora til Karl Ove – og 84 andre personar i norsk litteratur (2017). He also conducts public literary interviews and lectures.

Sandra Lillebø

Sandra Lillebø (b 1978, Norway) is an author, critic and commentator in Klassekampen. Lillebø made her debute as an author in 2011 with the poetry collection Navnet på den ensomme er frigitt and published a second collection, Alt skal skinne og blø, in 2016. She is also co-editor of the Vagant magazine, and former programme consultant at the Bergen International Literary Festival and the Bergen House of Literature.

Portrait of Eirik Vassenden

Eirik Vassenden

Eirik Vassenden (b 1971, Norway) is professor of Nordic literature at the University of Bergen. He teaches and writes about both older and newer literary works, and is a literary critic and the former editor of the Vagant and Edda magazines. His research in recent years has covered literature and ideology, literary criticism and theories of the public sphere. Vassenden has written a number of books. His other roles include serving as editor of Norsk litterær årbok.

Portrait of Gunnhild Øyehaug

Gunnhild Øyehaug

Gunnhild Øyehaug (b 1975, Norway) is an author and teacher at the Academy of Creative Writing in Hordaland. She has scripted one feature film and one short film, and her books have been published in Denmark, Sweden and Germany. Her essay collection Knots + was published in the USA in 2017, and the novel Wait, Blink appeared in 2018. Wait, Blink was longlisted for the National Book Award 2018. Øyehaug won the Bjørnson scholarship in 2006, and the Dobloug and Sult prizes in 2009. 

The resource group for the school programme at LitFestBergen

Portrait of Kyrre Myklebust

Kyrre Myklebust

Kyrre Myklebust (b. 1981) is a Norwegian lecturer and works at Blokkhaugen School. He teaches Norwegian, Social Studies and Music at the junior level since 2007.

Portrait of Birgit Ekern

Birgit Ekern

Birgit Ekern is a lecturer at Nordahl Grieg Vgs and teaches History, Norwegian and Philosophy.

Portrait of Rune Krogh Nøstdal

Rune Krogh Nøstdal

Rune Krogh Nøstdal (b. 1974, Norway) has been a lecturer at Knarvik Secondary School for over twenty years with a major in Nordic language and literature . He is a textbook author for Aschehoug and has been writing textbooks for ten years.

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