Park Benches and Good Books in Brussels

Another change of season is rolling over Brussels’ parks. Spring flowers have been pulled from their beds, annual fertilizer worked into the soil. Babes, who months ago could only look at the tall trees from a moving pram, clutch crusty branches as they waddle circles around misshapen trunks, kicking at fallen leaves. The air breathes noticeably easier, it’s crisp, and everywhere you look, the landscape is foretelling of what lies ahead.

The black birds know winter is coming. They take no shame in begging for bread, or outright stealing it when you’re not looking. On a windy day the leaves, golden and weightless, drop like snow and crunch beneath your feet as they lay like carpet on the ground. Yes, winter is coming, but first we get to hear the whispered stories of fall.

I relish this time of year in my local park, Cinquantenaire. Regular park goers, like me, pack away picnic blankets and baskets and head to the park with a favourite book. Under a canopy of amber light, park benches call out to be visited. This fall, when I pay the benches a visit, I won’t be bringing a book for me; I’ll be bringing one book for you.

This November, hidden among Cinquantenaire’s natural treasures and wedged between the wooden slats of various park benches will be copies of The Circle 19: a Brussels Anthology. Its turquoise cover will be hard to miss. If you are one of those lucky enough to stumble upon this latest anthology from The Brussels Writers’ Circle, make good use of the park’s many benches spread among secluded nooks and open pathways.

Take a seat, give yourself ten minutes, or thirty, or more if you have it, and lose yourself in one of the many poems or short stories showcased in The Circle 19. If you like science fiction, you’ll love Zoheb Mashiur’s Brand New Me or Karmen Spiljak’s The Collectors. Romance with a twist? Check out Katja Knezveic’s The Dinner. If you’re a fan of historical fiction or contemporary poetry, you should definitely read Larisa Doctorow’s The Immortal Regiment, or ME Grey’s Impact Pathway Metric.

Afterwards, as you walk among littered chestnuts and acorns, you should feel lighter, charmed, you might even be smiling. Above all, I hope you’ll agree that a good book and a park bench are worth making time for this fall.


The Circle
Alexandros Yannis, Karmen Spiljak, Anastasia Cojocaru, Ann Milton and Patrick ten Brink

Two Opportunities to Hear Excerpts Read from the Anthology

Join members of the Brussels Writers’ Circle at Waterstone’s Bookshop, Boulevard Adolphe Maxlaan 71-75, Brussels, 1000, on Tuesday 26 November 2019, 18:00 – 19:00, for the launch of the newest volume of poems and short stories by the celebrated literary group. Authors featured in The Circle 19: a Brussels Anthology will read an excerpt from their work and be available for book signing. Books can be purchased at the event and refreshments will be available from 5:30 pm.

Additionally, join authors at Muntpunt Grand Café, Leopoldsraat 2, Brussels, 1000, on Saturday 30 November 2019, 7 pm, for a second launch of the newest volume of poems and short stories by the Brussels Writers’ Circle.

About the Book

The Circle 19: a Brussels Anthology is the third collection to mine the genius of the Brussels Writers’ Circle. Some of the award winning authors included are: Patrick ten Brink (Germany), TD Arkenberg (USA), Irina Papancheva (Bulgaria), Niamh Moroney (Ireland), Xavier Quiepo (Spain), and Teodora Lalova (Bulgaria).


The Circle