A blog dedicated to news, reviews and thoughts on literary festivals around the world. Book Festivals, Readers Festivals, Writers Festivals, Literary Festivals, the names and forms are diverse. Disclosure: I served on the Steering Committee of the Singapore Writers Festival 2005. Enjoy!
Sunday, July 31, 2005
Friday, July 29, 2005
New South Wales Premier and Arts Minister will be missed by arts administrators - including Caro Llewellyn of Sydney Writers Fest
Fisher says the initiative is spending taxpayers' money to promote overseas writers. 'If it's being funded by money from the Australia Council, then I'd see it as being something which ought to be encouraging the sales and reading of Australian books,' he says.
'The funding was given first in 2001 as part of the Book Industry Assistance Package to assist the Australian publishing industry. Is France promoting the reading of American books in their country? Is the UK or the US promoting the reading of Australian books in their country?
'The answer in all cases is no.'
Apparently some 30 of the authors promoted in the Books Alive program are Australian, with 20 foreigners, including several who are already selling extremely well (like Singapore Writers Festival guest Alexander McCall Smith).
From an industry perspective I would have to say that book importers and bookshops are important elements in the local ecosystem, and that imported books are crucial to the local literary scene. I don't see a problem in promoting them! But perhaps the choice of foreign writers to promote can be more nuanced.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
"Could you read 20 books in 28 days? Would you like to take part in a new BBC Four programme?
We’re looking for six enthusiastic, energetic and dedicated people to take part in this book marathon for a programme called Bookered Out. You don’t have to be a book worm or a literature buff to take part. Novice readers are more than welcome!
But you have to read every book in the longlist...and probably you have to live in the UK. [courtesy of Literary Saloon]
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
It is a little bit strange that reading, which is the most solitary and private of acts, should translate into the gospel tent euphoria of the festival. This has happened because people love to be read to, as they did when they were kids; because they are curious to meet the writers who interest them; and most of all, because they are curious to meet each other. Reader’s groups and dedicated websites are about securing the connections that books suggest. All art is about connection, and in a world that often comes to us in bewildering fragments, the connections that art offers are increasingly necessary.
But she particularly liked FLIP. Among the highlights:
Translations were done in four languages simultaneously, and the tents were packed all day and all night for a fantastic programme that included day-long stories for children. This is not elitist. This is not some rarefied high art — this is art for everyone, and it works.
Actually not a process the literary world is particularly good at - unification...
Friday, July 22, 2005
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
he shortlists are best collection: The Good Neighbour, by John Burnside; Legion, by David Harsent; A Shorter Life, by Alan Jenkins; Woods etc, by Alice Oswald; and Stolen Love Behaviour, by John Stammers.
Best first collection: Intimates, by Helen Farish; To a Fault, by Nick Laird; Lucky Day, by Richard Price; Scattering Eva, by James Sheard; and Marabou, by Jane Yeh.
Best single poem: Passages, by Sarah Maguire; 99 Poems, by Stephen Knight; Liverpool Disappears for a Billionth of a Second, by Paul Farley; Buffalo Calf, by Katherine Pierpont; and Seventy Years a Showman, by Peter Scupham.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Hove is billed as one of the major speakers at August’s Edinburgh International Book Festival and organisers have expressed concern over his possible decision to pull out.
Festival director Catherine Lockerbie said: “We invited Chenjerai to talk as part of the Imprisoned Writers series firstly because he is a writer of great merit and secondly because he is a perfect example of someone who has been persecuted by the state because of words.
“If he were prevented from coming it would be an extraordinary irony because the series, and indeed the whole of the festival, is about promoting freedom of expression and of the imagination.”
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Monday, July 11, 2005
This report from Reuters.
We learn that the Festival was started by Liz Calder, one of the founders of Bloomsbury Press...
Friday, July 08, 2005
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Simon Clews is leaving Melbourne Festival?
Monday, July 04, 2005
Some results include:
# The Baroque Cycle: The Confusion; The System of the World, Neal Stephenson (Morrow)
# Iron Council, China Miéville (Del Rey)
# Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
Other winners include Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman (who I just had lunch with today in Singapore!)