On the 27th, 28th and 29th August, the 10th edition of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival, organised by Inizjamed, will be held at Fort St Elmo at 8pm. Eleven writers from eight countries have been invited to read at the festival, which will also feature Maltese and foreign poetry films, three Maltese jazz and alternative music bands and a book stall. Food and drinks will be served, and entrance to all events is free.
The Festival Programme
The writers reading on Thursday 27th August are Turkish poet Efe Duyan, poet and short story writer Nadia Mifsud (Malta/France), British-born short story writer and novelist James Vella, and prize-winning poet and political scientist Tamim Barghouti (Palestine/Egypt). Barghouti will be interviewed by Walid Nabhan. Barghouti’s father is the Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti, and his mother is the Egyptian novelist and scholar, Radwa Ashour. The band invited to play on this first night is Brodu, and Caldon Mercieca will present a poetry film from Reel Festivals.
On Friday 28th August, the writers will be Tunisian poet Moëz Majed, leading Maltese novelist Trevor Żahra, Slovenian poet Jana Putrle Srdić, and novelist Hisham Matar (Libya/UK), who has established himself internationally with his prize-winning novel, In the Country of Men. He will be interviewed by Albert Gatt, and is a contributor to various periodicals, including The Guardian and The New Yorker, in which, in 2013, he published part of his third novel, The Return, which is out next year. It takes as its starting point his visit to Libya in 2012, the first time he returned to Libya in 33 years. This second night features jazz music by Nadine Axisa and her band, and another poetry film from Reel Festivals.
The writers reading on Saturday 29th August are novelist John Bonello, Maltese poet and academic Norbert Bugeja, and the world-renowned novelist and academic Dame Marina Warner, who will be interviewed by Gloria Lauri-Lucente, who is Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Malta. Dame Marina Warner was awarded the Holberg Prize in the Humanities in 2015, and was Chair of the judges for the Man Booker International Prize 2015. The daughter of an Italian mother and an English bookseller, she was brought up in Egypt, Belgium, and England, and is writing a memoir-cum-novel set in Cairo in the 50s.
Live jazz music will be provided by Oliver Degabriele, featuring Joe Debono and Joseph Camilleri. In collaboration with the Valletta 2018 Foundation, Inizjamed will present a poetry film based on a poem by Mario Azzopardi, Ried Ikun Jaf, directed by Edward Said and produced by Emma Mattei.
Literature and More
As part of the run-up to the festival, Moëz Majed will be talking about the situation in Tunisia since the Revolution of Dignity and Freedom of 2010 at the library of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Malta in Tal-Qroqq, Msida. This event will take place on Tuesday 25th August at 7pm, and is free and open to the general public. It is being hosted by the Mediterranean Institute in collaboration with Inizjamed, and will be chaired by Norbert Bugeja.
Some of the literature read during the festival might require an adult audience.
The writers will be in Malta throughout the last week of August to take part in the Malta LAF Literary Translation Workshop. They will be translating each other’s works, and will be reading some of these translations during the festival.
The festival and Literary Translation workshop are part of the Literature Across Frontiers initiative, which has played a crucial role in the setting up and development of this annual literary event. The 2015 edition of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival and the Malta LAF Translation workshop are being held with the support of the Malta Arts Fund, Heritage Malta, Arts Council Malta, Valletta 2018, Għaqda tal-Malti – Università, The Fortress Builders, Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, Malta Tourism Authority, Centre for Slovenian Literature, Slovenian Book Agency, and Reel Festivals. The MMLF is the recipient of the EFFE Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe label.