Mediterranean Literature Festival to be held at Fort St Elmo

Eleven writers from eight countries are reading in the festival, which also features Maltese and foreign poetry films, three Maltese jazz and alternative music bands, a book stall, and food and drinks

18 August 2015, 3:02pm
Maltese novelist Trevor Żahra will be reading on 28 August
Maltese novelist Trevor Żahra will be reading on 28 August
World-renowned novelist and academic Marina Warner will be interviewed on 29 August
World-renowned novelist and academic Marina Warner will be interviewed on 29 August
British-born short story writer and novelist James Vella will read on the 27 August
British-born short story writer and novelist James Vella will read on the 27 August
The tenth edition of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival organized by Inizjamed will be held on Thursday 27, Friday 28 and Saturday 29 August, at Fort St Elmo, in Valletta, at 8.00pm.

Eleven writers from eight countries are reading in the festival, which also features Maltese and foreign poetry films, three Maltese jazz and alternative music bands, a book stall, and food and drinks. Entrance to all events is free. 

The writers reading on Thursday 27 August are poet Efe Duyan (Turkey), poet and short story writer Nadia Mifsud (Malta/France), the British-born short story writer and novelist James Vella, and prize-winning poet and political scientist Tamim Barghouti (Palestine/Egypt), who 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 28 August, the writers invited to read are poet Moez Majed (Tunisia), leading Maltese novelist Trevor Żahra, poet Jana Putrle Srdić (Slovenia), and novelist Hisham Matar (Libya/UK), who established himself internationally with his prize-winning novel In the Country of Men.

Hisham Matar, who will be interviewed by Albert Gatt, 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, out next year. It takes as its starting point his visit to Libya in 2012, the first time he returned to Libya in thirty-three 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 29 August are novelist John Bonello, poet and academic Norbert Bugeja (Malta), and the world-renowned novelist and academic Marina Warner (UK), who will be interviewed by Gloria Lauri-Lucente, 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 of the Man Booker International Prize 2015. The daughter of an Italian mother and English bookseller, she was brought up in Egypt, Belgium, and England, and is writing a memoir-cum-novel set in Cairo in the Fifties.

On Saturday, live jazz music will be provided by Oliver Degabriele feat, Joe Debono and Joseph Camilleri. On Saturday, in collaboration with 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.

As part of the run-up to the Festival, on Tuesday 25 August at 7.00pm, Moëz Majed will be talking about the situation in Tunisia since the Revolution of Dignity and Freedom of 2010 in the Library of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Malta in Tal-Qroqq, Msida. This event, which is free and open to everyone, 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 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.

The Festival is on Facebook and at inizjamedmalta.wordpress.com.