2 July - Official Launch: Unfree Verse (Singapore)
Join us for the official book launch of UnFree Verse, which champions an important but overlooked aspect of Singapore's literary history: formal poetry in English. With poems drawn from 80 years of print and online material, this curated collection by editors Tse Hao Guang, Joshua Ip and Theophilus Kwek features 179 poems by 83 poets. Featuring poets beloved and forgotten, immigrant and emigrant, Malayan and cosmopolitan, this collection will challenge readers to explore the dynamic landscape of poetry from, about, and around Singapore.
5-7 July - QS Subject Focus Summit - Language, Literature and Culture (Seoul)
The QS Subject Focus Summit – Language, Literature and Culture brings together academics, senior higher education administrators and industry professionals to foster a renewed and deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by this important field.
10 July: Metafictional Murder in South Korea (London)
Mixing horror story with literary theory, The Impossible Fairytale has garnered rave reviews as “a novel of hypnotic language, page-turning suspense, & mind-bending metafictional twists” – a huge challenge for translator Janet Hong. Author Han Yujoo will discuss how South Korea’s young writers are reinventing form and language, why she chose to write herself into her debut novel, and the dark social realities leading her country to be dubbed ‘Hell Joseon’.
12 July - A Literary Adventure: The Making of Dr. Bethune's Children (Beijing)
The making of Dr. Bethune’s Children is a ten-year adventure spanning three countries and three languages. In this event, Xue Yiwei will share stories behind this modern literary myth and read some excerpts from the novel. Xue Yiwei, “a maverick in contemporary Chinese literature” (to quote Ha Jin), is author of 20 acclaimed books. Shenzheners, his first book---a collection of short stories---translated into English, has been well-received in Canada. Dr. Bethune’s Children, his first novel translated into English as well as the French version of Shenzheners and the Swedish version of The Empty Nest, his notable 2014 novel will come out this fall.
13 July - The Writer's Life in Fiction and Nonfiction (Hong Kong)
Xu Xi has lived between Hong Kong and New York for over forty 40 years. During this evening program, Xu Xi will read from her new memoir and most recently published novel, and talk about the challenges for a writer who is a transnational from Asia. Xu Xi will be available for a book signing after the discussion.
13 July - Marriage Through Meena Kandasamy's Literary Mirror (London)
Indian poet, fiction writer, translator and activist Meena Kandasamy will be joining us to talk about her recently published novel, When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife, an extraordinary story set in Southern India. Inspired by one of Kandasamy’s past relationships, the narrative begins innocently enough, the relationship of love, but then goes on to chronicle the heart-wrenching consequences of marital abuse. Through her unnamed narrator who is seduced by politics, poetry and an enduring dream of building a better world, she becomes not only the wife-student to the college lecturer and a self-proclaimed ‘true Maoist’ but also trapped as a prisoner whose body is controlled through total domination. Hers is just one woman’s powerful yet disturbing story of living with the ugliness of domestic violence, however is universally relatable for millions of women.
22 July - Speculative Fiction Festival (Sydney)
Get up close and personal with some of Australia’s finest spec fic authors this July, as Cat Sparks directs her second Speculative Fiction Festival. Alongside a genre-spanning program of panels, the popular kaffeekaltsches are back, giving attendees the opportunity to take part in intimate group chats with the likes of Sean Williams, Margo Lanagan, Garth Nix, Kaaron Warren, John Birmingham, Marlee Jane Ward and Angela Slatter.
28-31 July - Red Dirt Poetry Festival (Alice Springs)
Built on the back of the success of The Dirty Word and Alice Springs’ long and rich love affair with poetry, this festival will bring together poets and spoken word artists from all over Australia and overseas to continue building on our already sensational arts scene. This year our festival follows in the inspirational steps of Ellen Van Neerven taking influence from her lines, "we are heat maps / our footprints never fade". Artists include Eleanor Jackson, Sietta, D.A Carter, Celestine Rowe, Laurie May, Glenn Morrison, Leni Shilton, Kim Zenith, Sabina McKenna, Maureen O'Keefe, Lia Tilson and many more.
29 July - In Search of Chew Joo Chiat (Singapore)
For ages, Philip Chew's great-grandfather hung as a cold portrait above the ancestor worship altar in the house he grew up in. Philip would watch his elders offer prayers to this stranger: Chew Joo Chiat. One day, jolted by errors of fact about his great-grandfather in a newspaper article, Philip embarked on an arduous journey recovering the life of Chew Joo Chiat from rags to riches, unearthing lost relations and strengthening the bonds of the Chew family. This culminated in his book, A Penniless Boy, Chew Joo Chiat. At the launch of this book, find out what's it like to trace one's family history, to search for the grave of an ancestor in the abyss of Bukit Brown and to pass on your own family stories.
3-6 August - The 4th ASEAN Literary Festival: Beyond Imagination (Jakarta)
The ASEAN Literary Festival is a cultural event where all ASEAN countries can share in proximity, familiarities in culture literary interests often influenced by the colonial experience. This Festival is the first literary event to focus primarily on the quality of the ASEAN region’s literary works. By building a bridge between people of literature and the general public, we aim to promote the cultures, arts and literary works not only in our region but to the broader global audience. Featuring Azhar Ibrahim, Michael Vatikiotis, Shivaji Das, Faisal Tehrani, Andrew Fowler and many more.
4-6 August - Byron Bay Writers Festival (Byron Bay)
Featuring Hilary Badger, Paul Barclay, Julia Baird, Merlinda Bobis (pictured), Laura Bloom, Susan Carland, Arielle Cottingham, Cosentino, Richard Fidler, Clementine Ford, Mei Fong, David Free, Andrew Ford, Roanna Gonsalves, Sophie Hamley, Hannah Kent, Anneli Knight, Vayu Naidu, Kerry O'Brien, Bruce Pascoe, Alice Pung, Ailsa Piper, John Safran, Holly Throsby, Peter Thompson, Wendy Were and many more.
8-10 August - ISCAL: International Sympsium of Culture, Arts and Literature (Osaka)
ISCAL aims to offer an interdisciplinary forum for scholars, educators, art practitioners and graduate students from related fields to share research achievements and to deliberate and debate on challenges and issues arising from the interactions between culture, arts and literature. We believe that such international occasion will cradle innovative way to explore the trends for future research, theory, and pedagogy.
12-28 August - Edinburgh International Book Festival (Edinburgh)
Every August, Edinburgh’s tranquil Charlotte Square Gardens transform into a huge tented village dedicated to all things literary. Founded in 1983, the city’s book festival hosts around 800 speakers a year, from bestselling authors to debut novelists and performance poets. Children’s workshops and storytelling sessions entertain fledgling bookworms, while grown-ups can be inspired by Nobel Prize winning scientists and writers.
25 August - 3 September - Melbourne Writers Festival (Melbourne)
For more than three decades, Melbourne Writers Festival has been bringing together the talent and ideas of the best writers from Australia and around the world, to create a unique moment in time which is the highlight of Melbourne’s literary calendar. This year, the program launches at 7pm (AEST) on Tuesday 18 July, while tickets go on sale on Friday 21 July. Super keen? Get in early and purchase a 2017 Festival Pass now.
6-16 September - Berlin International Writers Festival (Berlin)
City museums, theatres and cultural institutes host an impressively global programme during Berlin’s ten-day annual literature festival. Founded in 2001, the festival enters its sixteenth year next September and will feature a cast of writers from most continents, performing readings and speaking in panel events.
27-29 September - Romanticism in Literature: On the Cross-road of Époques and Cultures (Tbilisi)
This conference is dedicated to the 200th birth anniversary of prominent Georgian romantic poet Nikoloz Baratashvilli. Speakers will be looking on the romantic world view, aesthetics of romanticism, Georgian romanticism, semiotics, poetics and the life and works of romantic poets.
3-5 November - Irrawady Literary Festival (Myanmar)
Launched in 2013 under the patronage of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, just a couple of years after her release from house arrest, the ILF is a literary festival with a difference, an entirely philanthropic venture, its primary objective being to connect long-silenced Myanmar writers with the international literary community. Featuring Alice Pung, Xu Xi, Tony Wheeler, Madeleine Thien, Delphine Schrank, Murzban F. Shroff and many more.
3-12 November - Hong Kong International Literary Festival (Hong Kong)
Held since 2001, and just a short flight away from Shanghai, the Hong Kong Literary Festival has traditionally benefitted from a freer publishing environment than the Mainland (although recent events might throw doubt on the future of that). This year’s event shows no signs of collateral damage though, with an impressive range of speakers from both Asia and further afield, dotted across various cool venues in the city.