Minutes 2014 AGM
Asia Pacific Writers and Translators’ Annual General Meeting
2:00-3:00 pm, Saturday, 19th July 2014 Council Chamber
The Arts House (Old Parliament House), Singapore
Minutes recorded by Mridula Nath Chakraborty
Present (62 members and observers):
Nury Vittachi (Chair), Martin Alexander (proxy for Shirley Lee), Dai Fan (proxy for Xu Xi and elected as a new Board Member), Isagani Cruz (proxy for Jose ‘Butch’ Dalisay), Qaisra Sharaz (elected new Board Member), Jane Camens (Executive Director), Mridula Chakraborty (Minutes).
Isabela Banzon, Andrea Berrini, Andrew Bond, David Carlin, Bob d’Costa, Christine Choo, Sophie Constable, Farheen Chaudhry, Jhoanna Cruz, Yu Yan Chen, Vanessa Deza Hangad, Heidi Emily Eusebio-Abad, Steven P.C. Fernandez, Susanna Ho, Ken Hickson, Joshua Ip, Colin Jarvis, Abdul Khalid, Bhavna Khemlani, Shelley Kenigsberg, Agnes S.L. Lam, S. Mickey Lin, Shirley Lua, Gerardo Los Banos, John H. McGlynn, Jennifer Mackenzie, Okky Madasari, Victor Marsh, Dipika Mukherjee, Liz Packer, Glen Phillips, Neville Sarony, Sugu Pillay, Francis Paulo Quina, R. Ramachandran, Mani Rao, Francesca Rendle-Short, Dinah Roma, Maria Carmen ‘Menchu’ Aquino Sarmiento, Anna Sanchez, Menka Shivdasani, David Seow (sp?), Rosemarie Somaiah, Iwan Sulistiawan, Phina So, Verena Tay, Tim Tomlinson, Lily Rose Tope, Renee Melchert Thorpe, Sarah Tooth, Geeta Varma, Shreekumar Varma, Christine Williams, Kulpreet Yadav, and Kyoko Yoshida.
1. Nury Vittachi (Chair): previous minutes accepted without objection. Also, recognising the informal nature of APWT, non-members were also allowed to sit in through the meeting.
2. Jane Camens announced the appointment of three new Board members: Qaisra Sharaz (Manchester/Pakistan) and Dai Fan (Guangzhou, China). She informed the attendees that they had been elected by email by the previous Board. Robin Hemley (Singapore/USA), though absent, was also invited on to the Board and had accepted prior to the AGM. All three were elected with consensus.
3. Review of the previous year:
a) 3 writers were invited to go to Tahiti: Jessie Cole, Jill Dawson and Jane Camens. As a reciprocal gesture, they want 2 Tahitian writers to be sponsored by the next APWT: Jane Camens is exploring options. More Facebook and Twitter action needed. Qaisra is now using the APWT twitter account. (Asia Pacific Writers @writers_asia)
b) Balance of APWT funds @ 6 June 2014 totaled US$4,150.
4. Conference Plans for 2015
a) Formal members affiliated bodies to be opened up in each participating country so as to develop a serious local APWT presence the year round… Depends on the initiative of members in each country.
b) Lily Rose Tope, on behalf of the delegation from the National University of the Philippines, offered to host APWT 2015. UP houses the oldest English writing program in the region, started in the early 1900s. Proposed theme “Dissonance and Dissidence” (to be further discussed). Following discussions (post conference) dates were agreed 22-25 October 2015, one week later than original proposed dates so as not to clash with the Frankfurt Book Fair where Indonesia is the guest of Honor in 2015.
c) Dai Fan proposed that the 2016 APWT be hosted in late October at the Centre for English-language Creative Writing, School of Foreign Languages, Sun Yat Sen University, Guangzhou. It is the only such centre with experience in hosting international festivals and a book club in China. Plans to start a 3-week writers’ residency in 2015 that will be primarily a cultural residency with ample space and time for practitioners to write.
d) John McGlynn introduced Abdul Khalid, a journalist from Indonesia, who proposed APWT 2017 to coincide with the ASEAN Literary Festival, 20-23 March. It would represent writing from 10 ASEAN countries, including Australia, and have nighttime readings and performances. Their first conference had 14 countries with 50 writers in English and Bahasa. Some concerns were expressed about this coming just 6 months after China: proposal to be revisited.
e) Colin Jarvis announced that Chiang Mai, Thailand, would be delighted to host APWT 2018, or when the time is right.
f) R Ramachandran, Executive Director, of the NBDCS, the Book Council of Singapore, offered to be on the hosting cycle, anytime there is a vacancy.
5. Committee Chairs:
a) Publications: Asia Literary Review and Griffith REVIEW to represent the publication channels for APWT
b) Translation Committee members, Mani Rao and Mridula Nath Chakraborty, proposed by Jane Camens, and seconded by each other.
6. John McGlynn proposed possible reciprocal arrangements with other literary events so as to raise APWT’s brand image. Associated question was to change existing logo of APWT to also represent the Translators. (Now in progress, post meeting).
7. It was concluded that these reciprocal relationships would need to develop organically with mutual mentoring opportunities, rather than through a formalised process.
8. Financially, after covering the costs of travelling to Singapore for Jane Camens, APWT has approx. US $4,000 left in its coffers. (see above).
9. John McGlynn recommended that the former designation ‘AP Writers’ does not adequately represent the translators. He suggested a new logo be prepared. We will refer to the association in future as APWT, not ‘AP Writers’. We welcome new logo designs.
10. No other matters were raised.
11. Acknowledgement and thanks to all the sponsors and hosts. Isagani Cruz and Nury Vittachi formally brought the meeting to a close, after Jane Camens announced singing and dancing at the wrap-up party.