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Festival Mediterranju tal-Letteratura ta Malta / Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival

Press Release

Top Writers for the

Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival

Thursday 29 | Friday 30 | Saturday 31 August 2013

Msida Bastion Historic Garden, FLORIANA. 8.00pm

The Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival organized by Inizjamed, now in its eighth year, will be held on Thursday, 29, Friday 30th and Saturday 31st August, at the Msida Bastion Historic Garden, in FLORIANA, opposite the Central Public Library. Entrance to all events is free.

Readings will be in many languages, but mainly in English and Maltese, especially in the case of the interviews on stage. On Thursday, Dr Albert Gatt will interview the Gaza-based writer and Oxfam media executive Karl Schembri about writing poetry, listening to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and the latest events in Egypt and Palestine. A poetry collection in English by Karl Schembri has just been published in the US, while a collection in Maltese will be on sale at the Festival

The Trinidadian-UK novelist Monique Roffey will be interviewed on Friday by freelance journalist David Schembri about her most recent, prize-winning book Archipelago, and about water, which is a theme which this year’s festival is exploring. On Saturday, writer Glen Calleja will interview the Macedonian poet Nikola Madzirov, one of the most powerful voices in contemporary European poetry. Born in a family of Balkan War refugees in Strumica in 1973, he grew up in the Soviet era in the former Republic of Yugoslavia ruled by Marshall Tito. When he was 18, the collapse of Yugoslavia prompted a shift in his sense of identity — as a writer reinventing himself in a country which felt new but was still nourished by deeply rooted historical traditions.

The writers reading on Thursday 29th August are Karl Schembri (Malta/Gaza), Denisa Mirena Pişcu (Romania) and Fahredin Shehu (Kosova), while those reading on Friday are Mazen Maarouf (Palestine), Angela Bonanno (Sicily), Monique Roffey (UK), and Immanuel Mifsud (Malta). The Dutch poet Tsead Bruinja (Netherlands) will be performing with Maltese musicians on Thursday and Friday.

The evening of Saturday starts with the celebrated Maltese bilingual poet Maria Grech Ganado (Malta), followed by a reading from In Praise of Hatred by the Syrian Damascus-based novelist Khaled Khalifa and Nikola Madzirov (Macedonia, FYROM). The festival ends with a short reading by all the writers.

There will be a food and drink stall and a book stand selling works by the authors invited to the festival. Live music will be played by Jes Psaila, Justin Galea and Michael Galea (Thursday and Friday) and Joe Debono and Manuel Pulis (Saturday). Short films from Reel Festivals by Roxana Vilk will be shown on every night and will be introduced by Caldon Mercieca.

The writers will be in Malta throughout the last week of August to take part in the LAF Malta Literary Translation Workshop. They will be translating each other’s works into their languages, and reading some of these translations during the three nights of the festival.

The festival is organized by Inizjamed with the support of various partners, namely Din l-Art Ħelwa, the British Council, Middlesea Insurance, the European Commission Representation in Malta, Reel Festivals, and the Culture Programme Success Scheme run by the Cultural Contact Point of Malta. Full programme and details at or write to

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