The Malta Book Festival is the most prominent and prestigious book celebration of the year, which will take place at MCC, Valletta, starting from Wednesday 7 November 2018 and going on till Sunday 11 November 2018. The poster for the Festival is the work of well-known Maltese visual artist and illustrator Lisa Falzon, who had also produced the artwork for last year’s edition. As is customary, the Festival will open with a conference, which this year will be themed on Literature and Diaspora and will be led by a number of foreign and local authors, among which are Lou Drofenik, the Maltese-Australian writer who won the National Book Prize 2017 with her novel The Confectioner’s Daughter. The foreign authors attending the conference are Philip ò Ceallaigh, Vera Duarte and Nikola Petkovic. The opening conference of the Malta Book Festival has been a permanent feature of the Festival ever since its rebranding in 2013. This year’s conference will be themed on ‘Literature in Diaspora’ and will take place on 7 November 2018 at Sir Temi Zammit Hall (MCC), starting 7pm. The participants are Lou Drofenik, the Australian Maltese author who was awarded last year’s National Book Prize for her novel The Confectioner’s Daughter, Caboverdian author, poet, essayist and human rights activist Vera Duarte, Irish author and translator Philip ò Ceallaigh and Croatian writer, poet and scholar Nikola Petković. The discussion, moderated by local author and journalist Teodor Reljic, will explore the literary legacy of diaspora communities across different cultures. The discussion will also touch upon the impact of translocation as experienced by and reflected in the works of the authors participating in the conference. Members of the audience will have the opportunity to contribute to the discussion through questions and remarks. As usual, all the authors participating in the conference will be appearing in other activities during the Festival as special guests. One such event will be dedicated to the life and artistic career of Lou Drofenik and will feature an interview with Times of Malta journalist Ramona Depares, a Q&A session with members of the audience and book-signing at the Horizons stand. Another special guest of the Festival, British author and critic Michael Amherst, will be appearing in an event set up by the National Book Council in collaboration with MGRM, Malta’s LGBTIQ rights movement. Michael Amherst will be talking about Truth, Bisexuality and Desire, which he explores in his book Go the Way your Blood Beats. Amherst campaigns on the issue of sexual assault in prison, working with Just Detention International and the Howard League’s Independent Commission on Sex in Prisons. Later on we will also be revealing the name of a renowned international author as this year’s special guest. On weekday mornings the Festival will welcome school visits and a special programme of cultural and fun activities has been prepared for these visits, including drama pieces, reading activities and meetings with writers. Among the innovations of this year’s edition, there will also be a performance by the duo Danusan. The tickets will be available for sale online in the first week of September. Another important innovation for 2018 is an extension of the exhibition space – this year’ edition will include an extra hall for exhibitors and an extension of the activity areas for the many book presentations, discussion, launches and cultural activities that will take place. The topic of literary translation will feature prominently in this year’s edition with a translation seminar with Prof. Clare Vassallo, Prof. Ivan Callus and Tim Parks, the renowned author of Teach us to Sit Still and The Server, on Friday 9 November at 6:30pm. In a separate activity, Tim Parks will be talking to Ivan Callus about his work in fiction and nonfiction literature. The winning project of the Malta Literary Short Film Contest 2018 was ‘Camilla’, a proposal by the film company Shadeena to adapt a short story of the same title by Clare Azzopardi into film. The film, which is currently in its production phase, will have its premiere screening during the Festival as part of an event which will also feature a discussion about film adaptation with the director, Stephanie Sant, and the author Clare Azzopardi. This event will be held on Saturday 10 November, starting 8:30 hours. The full programme of events with all the activities will be issued in the next few weeks. In the meantime, members of the public are urged to follow the Council’s website (http://ktieb.org.mt/national-book-festival/ ) or FB events page (https://www.facebook.com/events/2161321014103325/?active_tab=discussion) for more updates and details of events. The printed programme will later be delivered in printed form to all households in Malta and Gozo.
For the full programme of events, kindly click here.