11

November

2023

Literary News

Latest Festival News and More…

Latest Festival News and More…

Festival News

The 6th Accra International Book Festival 2023 is kicking off on November 15th until the 18th under the theme, “perspective”. As the Afro-Book Festival, it will delve into the intricate ways our perspectives are influenced by the world around us – shaped by experiences, cultural nuances, societal influences, and individual backgrounds. An exciting lineup of world-class authors, poets, performers, musicians, scientists, politicians, environmentalists, and thinkers is set to grace the event. Among the esteemed participants are Nelson Saviour Kwashie, Akosua Sekyi-Agyekum, Victor Elorm Morgah, and Memunatu Abdallah, all hailing from Ghana. The festival promises a rich tapestry of events for adults, children, and young people, featuring book readings, lively author sessions, a public lecture, a film screening, and a musical concert. Additionally, a special tribute to the late Ghanaian author and playwright, Ama Ata Aidoo, is planned to honour her profound contributions to Ghanaian and African literature. The festivities will kick off with the sixth Kwame Nkrumah Creative Writing Workshop, offering aspiring and established writers a platform to hone their skills from November 15 to 16. Embracing a hybrid format of in-person and online engagement, the 2023 Accra International Book Festival is set to provide an inspiring and thought-provoking experience for literature enthusiasts.

The Sokoto Book and Arts Festival is set to make a triumphant return for its third edition from November 17 to 19 this year. Organized by the Sokoto Book and Arts Foundation, the annual festival serves as a vibrant platform to celebrate and nurture the creative industries in Sokoto State. The festival, curated by the dynamic duo Yusuf Shehu Ambursa, a spoken word artist and broadcaster, and Isah Aliyu Chiroma, a poet and essayist, promises a diverse range of activities. From book chats, panel discussions, and art exhibitions to film screenings, plays, poetry performances, music, dance, and more, the festival aims to recognize and celebrate artistic and literary talents while contributing to the growth of the creative sector in Sokoto. The festival’s focus on fostering collaboration, showcasing local talent, and networking with industry experts underscores its commitment to creating a vibrant cultural space in Sokoto.

The enchanting Dingle Literary Festival is set to cast its literary spell from November 17 to 19, 2023, in the picturesque setting of Féile Liteartha Chorca Dhuibhne. This vibrant festival, boasting a diverse program, will feature an array of events that cater to all literary tastes. From the thought-provoking Irish language discussions with Anne Enright to engaging fiction sessions with authors such as Adiba Jaigirdar and Max Porter, the festival promises to be a literary feast. Noteworthy events include storytelling for the little ones with Gráinne O’Brien, a poetry showcase featuring Sineád Ní Uallacháin and Áine Ní Bhreasláin, and the exploration of contemporary Irish writing with Mike Venner, Ceaití Ni Bheildúin, Paul Duffy, and Simon Ó Faoláin. The festival will also pay homage to local talent, with authors like Mary O’Donnell and Eilís Ní Dhuibhne taking the stage.

The Huddersfield Literature Festival 2024, scheduled for April 18-28, will feature Poet Laureate Simon Armitage headlining with a poetry reading and a performance with his band LYR at Lawrence Batley Theatre on April 11. The festival secured a 30% increase in Arts Council funding, presenting Costa Prize winner Monique Roffey, local author Sairish Hussain, comedian Helen Lederer, and MBE awardee Alex Wheatle among other notable participants. The diverse program includes events exploring migration, identity, and belonging, poetry launches, a celebration of Persian philosopher-poet Rumi, and a contemporary anthology chamber opera. Hybrid and online events, creative writing workshops, and community projects are also part of the festival.

 

Book News:

Rupi Kaur declined an invitation to celebrate Diwali at the White House on November 8, protesting against the Biden administration’s support of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. Kaur expressed surprise that the administration would celebrate Diwali while supporting actions that, in her view, contradict the festival’s meaning. She refused the invitation due to her opposition to an institution supporting the collective punishment of the Palestinian population. Kaur called on the south Asian community to hold the Biden administration accountable, citing the high human cost of remaining silent.

Scottish poet, memoirist, and novelist John Burnside has been awarded the prestigious 2023 David Cohen Prize for literature, a biennial recognition of an author’s entire body of work, accompanied by a £40,000 prize. Burnside, known for his versatile literary contributions, joins a distinguished list of past winners, including Hilary Mantel and VS Naipaul. His collection “Black Cat Bone” earned him both the TS Eliot and Forward prizes in 2011.

Benjamin Myers has been awarded the 2023 Goldsmiths Prize for his novel “Cuddy,” a compelling narrative that blends poetry, prose, play, diary entries, and historical accounts to retell the story of Anglo-Saxon saint Cuthbert and his connection to Durham Cathedral.

Tania Branigan, a leader writer for The Guardian, has won the 2023 Cundill History Prize for her book “Red Memory.” The award, providing the largest cash prize for nonfiction in English at $75,000 (£60,984), recognizes Branigan’s poignant exploration of the ongoing trauma resulting from China’s Cultural Revolution. The book unveils rarely heard stories of those who lived through this tumultuous period, offering a sensitive study of its impact on an entire generation.

Renowned Mexican author Valeria Luiselli is set to contribute to the Future Library project, an innovative initiative where her unpublished manuscript will remain sealed and unread until 2114. The project, curated by artist Katie Paterson, invites acclaimed writers to submit new work, storing it in a specially designed room at Oslo’s Deichman Bjørvika public library. Luiselli joins contributors like Margaret Atwood and Ocean Vuong in creating a literary legacy that will be revealed in an anthology a century after the project’s inception in 2014. Read more

Read this interview on the Guardian with John Fosse the Nobel Prize winner of this year.

Salman Rushdie reflects on the enduring relevance of fables, drawing inspiration from Indian animal stories like the Panchatantra. Read this piece where he explores the intricacies of freedom, the consequences of unrestrained expression, and the vital role of art in navigating today’s challenges to free speech.

The Reading Agency has announced Jo Nesbo, Kia Abdullah, Malorie Blackman, Matt Cain, Kit de Waal, and Karen Swan as the authors for the 2024 Quick Reads collection, set to publish on April 11. The Quick Reads initiative addresses the UK’s adult literacy crisis, aiming to engage those who do not regularly read for pleasure. The titles, priced at £1, will also be distributed as part of World Book Night 2024.

Neil Rollinson has been named the winner of the £10,000 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award for his work “The Dead Don’t Bleed.” Judges Abdulrazak Gurnah, Claire Adam, and Annalena McAfee announced the winner, with two runners-up, Michelle Alipao Chikaonda for “The Dying Embers of Our Setting Sun” and Alicia McAuley for “The Caul”.

Publishing Scotland has opened applications for the 2024 International Publishing Fellowship Programme, seeking to bring together publishers from around the world during a week in August coinciding with the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe. The program, which covers travel and accommodation costs, aims to strengthen connections between the international publishing community and the Scottish sector.

 

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You can explore more content via the association’s website here and discuss topics in the forum with other member festivals here.