Literature Across Frontiers Inizjamed




24-28 September 2007

Go to LAF Translation Workshop 2006

Go to Mediterranean Literature Festival 2007

Remembering Valda Berzina Melgalve

Organised by: LAF and Inizjamed Location: Wardija

in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture

supported by the Institut Ramon Llull of Catalonia and the European Cultural Foundation

Accommodation: private rooms with shared facilities in 2 villas in Wardija and hotel accommodation in Sliema

Literature Across Frontiers fosters cross-cultural literary collaboration and creation of new work and translations through short-term projects involving writers and translators in a workshop or residency situation. As available courses in literary translation rarely combine small languages, one of the main aims of the programme is to develop opportunities for poets/translators working between small languages.


In this context, Inizjamed, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Birgu Local Council, is holding a week-long residential LAF International Translation workshop in September with the participation of writers from Malta and five other European countries within the framework of the Literature Across Frontiers literature project co-funded by the Culture 2000 programme of the EU. Literature Across Frontiers and Inizjamed would also like to thank the Institut Ramon Llull of Catalonia and the European Cultural Foundation for supporting two of the invited writers.


The workshop will be led by Alexandra Buchler (UK - Czech Republic), director of LAF.


The writers from Malta are Clare Azzopardi, Adrian Grima, and Walid Nabhan. C lare Azzopardi is coordinating the workshop on behalf of Inizjamed.



Provisional schedule



Mon. 24 September arrivals and transfer to Wardija
Mon. 24 – Fri. 28 September daily workshop
Thu. 27 September screening of film by Biel Mesquida at St. James Cavalier, Valletta
Fri 28 September transfer to Sliema
Sat 29 September 8.00pm - Mediterranean Literature Festival - first night, Couvre Porte, Birgu
Su 30 September   8.00pm - Mediterranean Literature Festival - second night, Couvre Porte, Birgu
Mon. 1 October   departures



Clare Azzopardi – workshop coordinator in Malta (Inizjamed)

Alexandra Büchler – workshop leader (LAF)  






Clare Azzopardi (Malta)

Clare Azzopardi was born in Malta in 1977. She studied at the Faculty of Education at the University of Malta and read for a Masters degree in Literacy at the University of Sheffield. She has run writing workshops for both for adults and children. Her poetry and short stories have been collected in anthologies such as Illejla Ismagħni Ftit (2001), Gżejjer (Inizjamed, 2000), F’Kull Belt Hemm Kantuniera (Inizjamed, 2003), Ktieb għall-Ħruq (Inizjamed, 2004), and Storja Tinkiteb (Kunsill tal-lingwa, 2005). Translations of her short stories have been published in literary reviews, including In Focus (Pen Cyprus, 2005), West 47 and Cúirt 21 (Ireland, 2006), in Hungary, and have also been featured online at, a web page hosted by Scottish writer Laura Hird. More recently, she has published Others, Across (Inizjamed and Midsea Books, 2005), which contains two short stories translated into English, and Il-Linja l-Ħadra (‘The Green Line’), her first short story collection (Merlin Library, July 2006). In 2003 Clare was a member of the Maltese group representing Inizjamed that presented their work at the Biennial of Young Artists of Europe and the Mediterranean held in Athens.


Alexandra Büchler (UK/Czech Republic)

Alexandra Büchler was born in Prague and was educated there, in Thessaloniki and Melbourne, Australia. She has lived in Great Britain since 1989. She is Director of Literature Across Frontiers, a programme of international literary exchange based in the UK, member of the editorial board of the European Internet Review of Books and Writing, Transcript, and editor of a new international series of contemporary poetry anthologies by Arc Publications. A translator of fiction, poetry, theatre plays and texts on modern art and architecture from English, Czech and Greek, she has translated over twenty-five works, including books by authors such as J. M. Coetzee, David Malouf, Jean Rhys, Janice Galloway and Rhea Galanaki into Czech. She has also edited and part-translated a number of anthologies, including This Side of Reality: Modern Czech Writing (1996), Allskin and Other Tales by Contemporary Czech Women (1998) and the most recent A Fine Line: New Poetry from Central and Eastern Europe, Arc Publications, 2004. She is currently editing an anthology of Czech poetry coming out in autumn 2007.


Antoine Cassar (Malta)

Born in London to Maltese parents in 1978, Antoine Cassar has lived and studied in England, Malta, Italy and Spain. He is currently completing a PhD thesis on the origins of the sonnet. He now lives in Luxembourg, where he works as a translator into the Maltese language.

Mużajk, an experiment in the writing of multilingual sonnets which Antoine began almost by accident in early 2005, is an attempt to combine the sounds of different languages into a single rhythm and a single thought. The first set of these 'mosaics' is due to be published in Malta in the poetry collection Ħbula Stirati towards the end of July. Read more


Valerio Cruciani (Italy)

Valerio Cruciani (1977). Dopo alcune esperienze di scrittura, nel 2003 partecipa come poeta alla 11° Biennale dei giovani artisti d'Europa e del Mediterraneo, svoltasi ad Atene, e nello stesso anno collabora alla realizzazione del documentario "Per non morire – Rifugiati a Roma", selezionato al Roma Doc Festival, Med Film Festival, La città in corto e mandato in onda su Rai Tre. Tra il 2000 e il 2003 allestisce tre mostre fotografiche presso la libreria Odradek di Roma, e inizia la sua attività di fotografo di scena per il teatro.

Dal 2004 legge i suoi lavori in pubblico collaborando con diversi musicisti, presso teatri, librerie, locali a Roma, Venezia, Bologna e Padova, e collabora (come organizzatore e scrittore) alla realizzazione del festival internazionale di letteratura Klandestini, svoltosi a Malta col sostegno del British Council. Attualmente collabora con le riviste “Naked Punch” (edizione di Londra) e “Amnesia Vivace” (di cui è fondatore), dopo aver pubblicato articoli e racconti su “Carta”, “Daemon”, “Next Exit”, “Accattone dei Piccoli” e "Sagarana".Nel 2006 ha presentato la sua prima raccolta di prose e poesie, intitolata le città hanno gli occhi sempre aperti, per il progetto indipendente St. Louis and Lawrence Books. Ha recentemente collaborato con il festival Ice-Z, El-Ghibli e Cortoitaliacinema (Siena).


Fatena al-Ghorra (Gaza, Palestine)

Fatena al-Ghorra (Gaza, 1974) graduated in Arab Literature in Gaza. She worked as a volunteer in women projects and after that she was a presenter of various local radio programmes before becoming the culture correspondent for the news agency Wafa.


Since 2001 she has worked for a Palestinian satellite station. She is the author of two books of poetry, There is still sea between us (Gaza, 2000) and A Very Seditious Woman (Egypt, 2003).


Her works are also present in the anthology Fifty years of Palestinian Poetry (Ramallah, 2004) and in A World without a Sky.

Adrian Grima (Malta)

Adrian Grima (Malta, 1968) lectures in Maltese Literature at the University of Malta. He has read papers on literature, culture and the Mediterranean at conferences in the Mediterranean, Europe and the USA. His academic articles have been published in various countries and he contributes to, Counterpunch and ZNET. He is the coordinator of the Mediterranean cultural organization Inizjamed, which he co-founded in 1998. and the Head of the Technical Committee for Literature within the National Council for the Maltese Language. Adrian Grima has published two collections of poetry in Maltese, It-Trumbettier (The Trumpeter, 1999) and Rakkmu (Weavings, Klabb Kotba Maltin, 2006). His poems have appeared in translation in various publications, including the collections The Tragedy of the Elephant (Midsea Books and Inizjamed, 2005) and Dieser verwundete Frühling - Dir-Rebbiegħa Midruba (Edizzjoni Skarta, 2007). Dr. Grima has edited various collections of recent Maltese literature, including a series of six books of Contemporary Maltese Literature in Translation. He has recently performed with the Maltese funk band Zizza Ensemble.


Biel Mesquida (Catonia)

Biel Mesquida (Castelló de la Plana, 1947) has degrees in Biology and Information Sciences and is well known as a critical voice both within and outside of the realm of fiction. His first novel L’adolescent de la sal (The Adolescent of Salt, 1975) is one of the most original and innovative texts of contemporary Catalan literature. Notable among his more recent works are Doi (1990) and Excelsior o el temps escrit (Excelsior or Time in Writing, 1995), which received the City of Barcelona Prize and the Critics’ Prize, and Vertígens (Vertigos, 1999), 1998 Llorenç Villalonga City of Palma Prize and the Valencian Writers Critics’ Prize. Biel Mesquida has also published a number of translations and is a scriptwriter for radio, television and cinema.

Els detalls del món (2005) is a meaningful title around which revolve some sixty short fictional pieces that aim to “nourish the reader” in the words of Biel Mesquida. In Mallorca, among the four-wheel drives, non-functioning traffic lights, beaches, foreigners, Bush and the Popular Party, dwell the old hippies of ’68, the anti-globalisation converts, supermarket check-out women, and party girls. They love each other, envy each other, admire each other, look after each other and shape the details of a world in which they explore such diverse matters as memory, love, family relations, peace and injustice, in the rich, nuanced, vivid and utterly singular language that is so Biel Mesquida.
Read more.  Biel Mesquida on youtube.


Walid Nabhan (Palestine/Malta)

Walid Nabhan writes prose and poetry in Arabic and Maltese. He is the translator of Ghassan Kanafani’s short story “The Land of Sad Oranges” from Arabic to Maltese (Storja Tinkiteb, KKM 2006). Walid was born in Amman, Jordan in 1966. His family fled Al-Qbeybeh, a small village in the outskirts of Hebron, Palestine after the 1948 war which established the state of Israel and resulted in the first Palestinian Diaspora.

Walid took his first education in United Nations schools in Amman. He arrived in Malta in 1990 where he studied laboratory technology. In 1998 he graduated in Biomedical Sciences from Bristol University in England. In 2003 he gained a masters degree in Human Rights and Democratisation from the University of Malta. His short story “Il-Mutu” appeared in the Ktieb għall-Ħruq (Inizjamed 2005). Two of his poems in Maltese have been published in the periodical Il-Malti (L-Akkademja tal-Malti and KKM, 2006) and Tibża’ Xejn Jekk Tibda x-Xita (Edizzjoni Skarta, 2007). Walid Nabhan teaches Arabic part-time at the University of Malta.


Samira Negrouche (Algeria)

Samira Negrouche, who was born in Algiers and works as a medical doctor, is a poet and writer who writes in French. She is the author of a number of collections of poetry, including L’Opéra Cosmique (2003), Iridienne (2005) et Cabinet secret (2007). She also writes for the theatre and for many literary magazines and anthologies. As a passionate translator, she works mainly on contemporary Arab poetry.

Samira Negrouche is eager to travel across frontiers both physically and through multidisciplinary artistic collaboration. She regularly reads and performs with artists like the video and visual artist Ammar Bouras, and with jazz musicians Dimitri Porcu and Lionel Martin.


Her translations from Arabic into French include « Les vagues du silence », a novel by Yasmina Salah (Ikhtilef, 2003), that placed first in the Malek Haddad Prize for novels in Beirut in 2002; and « poste restante », poetry by Inâm Bioud (Barzakh, 2003). She has also translated texts from Italian into French.

İpek Seyalıoğlu (Turkey)

İpek Seyalıoğlu was born in İstanbul in 1976. She studied in İstanbul (Marmara University and Boğaziçi University) and in Paris (Paris VIII. St.Denis-Vincennes). Her MA thesis, presented to the Translation Department at Boğaziçi University, dealt with "Anthologized Poetry from English and French in Turkish Translation: 1985-1995" (2003).

Her first play, Copper Shield (Bakır Kalkan) recieved the jury special award in the literary competition organized by İsviçre Hastanesi in 2003 and was published in the same year. She has translated poetry, prose and film subtitles. Her short stories have been published since 2004 in the Turkish literary monthly Kitap-lik. Her latest short play “The Little Green Country” was read on stage at the DOT theatre in May 2007. She teaches English at Boğaziçi University, is currently translating Ameer Hussein’s short stories and working on her new play “Kaleidoscope”.

 In Malta İpek Seyalıoğlu will be reading her short story "Canyon" ("Kanyon").