Kummenti dwar il-Festival / Comments about the Festival

 
 

Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival 2007

 
 

 Sat. 29 - Sun. 30 Sept - Couvre Porte, Birgu - 8.00pm

TV

Full Details HERE

 Verżjoni bil-Malti

Organised by LAF and Inizjamed

in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Birgu Local Council

with the support of the Institut Ramon Llull of Catalonia and the European Cultural Foundation

Link to LAF Malta International Translation Workshop 2007

 

 
 

Provisional schedule

 
 

 

Thur 27 September

Screening of the film El Mar by Biel Mesquida

at St. James Cavalier, Valletta - 9.00pm

Sat 29 September 8.00pm - Mediterranean Literature Festival - first night,
Su 30 September   8.00pm - Mediterranean Literature Festival - second night, Couvre Porte, Birgu

 

Contacts

Clare Azzopardi, Maria Grech Ganado and Adrian Grima – Festival coordinators in Malta (Inizjamed)

 

 
     
 

Participants

 
 

 

Zizza Ensemble (Malta)

Zizza Ensemble is an angular funk foursome with a cartoonish swagger and a wicked streak. The band plays an (inevitably) eclectic mix of Funk, Ska, Jazz and Blues Rock. Zizza Ensemble's first incarnation dates back to the year 2005, when a group of young people with an interest in swing and bossa nova decided to put together a band. After some line-up changes, the band grew disillusioned with its musical direction, and ditched the jazz standards and jam numbers in favour of its own brand of malevolent funk.

The members of Zizza Ensemble are Steve Delia on guitars, Ruth Abela on saxophone, Charles Cassar on bass, and Mark 'Zizza' Abela on drums. Although relatively new to the local scene and made up of young and up-and-coming musicians, the band has already played several successful gigs, including shows in unlikely venues such as the Vittoriosa and Marsalforn waterfronts.
Poet Adrian Grima performed with Zizza Ensemble at the fair trade festival WorldFest 2007. Listen to Zizza Ensemble

 

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 www.laurahird.com, 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.
 

Maria Grech Ganado was born in Malta in 1943 and  received her tertiary education at the Universitites of Malta, Cambridge and Heidelberg.  She was the first Maltese woman to be appointed a full-time Lecturer at the University of Malta where she taught English Literature.  She has published five volumes of verse – three in Maltese (Izda Mhux Biss, Skond Eva and Fil-Hofra Bejn Spallejha ( the first winning the National Book Council’s Prize in 2002) and two in English, (Ribcage  and Cracked Canvas) - and has been translated from Maltese into English, French, Italian and German, and from English into French, Greek, Spanish and Czech.  Her work has been extensively published in England, France, Italy and Cyprus, and she has been invited to symposia, readings, book fairs and festivals in Cyprus, Wales, Germany, Italy and Lithuania.  In 2000, she received a national award, the MQR, for Service to the Republic.  She also works extensively on translations into English of other Maltese writers and in November 2005 co-ordinated the international symposium, Re-Visions – Literary Exchange in an Expanding Europe, co-organised by Inizjamed and Literature Across  Frontiers in Valetta. Maria has three children, Xandru, Francesca and Louisa, whom she considers essential to her curriculum vitae. www.mariagrechganado.com

 

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 Babelmed.net, 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. adriangrima.com

 

 

Biel Mesquida (Catalonia)

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.

 

Immanuel Mifsud (Malta)

Immanuel Mifsud (Malta, 1967) writes poetry and prose in Maltese. He has published five poetry collections, including KM, a bilingual edition of travel poems with translations into English by Maria Grech Ganado (2005) and Confidential Reports (Ireland, Southword Books) translated into English by Adrian Grima and Maurice Riordan.

 

He has also published five collections of short stories, including L-Istejjer Strambi ta’ Sara Sue Sammut (Sara Sue Sammut’s Strange Stories) which won the National Literary Award for 2002, and the highly controversial Kimika (Chemistry) in 2005. Immanuel Mifsud has read his work at a number of international literary events in Europe. www.immanuelmifsud.com

 

 

Robert Minhinnick (Wales)

Robert Minhinnick was born in 1952 in Neath, South Wales and now lives in Porthcawl, also in the South of Wales. He grew up near Bridgend and studied at the universities of Aberystwyth and Cardiff, then after working in an environmental field, co-founded Friends of the Earth (Cymru) and became the organisation’s joint co-ordinator for some years. He is advisor to the charity, 'Sustainable Wales' and edits the international quarterly, Poetry Wales.

 

As well as being an active environmental campaigner, he is an essayist and poet, having published two collections of essays: Watching the Fire Eater (1992), winner of the 1993 Arts Council of Wales Book of the Year Award; and Badlands (1996), essays about post-communist Albania, California and the state of Wales and England.  He has also edited Green Agenda: essays on the environment of Wales (1994). His book, To Babel and Back, was published in 2005 and won the 2006 Wales Book of the Year Award. 

 

His poetry collections include A Thread in the Maze (1978); Native Ground (1979); Life Sentences (1983); The Dinosaur Park (1985); The Looters (1989); and Hey Fatman (1994). A Selected Poems was published by Carcanet in 1999, followed by After the Hurricane (2002). In 2003, the same publisher issued his translations from the Welsh, The Adulterer's Tongue: An Anthology of Welsh Poetry in Translation.

 

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").

 
 
 
 

FULL PRESS RELEASE

 

Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival

Organised by LAF and Inizjamed in collaboration with the Birgu Local Council and the Ministry for Tourism and Culture

 

Sat. 29 - Sun. 30 Sept - Couvre Porte, Birgu - 8.00pm

Entrance Free

 

Inizjamed, in collaboration with the Birgu Local Council and with the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, will be organizing a Mediterranean Literature Festival on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 September at Couvre Port, Birgu with the participation of a host of writers from Malta, Algeria, Catalonia, the Czech Republic/UK, Italy, Palestine, Turkey, and Wales. The Maltese funk band Zizza Ensemble will be performing with some of the writers during the Festival.

 

This major literary event is being held as part of a project organised by LAF [Literature Across Frontiers] and part-financed by the Culture 2000 programme of the EU. The invited foreign writers are Alexandra Büchler (UK/Czech Republic), Valerio Cruciani (Italy), Samira Negrouche (Algeria), Biel Mesquida (Catalonia), Fatena al-Ghorra (Gaza, Palestine), Robert Minhinnick (Wales), and İpek Seyalıoğlu (Turkey). The local writers who will be reading their work are Clare Azzopardi, Antoine Cassar, Maria Grech Ganado, Adrian Grima, Immanuel Mifsud, and Walid Nabhan.

 

GUT FEELING, a short art film by installation and video artist Pierre Portelli, will be shown on Sunday. This short film is inspired by the thoughts and reflections of writer Robert Minhinnick on  Strait Street: a street in decay in the bustling port city of Valletta. It also includes contributions by writers Laima Muktupavela and Mikko Rimminen who were in Malta in 2006 for the Sealines writing project organised by LAF.

 

On Thursday 27 September, at 9.00pm, the film El Mar (The Sea) by Biel Mesquida will be shown at St. James Cavalier, Valletta. A talk about the film will follow.

 

Inizjamed and the National Orchestra were recently chosen by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture as Ambassadors of Intercultural Dialogue in recognition of the work they have done in this area over the years. This is Inizjamed's first public event as one of Malta's Ambassadors of Intercultural Dialogue.

 

Visit www.inizjamed.org for more about this international festival and all the participants.

 

 

Fatena al-Ghorra (Gaza, Palestine)

Fatena al-Ghorra (Gaza, 1974) graduated in Arab Literature in Gaza. She worked as a volunteer in several projects related to women's rights, and was a presenter of various local radio programmes before becoming the culture correspondent for the news agency Wafa. 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 have also been included in the anthologies Fifty years of Palestinian Poetry (Ramallah, 2004) and in A World without a Sky.
 

Valerio Cruciani

Valerio Cruciani graduated in Italian Literature and Philology at the University of Rome with a dissertation involving a critical study of the highly influential Roman literary magazine Marforio. Cruciani studied the relationships between various dialects used in literary genre as compared to the Italian modern language. His short stories have been published in several literary reviews, including"Carta", "Accattone dei Piccoli", "Next Exit", and www.terranullius.it. His first collection of poetry, entitled Le città hanno gli occhi sempre aperti was published in 2005. Some of his translated and published works are: - An interview with Milan Dobricic, an interview with Manuel Lechado Garcia and Le Malentendu by Albert Camus (from French).

 

Biel Mesquida (Catalonia)

Biel Mesquida (Castelló de la Plana, 1947) holds 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), which won the1998 Llorenç Villalonga City of Palma Prize and the Valencian Writers Critics’ Prize.

 

Robert Minhinnick (Wales)

Robert Minhinnick was born in 1952 in Neath, South Wales. His publications include: two collections of essays: Watching the Fire Eater (1992), winner of the 1993 Arts Council of Wales Book of the Year Award; and Badlands (1996), essays about post-communist Albania, California and the state of Wales and England.  He has also edited Green Agenda: essays on the environment of Wales (1994). His book, To Babel and Back, was published in 2005 and won the 2006 Wales Book of the Year Award. 

 

Samira Negrouche (Algeria)

Samira Negrouche, who was born in Algiers and works as a medical doctor, is a francophone poet and writer. She is the author of a number of collections of poetry, including L’Opéra Cosmique (2003), Iridienne (2005) and 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. She regularly reads and performs with artists from other domains, such as the video and visual artist Ammar Bouras and jazz musicians Dimitri Porcu and Lionel Martin.

 

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 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.

 

Zizza Ensemble (Malta)

Zizza Ensemble is an angular funk foursome with a cartoonish swagger and a wicked streak. The band plays an (inevitably) eclectic mix of Funk, Ska, Jazz and Blues Rock. Zizza Ensemble's first incarnation dates back to the year 2005, when a group of young people with an interest in swing and bossa nova decided to put together a band. After some line-up changes, the band grew disillusioned with its musical direction, and ditched the jazz standards and jam numbers in favour of its own brand of malevolent funk. The members of Zizza Ensemble are Steve Delia on guitars, Ruth Abela on saxophone, Charles Cassar on bass, and Mark 'Zizza' Abela on drums.

 

 
 
 
 
Festival Mediterranju tal-Letteratura
 
Tistennewx l-affarijiet tas-soltu.
 
Nhar is-Sibt 29 u l-Ħadd 30 ta' Settembru, 2007, 13-il awtur u awtriċi minn 8 pajjiżi se jippreżentaw ix-xogħol tagħhom fil-Festival Mediterranju tal-Letteratura ta' Malta li se jsir f'Couvre Porte, il-Birgu, u jibda fit-8.00pm. Id-dħul huwa b'xejn, imma dan ma jfisser xejn.
 
Se jieħdu sehem ukoll l-artist Pierre Portelli li se jippreżenta l-film "Gut Feeling" u l-grupp ta' mużika funk, Zizza Ensemble.
 
L-awturi barranin huma: Alexandra Büchler (Renju Unit/Repubblika Ċeka), Valerio Cruciani (Italja), Samira Negrouche (Alġerija), Biel Mesquida (Katalonja), Fatena al-Ghorra (Gaża, Palestina), Robert Minhinnick (Wales), u İpek Seyalıoğlu (Turkija).
 
Minn Malta se jaqraw ix-xogħol tagħhom Clare Azzopardi, Antoine Cassar, Maria Grech Ganado, Adrian Grima, Immanuel Mifsud, u Walid Nabhan.

 

Se jkun hemm xogħlijiet li jsammrukom, iqanqlukom, isaħħrukom, idejqukom, jirrabjawkom, jintrigawkom.

 

Dan il-festival huwa maħsub għal udjenza matura.

 

Nhar il-Ħamis, 28 ta' Settembru, fid-9.00pm, se jintwera l-film El Mar ta' Biel Mesquida fil-Kavallier ta' San Ġakbu.

 

Dan il-festival qed jittella' minn Inizjamed b'kollaborazzjoni mal-Kunsill Lokali tal-Birgu u bl-għajnuna tal-Ministeru tat-Turiżmu u l-Kultura, u huwa parti mill-proġett Literature Across Frontiers b'ko-finanzjament tal-programm Kultura 2000 ta' l-UE.

 

Adrian Grima

Koordinatur, Inizjamed