Dwar il-Festival / About the Festival



Thur 10, Frid 11, Sat. 12 Sept, 2009 - 8.00pm



Full Details HERE

Verżjoni bil-Malti


St. John's Cavalier, Birgu (near Couvre Porte)


organised by Inizjamed and Literature Across Frontiers

with the support of the

Malta Council for Culture and the Arts, Fondation René Seydoux and Institut Ramon Llull


Birgu from St. John's Cavalier

Invited writers: Fatena Alghorra (Gaza, Palestine), Norbert Bugeja (Malta), Mohammed El Amraoui (France), Mimmo Grasso (Italy), Daniel Jonas (Portugal), Daniel Massa (Malta), Marta Pessarrodona (Catalonia, Spain) and Alex Vella Gera (Malta).


Guest musicians: Renzo Spiteri (percussion) and Jes Psaila (guitar)


Alexandra Büchler is director of Literature Across Frontiers.

The writers will also be taking part in the LAF Malta Literary Translation Workshop 2009


Coordination: Adrian Grima, Clare Azzopardi, Simone Inguanez, Maria Grech Ganado, Immanuel Mifsud

Design: Pierre Portelli


Special thanks to the Scouts in Birgu


  Fondation René Seydoux






Festival Programme - St. John's Cavalier, Birgu, 8.00pm




Thursday 10 Sept


Alex Vella Gera (prose read by Marcelle Teuma)
Mimmo Grasso (poetry and music)
Mohammed el Amraoui (poetry and music)
Music: Renzo Spiteri (percussions) and Jes Psaila (guitar)


Friday 11 Sept


Fatena Alghorra (poetry)

Norbert Bugeja (poetry)
Daniel Jonas (poetry)

Music: Renzo Spiteri (percussions) and Jes Psaila (guitar)


Saturday 12 Sept


Daniel Massa (poetry) - accompanied by Jane Marshall
Marta Pessarrodona (poetry) - Includes interview by Alexandra Büchler
All writers from the other nights on stage to read one short piece
Music: Renzo Spiteri (percussions) and Jes Psaila (guitar)



Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival in Birgu

11-12 Sept 2009


St. John's Cavalier in Birgu, across the

road from Couvre Porte, and 50m from

the Inquisitor's Palace

This year's fourth edition of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival will be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10, 11 and 12th September, 2009, at St. John's Cavalier in Birgu, across the road from Couvre Porte. The readings start at 8.00pm and entrance to all events is free.


The invited poets and short story writers who have confirmed their participation are Fatena Alghorra (Gaza, Palestine), Norbert Bugeja (Malta), Mohammed El Amraoui (France), Mimmo Grasso (Italy), Daniel Jonas (Portugal), Daniel Massa (Malta), Marta Pessarodona (Catalonia, Spain), and Alex Vella Gera (Malta).

The Festival, which is being organized by Inizjamed and Literature Across Frontiers with the support of the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts, Fondation René Seydoux and Institut Ramon Llull, coincides with the one-week Malta LAF Literary Translation Workshop in which the writers' will translate each other's works.


This year's festival will also feature performances by percussionist Renzo Spiteri and guitarist Jesmond Psaila.


The first edition of this festival was held at St. James Cavalier in September 2006, and the second and third editions were held at Couvre Porte in Birgu.


Literature Across Frontiers is a programme of initiatives, part-financed by the Culture programme of the EU, that aims to advance European cultural exchange in the field of literature and translation through multilateral cooperation within a network of partner organisations on activities encompassing research and analysis, publication, translator training and skills development, joint participation in international book fairs, literature festivals and other forums, organisation of larger-scale projects, as well as conferences, seminars and workshops.


For more information visit www.inizjamed.org.




Literature Across Frontiers is a programme of initiatives aiming to advance European cultural exchange in the field of literature and translation through multilateral cooperation within a network of partner organisations on activities encompassing research and analysis, publication, translator training and skills development, joint participation in international book fairs, literature festivals and other forums, organisation of larger-scale projects, as well as conferences, seminars and workshops. The programme aims to:

  • advance intercultural dialogue through literature and translation within the EU and with third countries, and in particular with EU neighbours in the Mediterranean region;

  • improve access to lesser-known literatures, particularly those written in less widely-used languages of Europe and underrepresented in the international arena;

  • encourage greater diversity in international literary events and in the publishing of literature for all age groups;

  • develop innovative approaches to literary creation, promotion, support for translation and training of literary translators working in less widely-used languages;

  • act as a catalyst for new multilateral contacts, collaborations and innovative projects bringing literature into interaction with other art-forms and exploring the social and political role of writing;

  • stimulate debate on relevant policy and financing at national and European level;

  • create opportunities for the exchange of ideas, transfer of skills and knowledge, and sharing of experiences and resources amongst organisations and institutions active in this field.






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. In 2001 she started to work 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.



Norbert Bugeja writes about urban space as it is lived in Mediterranean cities and towns. Metaphor is the brick and mortar of his poetry, a webwork of images and scathing impressions. His poetry has been published in international poetry journals and read at various poetry festivals. In 2005 he published his first collection of verse, Stay, Fairy Tale, Stay! Memoirs of a City Cast Adrift (Midsea Books/Inizjamed, 2005). His new collection Bliet (Cities) will be published shortly. Norbert Bugeja was awarded his BA (Hons) and MA in English from the University of Malta. As a Commonwealth Doctoral Scholar, he is currently concluding his doctoral thesis and lecturing at the University of Warwick in the UK.


Mohammed El Amraoui (Morocco/France) - Born in 1964, in Fez, Morocco, Mohammed El Amraoui has been living in Lyons since 1989, where he participates in the Association-Edition Poésie conferences. “Mohammed El Amraoui writes, speaks, and reads French. / Mohammed El Amraoui writes, speaks, and reads Arab. / Mohammed El Amraoui invents his own images, and syntactical and grammatical strategies. / Mohammed El Amraoui avoids conventional words; he has created ‘a fire at the tip of the tongue’ and discovered that the “sun is a bit weak’.” [B. Bretonnière] He has been the editor of the literary journal Les Cahiers de Poésie-rencontres since 2001, a journal that has also published poetry by Oliver Friggieri and Adrian Grima. http://www.francopolis.net/revues/elamraoui.htm (Detail from photo by Michel Durigneux)



Mimmo Grasso  lives in Campi Flegrei (Naples), Virgil's home places, where the land dances with the rhythm of daily earthquakes. He has published several papers about literature and visual art (giving them a cognitive setting) and some poetry's texts, even bilingual.  With Sebeto, a poem whose name evocates an ancient and underground Napoli's river, he has pieced together the Neapolitan, as it was during the Federico II era.

Since  the off-set printed verses usually go to pulping , for years the choise has been that of a limited printing edited  by artistic  publishing houses  with the aid of engravers and painters. The last outcome, Taranterra (April 2009), about possession and dionysianism, opened the Culture's Week of the National Archeological Museum. He has carried out passionate searches about orality, that made him play the tamorra, because the first poets, since the Homeric Rhapsodyans, were drums players too.  Moreover he has written, in the trobar clus manner, musical texts  and re-enacted ancient dances (like the pirrica) with the popular prosody starting by rituals still performed during religious feasts. He has translated ancient and contemporary authors. He's currently secretary of the Neapolitan Pataphysic Institute, as " mnemonical labyrinths' engineer and engine driver".


Mimmo Grasso vive nei Campi Flegrei (Napoli), luoghi di Virgilio, dove la terra danza al ritmo di terremoti quotidiani. Ha pubblicato vari saggi di letteratura e arti visive (con impostazione cognitivista) e alcuni libri di poesia, talvolta  in edizione bilingue. Col poema "Sebeto" (antico e sotterraneo fiume di Napoli) ha ricostruito  la lingua napoletana, nel segno di Federico II. Poiché  i versi  stampati in off-set vanno al macero, ha optato da anni per le edizioni  a tiratura limitata curate da case di libri d'artista e in  tandem con incisori e pittori. Il suo ultimo testo, "Taranterra" (aprile 2009), poema sulla possessione e il dionisismo, ha inaugurato la "Settimana della cultura" del Museo Archeologico Nazionale. Intensi i suoi studi sull'oralità,  che lo hanno obbligato a suonare la tammorra perché i primi poeti, a cominciare dai rapsodi omerici, erano anche suonatori di tamburo. Ha scritto testi per canzoni, alla maniera del trobar clus, e ha ricostruito danze storiche (la pirrica, p.es.) utilizzando il "piede metrico" popolare  e partendo da riti e culti  ancora praticati durante feste religiose. Ha tradotto molti autori sia antichi che contemporanei. E' segretario dell'Istituto Patafisico Partenopeo con la qualifica di "ingegnere e macchinista di labirinti mnemonici".


Daniel Jonas (photo by Teresa Sá) (Porto 1973) is a poet and translator. He holds an M.A. in theory of literature and is working on his doctoral thesis. He has published four collections of poetry, the most recent being Sonótono (Cotovia, 2007) which was awarded the PEN prize for Poetry.


He has translated some of the greatest classics of world literature, including Waugh, Auden, Huysmans and Pirandello. His translation of John Milton’s Paradise Lost was published in 2006, and his new version of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice was staged by the Teatro Nacional de São João in Porto. He has also written stage plays for the company Teatro Bruto. He lives in Porto.



Daniel Massa holds BA and MA Degrees from the University of Malta and Ph.D. (English) from Edinburgh University, Scotland. His tenure at the University of Malta included appointments as Head of Department of English and Dean of the Faculty of Arts. In 1982-3, he was Maître des Conferences at the National University of the Ivory Coast. In 1984-5 he was Scholar in Residence at Michigan State University. Returning to Malta, he became the first Director of the Communication Programme and the Centre for Distance Learning as well as Coordinator of the American Studies Programme. He is Consultant Editor of Encyclopaedia of Commonwealth Literature (Routledge); World Literature in English WLWE (University of Toronto Press); The Commonwealth Novel in English (University of Texas at Arlington); Journal in Mediterranean Studies (University of Malta); He was on the Adjudicating Panel of The Commonwealth Poetry Prize (1985), and Chairman, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (2005). Prof. Daniel Massa is a leading Maltese poet who has published poetry collections in both English and Maltese. His poems, many of which appeared in various anthologies, are published in Xibkatuliss.


Marta Pessarrodona (1941) is a Catalan poet, translator and literary critic. Among her first books of poetry was September 30, (1969), followed by many more, including Berlin Suite (1985), Homage to Walter Benjamin (1988), Love in Barcelona (1998) and the English translation Confessions (1998). Her collected poems were published in 1984 and 2007. She has written on the Bloomsbury group and translated authors such as Forster, Woolf, Lessing, Sontag, Duras and de Beauvoir. Her publications also include a biography of Mercé Redoreda and biographical portraits of outstanding Catalan women authors, such as Maria Aurèlia Capmany and Montserrat Roig. Her forthcoming books to appear before the end of 2009 are France 1939: the first Catalan artistic and intellectual exile, and a collection of poems entitled Animals and Plants.


Born in Malta in 1973, Alex Vella Gera is particularly sensitive to the linguistic schizophrenia prevalent on the island, due to his upbringing speaking English and relatively late embracing of Maltese as a viable literary vehicle. Following University, a series of dead end jobs and a five year stint in Prague playing the bohemian, he now lives in Brussels earning a living translating into Maltese for the European Union. He is married and has a son. His interests are not limited to writing, and include film making and music, while his dream is to write a number of books currently germinating in his head and keeping him awake at night, and then quit. A number of his novellas have been published this year in two books: Lil Hinn Mill-Jien and Żewġ.


Alexandra Büchler (UK/Czech Republic) was born in Prague and was educated there, in Thessaloniki and Melbourne, Australia. She has lived in Great Britain since 1989. She is the founding director of Literature Across Frontiers, a European programme of literary exchange based in the UK, member of the board of Culture Action Europe (formerly European Forum for Arts and Heritage) and of the Translators’ Association UK.

She is editorial director of Transcript the European Internet Review of Books and Writing, and editor of the international series of contemporary poetry anthologies New Voices from Europe and Beyond at 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). Her most recent publications are A Fine Line: New Poetry from Central and Eastern Europe, Arc (2004) and Six Czech Poets, Arc (2007).


  Guest Musicians  


Jes Psaila studied classical guitar for two years as a child. He turned to electric guitar playing at age 15 with a band called Avatar playing 70’s progressive rock which performed a mix of instrumental music and mainstream pop/rock songs.

Over the years he has established himself as a leading guitarist and has been involved in various projects ranging from folk to jazz fusion ensembles and also music for theatre productions.

He now enjoys playing both acoustic and electric guitar and hopes to record some original material in the near future.




Renzo Spiteri is a versatile percussionist and creative artiste whose name has become synonymous with innovation and performances of outstanding artistic calibre. From Greenwich Village (New York City) to the Sahara Desert, from the National Concert Hall (Dublin) to Beijing (China), his concert schedules have taken him on a beautiful musical journey across the globe, collaborating with world-class musicians and using the universal language of music to bring different cultures together. In 2008 he was appointed National Ambassador for the European Union's campaign European Year for Intercultural Dialogue 2008. Renzo is an internationally endorsed artiste for Toca Percussion, Paiste Cymbals and Gibraltar Hardware, and is supported by Olimpus Music (Malta). www.renzospiteri.com





Top Writers and Musicians to perform in Birgu

Top writers and musicians from seven countries, including Maltese poet Daniel Massa and Catalan poet, translator and literary critic Marta Pessarrodona, will be performing in this year’s fourth edition of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival on Thursday 10, Friday 11 and Saturday 12th September, 2009, at St. John's Cavalier in Birgu. The readings start at 8.00pm and entrance to all events is free. The festival features performances by Renzo Spiteri on percussions and Jes Psaila on guitar who will also be accompanying some of the writers.

Readings will be mainly in Maltese and English, but also in the native languages of the various writers. Apart from Daniel Massa and Marta Pessarrodona, the invited poets, short story writers and translators are Fatena Alghorra (Gaza, Palestine), Alexandra Büchler (Czech Republic/UK), Norbert Bugeja (Malta), Mohammed El Amraoui (France), Mimmo Grasso (Italy), Daniel Jonas (Portugal), and Alex Vella Gera (Malta).

The splendid St. John's Cavalier, whose terrace will host the festival for the first time this year, is located across the road from Couvre Porte, a short distance from the Inquisitor's Palace, and is the headquarters of the scouts in Birgu. On the three nights, there will be a bar selling fair trade and traditional food and drinks from different parts of the world, and a book stand selling books by Maltese and foreign writers.

The Festival, which is being organized by Inizjamed and Literature Across Frontiers with the support of the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts, Fondation René Seydoux, Institut Ramon Llull, and the Culture programme of the EU, follows the fourth annual Malta LAF Literary Translation Workshop, during which the participating writers will translate each other's works. Previous workshops have hosted writers from Algeria, Croatia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Slovenia, and Turkey, who translated their Maltese colleagues’ writing into their languages and whose work was in turn translated into Maltese.

The first evening of the Festival on Thursday, September 10, starts with the most recent work of Maltese novelist Alex Vella Gera. The writer will introduce his work which will then be read by actress Marcelle Teuma. The second writer, Neapolitan poet Mimmo Grasso, who also plays the friction drum and other traditional instruments, will be accompanied by the Maltese musicians, as will the French poet of Moroccan origin Mohammed el Amraoui, who writes in French and Arabic and has collaborated with leading French jazz musicians.

The reading on Friday September 11 starts with the Palestinian poet and journalist from Gaza, Fatena Alghorra. In 2007 Ms. Alghorra was invited to the Festival in Malta but was refused permission to leave Gaza by the Israeli occupation forces, despite the fact that the Maltese government had issued a visa for her to enter the European Union. She will be followed by the young Maltese poet, Norbert Bugeja, one of the key figures in new Maltese poetry, whose much-awaited collection Bliet will be on sale in the coming weeks. Bugeja will be followed by the Portuguese poet, translator and playwright Daniel Jonas, winner of the PEN prize for Poetry with his book Sonótono. Renzo Spiteri and Jes Psaila will also perform on Friday.

The readings on Saturday, September 12 start with Daniel Massa, one of Malta’s leading post-Independence poets, who will be accompanied by actress Jane Marshall. His poems in Maltese, many of which have appeared in various anthologies, are published in Xibkatuliss. Prof. Daniel Massa has studied, taught and read his poetry in various parts of the world, from the US to the Ivory Coast. He chaired the Adjudicating Panel of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for 2005 and has contributed to a number of international publications.

The second reading on Saturday will be by the distinguished Catalan poet, translator and literary critic Marta Pessarrodona. A leading poet in her own right, she has written on the Bloomsbury group and translated authors such as E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Doris Lessing, Susan Sontag, Marguerite Duras and Simone de Beauvoir. Her forthcoming books to appear before the end of 2009 are France 1939: the first Catalan artistic and intellectual exile, and a collection of poems entitled Animals and Plants. Marta Pessarrodona will then be interviewed by professional translator and expert on contemporary European literature, Alexandra Büchler,

The Saturday night will end with short readings by the writers who read on the first two nights and music by Renzo Spiteri and Jes Psaila.

More information about the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival, Inizjamed and Literature Across Frontiers is available at www.inizjamed.org.

Adrian Grima
Coordinator, Inizjamed



10-12 ta' Sett, Terrazzin tal-Kavallier ta' San Ġwann, il-Birgu (ħdejn Couvre Porte), 8.00pm



           Programm tal-Festival





10 ta' Settembru



Alex Vella Gera (proża li tinqara minn Marcelle Teuma)
Mimmo Grasso (poeżija u mużika)
Mohammed el Amraoui (poeżija u mużika)
Mużika: Renzo Spiteri (perkussjoni) u Jesmond Psaila (kitarra)



11 ta' Settembru


Fatena Alghorra (poeżija)

Norbert Bugeja (poeżija)
Daniel Jonas (poeżija)

Mużika: Renzo Spiteri (perkussjoni) u Jesmond Psaila (kitarra)



12 ta' Settembru


Daniel Massa (poeżija) - flimkien ma' Jane Marshall
Marta Pessarrodona (poeżija) u intervista minn Alexandra Büchler
Il-kittieba l-oħra tal-Festival jaqraw xogħol wieħed qasir

Mużika: Renzo Spiteri (perkussjoni) u Jesmond Psaila (kitarra)



Fatina Mohammed Diab Al-Ghorra, poetessa Palestinjana mwielda fil-belt ta’ Gaża u bħalissa toqgħod il-Kajr, l-Eġittu.Membru tal-Assoċjazzjoni tal-Kittieba Palestinjani mill-1998.



  • L-Ewwel premju tal-poeżija organizzat mill-Ministeru tal-Kultura u ż-Żgħażagħ fil-Medda ta’ Gaża fl-1997

  • It-Tielet premju tal-poeżija fid-Disa’ festival taż-Żgħażagħ Għarab fl-Lixandra fl 1998

  • It-Tielet premju tal-poeżija fil-festival tal-Kreattività Femminili fil-Palestina organizzat mill-Ministeru tal-Kultura fl-1999


  • Il-Fiera Internazzjonali tal-Ktieb fil-Kajr fil-2002, 2003, 2004 u l-2004

  • L-ewwel forum tal-poeżija proża fil-Kajr fl-2009

  • Diversi serati tal-poeżija fil-Palestina, l-Eġittu, u l-Ġordan

  • Diversi nominazzjonijiet biex tirrappreżenta l-Palestina bil-poeżija f’diversi avvenimenti kulturali f’għadd ta’ pajjiżi Għarab u barranin

  • Xogħlijiet minn tagħha ġew tradotti għall-Ingliż, il-Franċiż, l-Ispanjol, it-Taljan u l-Malti

  • Il-ġabra tagħha Ħliefi ġiet tradotta għall-Ispanjol minn El Gavierro Ediciones


  • Ġabra ta’ poeżija Għad Hemm Baħar Bejnietna. Dar il-Miqdad. Gaża 2000.

  • Ġabra ta’ poeżija Mara Mqarba Ħafna. Iċ-Ċentru taċ-Ċiviltà Għarbija għall-Istudji u l-Pubblikazzjoni. Il-Kajr, 2003

  • Ġabra ta’ poeżija Ħliefi. L-Istamperija ta’ Abu Gox, Ramallah 2009

Norbert Bugeja jħobb jikteb dwar l-ispazju urban kif jingħex fi bliet u rħula madwar il-Mediterran. Il-poeżija tiegħu mibnija fuq is-saħħa tal-metafora u tinħoloq permezz ta' sensiela ta' xbihat u impressjonijiet. Diversi xogħlijiet tiegħu dehru f'għadd ta' ġurnali tal-poeżija u nqraw f'għadd ta' festivals. Fl-2005 dehret il-ġabra ta' poeżiji tiegħu Stay, Fairy Tale, Stay! Memoirs of a City Cast Adrift (Midsea Books/Inizjamed, 2005). Il-ġabra tiegħu Bliet mistennija li toħroġ dalwaqt. Norbert Bugeja kiseb BA (Hons) u MA fl-Ingliż mill-Università ta' Malta. Bħalissa qiegħed jikkonkludi teżi dottorali u jgħallem fl-Università ta' Warwick fl-Ingilterra bħala Commonwealth Doctoral Scholar.


Mohammed El Amraoui (Il-Marokk/Franza), twieled fl-1964 ġewwa Fez, il-Marokk. Ilu jgħix Lyon mill-1989. Hemmhekk jieħu sehem fil-konferenzi Association-Edition Poésie (Assoċjazzjoni-Edizzjoni Poeżija). ''Mohammed El Amraoui joħloq l-immaġni tiegħu, kif ukoll strateġiji sintattiċi u grammatikali. Huwa jevita l-kliem konvenzjonali; ħoloq 'a fire at the tip of the tongue' (nirien f’tarf l-ilsien) u skopra li thesun is a bit weak’ (ix-xemx hija ftit dgħajfa)’’ [B/Bretonniere]. Mill-2001 huwa l-editur tal-ġurnal letterarju  Les Cahiers de Poésie-rencontres (Il-Kotba tal-Poeżiji-laqgħat), ġurnal li fih ġew ippubblikati poeżiji ta’ Oliver Friġġieri u Adrian Grima ukoll.



Mimmo Grasso jgħix f'Campi Flegrei (Napli), fl-imkejjen ta’ Virġilju, fejn l-art tiżfen mar-ritmu tat-terremoti kwotidjani. Huwa ppubblika bosta saġġi tal-letteratura u arti viżiva (mill-aspett konjittiv) kif ukoll xi kotba tal-poeżija, xi drabi b’edizzjoni bilingwa. Bil-poeżija ‘Sebeto’ (xmara antika taħt l-art f’Napli) għamel rikostruzzjoni tal-lingwa Naplitana, bħalma għamel Federiku II. Ladarba l-versi stampati bl-off-set ma tantx għadhom jintużaw, għażel li jmur għal edizzjonijiet limitati ta’ djar editorjali tas-sengħa flimkien ma’ inċiżuri u pitturi. L-aħħar xogħol tiegħu, ‘Taranterra’ (April 2009), poeżija dwar il-possessjoni u d-dijonisiżmu, inawgura la ‘Settimana della cultura’ (Il-Ġimgħa tal-Kultura) tal-Museo Archeologico Nazionale. L-istudji fuq l-oralità tiegħu huma intensi u ġiegħluh idoqq it-tamorra (strument mużikali mill-familja tat-tambur) minħabba li l-ewwel poeti, ibda mir-rapsodiji ta’ Omeru, kienu jdoqqu t-tambur ukoll. Kiteb il-kliem għal kanzunetti, bl-istil tat-trobar clus (forma magħluqa ta’ kant/kompożizzjoni), u reġa’ ta l-ħajja lil żifniet storiċi (bħall-pirrica fost l-oħrajn) bl-użu tal-‘piede metrico’ (tip ta’ unità metrika) popolari u billi jitlaq minn riti u kulti li għadhom preżenti fil-festi reliġjużi. Ittraduċa ħafna awturi kemm antiki kif ukoll kontemporanji. Huwa segretarju tal-Istituto Patafisico Partenopeo bil-kwalifika ta’ ‘ingegnere e macchinista di labirinti mnemonici’ (enġinier u makkinista tal-labirinti mnemoniċi).



Daniel Massa kiseb B.A. u M.A. mill-Università ta’ Malta u Ph.D. fl-Ingliż mill-Università ta’ Edimburgu. Fl-Università ta’ Malti kien ukoll Kap tad-Dipartiment tal-Ingliż u dean tal-Fakoltà tal-Arti. Fis-snin 1982-3 kien Maître des Conferences fl-Università Nazzjonali tal-Kosta tal-Avorju, u fis-snin 1984-5 kien Scholar in Residence fl-Università ta’ Michigan. Wara li rritorna Malta, inħatar l-ewwel Direttur tal-Programm ta’ Kommunikazzjoni u tas-Centre for Distance Learning, kif ukoll Koordinatur tal-Programm ta’ Studji Amerikani. Huwa l-Editur Konsultattiv tal-Encyclopaedia of Commonwealth Literature (Routledge); World Literature in English WLWE (University of Toronto Press); The Commonwealth Novel in English (University of Texas at Arlington); u l-Journal of Mediterranean Studies (University of Malta). Fl-1985 kien fil-Ġurija tal-Commonwealth Poetry Prize, u fl-2005 kien President tal-Ġurija tal-Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Il-Prof. Daniel Massa huwa wieħed mill-poeti Maltin ewlenin, u ppubblika ġabriet ta’ poeżiji bl-Ingliż kif ukoll bil-Malti, f’għadd ta’ antoloġiji u fil-ktieb Xibkatuliss.



Imwieled Malta fl-1973, Alex Vella Gera huwa partikolarment sensittiv għall-iskiżofrenija lingwistika prevalenti fil-pajjiż. Dan għaliex trabba jitkellem bl-Ingliż u għaraf tard ħafna f’ħajtu li l-Malti wkoll jista’ joffri possibilitajiet letterarji mill-aqwa. Wara li spiċċa l-Università, u ħadem bosta xogħlijiet li ftit li xejn interessawh, u wara li qatta’ ħames snin Praga jdur u jagħqad, issa jgħix Brussell fejn jaqla’ x’jiekol bħala traduttur għall-Unjoni Ewropea. Huwa miżżewweġ u għandu tifel. Jinteressa ruħu mhux biss fil-kitba, iżda wkoll fiċ-ċinema u l-mużika. Il-ħolma tiegħu hija li jikteb u jippubblika xi kotba li bħalissa qed iżommuh imqajjem bil-lejl, u mbagħad jirtira. Dis-sena ppubblika numru ta’ novelli f’żewġ ġabriet: “Lil Hinn Mill-Jien” u “Żewġ”.



Alexandra Büchler (Ir-Renju Unit/ir-Repubblika Ċeka) twieldet Praga u ħadet l-edukazzjoni tagħha fi Praga stess, f’Tessaloniki u f’Melborn (l-Awstralja). Ilha tgħix fir-Renju Unit mill-1989. Hija d-direttriċi fundatriċi ta’ Literature Across Frontiers (LAF) – programm Ewropew ta’ skambju letterarju, ibbażat fir-Renju Unit, u msieħeb fil-Culture Action Europe (li kien jismu European Forum for Arts and Heritage). Hija membru tat-Translators’ Association tar-Renju Unit.


Direttriċi editorjali ta’ Transcript, ir-rivista Ewropea fuq l-internet dwar il-kotba u l-kitba. Editriċi tas-sensiela internazzjonali ta’ antoloġiji tal-poeżija kontemporanja New Voices from Europe and Beyond mal-Arc Publications. Traduttriċi ta’ proża fittizja, poeżija, drammi teatrali u testi fuq l-arti u l-arkitettura moderni mill-Ingliż, iċ-Ċek u l-Grieg. Qalbet għaċ-Ċek ’il fuq minn ħamsa u għoxrin xogħol, fosthom: kotba ta’ awturi bħal ma huma J. M. Coetzee, David Malouf, Jean Rhys, Janice Galloway u Rhea Galanaki. Editjat u ttraduċiet parzjalment, ukoll, għadd ta’ antoloġiji, fosthom: This Side of Reality: Modern Czech Writing (1996), Allskin and Other Tales by Contemporary Czech Women (1998). L-aktar pubblikazzjonijiet riċenti tagħha huma A Fine Line: New Poetry from Central and Eastern Europe, Arc (2004) u Six Czech Poets, Arc (2007).


Kittieba u Muziċisti mill-aqwa fil-Birgu


Il-poeta Malti Daniel Massa u l-poetessa u traduttriċi Katalana Marta Pessarrodona se jkunu fost il-kittieba mistiedna fil-Festival Mediterranju tal-Letteratura ta’ Malta li se jsir fil-Kavallier ta’ San Ġwann, il-Birgu, ħdejn Couvre Porte, nhar il-Ħamis 10, il-Ġimgħa 11 u s-Sibt 12 ta’ Settembru, 2009, fit-8.00pm.


Se jieħdu sehem ukoll il-poetessa u ġurnalista Fatena Alghorra minn Gaża fil-Palestina, il-poeta Norbert Bugeja u r-rumanzier Alex Vella Gera, il-poeti Mohammed El Amraoui minn Franza, Mimmo Grasso minn Napli, l-Italja, u Daniel Jonas mill-Portugall, u l-mużiċisti Renzo Spiteri (perkussjoni) u Jes Psaila (kitarra). Il-qari jkun l-aktar bil-Malti u bl-Ingliż, iżda jintużaw ukoll il-lingwi tal-kittieba differenti.


Id-dħul għat-tliet lejliet huwa b’xejn. F’kull lejla se jkun hemm bar li jbigħ xorb u ikel, fost l-oħrajn tal-kummerċ ġust, minn bnadi differenti tad-dinja. Se jkun hemm ukoll bejgħ ta’ pubblikazzjonijiet ta’ kittieba Maltin u barranin. Il-Kavallier ta’ San Ġwann fil-Birgu jintuża mill-Iscouts u jinsab fit-triq tal-Palazz tal-Inkwiżitur.


Fil-lejla tal-Ħamis 10 ta’ Settembru, Alex Vella Gera se jintroduċi r-rumanz il-ġdid tiegħu li parti minnu se jinqara mill-attriċi Marcelle Teuma. Warajh se jaqra l-poeta minn Napli, Mimmo Grasso, li jdoqq it-tanbur Naplitan u strumenti oħrajn. Bħal Grasso, it-tielet awtur li se jaqra l-Ħamis, il-poeta Franċiż ta’ nisel Marokkin Mohammed el Amraoui, li jikteb bil-Franċiż u bil-Għarbi u li ħadem ma’ bosta mużiċisti jazz, se jkun akkumpanjat minn żewġ mużiċisti Maltin magħrufin, il-perkussjonista Renzo Spiteri u l-kitarrista Jes Psaila.


Fit-tieni lejla tal-Festival, il-Ġimgħa 11 ta’ Settembru, se taqra l-ewwel il-poetessa u ġurnalista Palestinjana minn Gaża Fatena Alghorra. Fl-2007 l-organizzaturi kienu stednuha biex taqra fil-Festival iżda l-armata Iżraeljana li tokkupa l-Palestina ma kinitx ħalliet lil Alghorra toħroġ minn Gaża, minkejja li kellha viża mill-Gvern Malti. Warajha se jaqra l-poeta Norbert Bugeja, wieħed mill-esponenti ewlenin tal-poeżija Maltija l-ġdida li fil-ġimgħat li ġejjin għandu jippubblika l-ġabra tiegħu Bliet. Din it-tieni lejla tagħlaq bil-qari tal-poeta, traduttur u drammaturgu Portugiż, Daniel Jonas, rebbieħ tal-Premju tal-Poeżija tal-PEN bil-ktieb tiegħu Sonótono. Matul il-lejla se jieħdu sehem ukoll il-mużiċisti Renzo Spiteri u Jes Psaila.


Il-lejla tas-Sibt tibda bil-qari ta’ Daniel Massa, wieħed mill-poeti ewlenin fost il-ġenerazzjoni ta’ wara l-Indipendenza. Massa, li se jkun akkumpanjat mill-attriċi Jane Marshall, studja, għallem u qara l-kitbiet tiegħu madwar id-dinja, mill-Istati Uniti tal-Amerka sal-Kosta tal-Avorju, u fl-2005 kien chairman tal-Premju tal-Kittieba tal-Commonwealth. Warajh se taqra l-kittieba Katalana Marta Pessarrodona, magħrufa kemm bħala poetessa u traduttriċi ewlenija kif ukoll bħala kritika letterarja. Qalbet għall-Katalan u l-Ispanjol xogħlijet ta’ E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Doris Lessing, Susan Sontag, Simone de Beauvoir u oħrajn. Fl-2009 għandhom joħorġu żewġ kotba tagħha dwar l-ewwel eżilju artistiku u intellettwali Katalan fi Franza tal-1939 u ġabra ta’ poeżiji. Għall-ewwel darba f’dan il-festival, li daħal fir-raba’ sena tiegħu, Alexandra Büchler, traduttriċi magħrufa u organizzatriċi ewlenija ta’ avvenimenti letterarji internazzjonali, se tintervista lil Marta Pessarrodona dwar il-letteratura, it-traduzzjoni u s-sehem tal-istat fil-promozzjoni tal-kultura. Il-lejla tas-Sibt tagħlaq b’intervent qasir mill-kittieba kollha tal-Festival u daqq minn Renzo Spiteri u Jes Psaila.


Din ir-raba’ edizzjoni tal-Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival se tittella’ minn Inizjamed u Literature Across Frontiers bil-għajnuna tal-Kunsill Malti għall-Kultura u l-Arti, il-Fondation René Seydoux, l-Institut Ramon Llull, u l-programm Kultura tal-Unjoni Ewropea. Fil-ġimgħa tal-Festival isir ukoll il-Laboratorju Residenzjali tat-Traduzzjoni Letterarja ta’ Malta li fih il-kittieba jittraduċu x-xogħol ta’ xulxin. Hemm aktar tagħrif fuq www.inizjamed.org.


Adrian Grima

Koordinatur, Inizjamed


  The Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival in the Press