4 - 8 March at InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is held under the patronage of
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum,
The Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
A rare opportunity to hear some of Sweden’s finest poets, in an evening devoted to cross-cultural exchange between the UAE and Sweden, will take place in the atmospheric surroundings of Dar Al Adaab, the home of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, on Friday 26 April. The event, which is free, starts at 7pm and refreshments will be provided.
Magnus William-Olsson, Hanna Hallgren, Johan Nordbeck, Hanna Nordenhök and Jassim Mohammed will be performing their work, joined by guest poet Gloria Gervitz from Mexico, and local poets Nujoom Al Ghanem and Abdulla Al Hadyya.
The audience will listen to the poets reciting their poems in the original language as well as in Arabic and Swedish translation, to be followed by a broader discussion of Swedish poetry and other topics. English translation will also be available.
The evening is one in a series of events entitled ‘Swedish Poetry Days in the UAE, Highlights from the darkness of Sweden’, taking place as part of an initiative to encourage cultural exchange projects between Europe and the Arab world. The tour will also include appearances at the House of Poetry in Sharjah, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair and the Swedish Embassy.
‘Swedish Poetry Days in the UAE’ is a collaboration between Almutawassit Association of Cultural Exchange and Reading Development; Noon Publishing House and the Association of Café Baghdad for Poetry and Music. They work together to encourage the translation of Swedish poetry into Arabic The first poetry tour took place in Damascus in 2008 and was followed by events in Magreb in 2010. Since then the group has published a series of five books. The poetry tour in the UAE has been organized to mark the first anniversary of the launch of this series.
Magnus William Olsson is a poet, literary critic, and translator. He has published eight volumes of poetry, four books of essays on poetry, and two books of autobiographical short stories and translated poetry from ancient and modern Greek, Spanish and Danish into Swedish. His latest book is an essay on poetry and poetics, Läsningen föregår skriften – poesins aktualitet (Reading precedes writing – the actuality of poetry). Magnus is also the editor in chief of two series of books: W&W –Internationell poesi, the most prestigious in Sweden for international poetry, and Ariel/Litterär Kritik, a series of Scandinavian essays. He has been awarded several prizes, among others, the Karl Ven- nbergs pris (2995) Bellanpriset (2010) and Gunnar Ekelöfpriset (2011).
Hanna Hallgren is a Swedish poet and literary critic who has published several poetry collections. Her latest book is Roslära (2012) (The Doctrines of Roses). She defended her thesis in Gender Studies in 2008, and works as a researcher and teacher in Gender Studies and Artistic Research at several universities in Sweden and abroad.
Johan Nordbeck likes to work together with musicians and artists. His books include The Trees Go Down Landing (1982) Everything That Has Been Dead (1987) Entrails (1989) Are You Also Going Home? (1993) Music Gives You Big Shoes (1999) In collaboration with artist Jockum Nordström: We Did Not Know What Time It Was (2001) Go to the Foot, Go (2006) and Wall in Wall (2013).
Hanna Nordenhök is a Swedish writer and literary critic. Her first poetry book, Hiatus, was published in 2007 and since then she has published two more poetry books and a novel. In 2011 she was honoured with the Swedish Academy’s Lydia and Herman Erikssons scholarship for her work, and in 2013 her second novel, The White House in Simpang will be published by Norstedts publishing house.
Nordenhök also has written drama plays and translated Spanish poetry.
Jassim Mohammed is a Poet and translator. His work includes a collaboration with two Swedish poets, When I Was Young (2002), and Exercises in Another Language (2005). In 2011 he published his book In Your Mouth, which was chosen as one of the most important collections of Swedish poetry issued that year.
He has translated many poems form Arabic, including the collection Continents Epidemics by the poet Fawzi Karim, a selection of poems by Mahmoud Braikan and Salim Barakat and works by Faraj Bayrakdar, Sargon Boulos, Saif al Rahbi and Saadi Youssef. His translations into Arabic include: “Dance of the Poem”, by Anna Smith, “The Only Necessity” by Shell Espmark, and “Tripartite” by Bruno. K. Auer. He worked as a journalist and columnist for several Swedish newspapers and radio. He also was, for 10 years, coordinator of Rinkebi Book Fair in Stockholm. In 2010 he was awarded the Swedish definition Prize in literature by the Swedish Academy and a ‘nine - De Nio’ literary prize.
Gloria Gervitz was born in 1943 in Mexico City, where she still lives. She worked on one enormous poem, Migraciones, for 30 years, which she finally completed in 2003. Her work has appeared in a number of anthologies in Mexico and the USA, and has been translated into several languages. In 2011 she was awarded the Mexico PEN Prize for Literary Excellence.
Nujoom Al Ghanem has been described as 'one of the strongest modern Emirati poets. Nujoom holds a BA in Television Production from Ohio University (1996) and a Master's degree in cinema direction from Griffith University (1999). She started writing poetry in the late 1970’s, but did not publish until the early 1980s. She finds prose poetry the best form to express herself and describe her world and has published six collections of poetry, the first of which was Paradise Evening (1989). She has also directed four short films, including the documentary Al Mureed (2008). which was exhibited at the Fifth Dubai International Film Festival, where Nujoom was given the Best Emirati Female Filmmaker Award. She has participated in many festivals and other cultural events in the Arab World and Europe. After appearing at Emirates Litfest 2010, she embarked on a mini-tour organised by Banipal Magazine and the Emirates Foundation, visiting the Ledbury Poetry Festival and the London Literature Festival.
Abdulla Al Hadyya is an Emirati poet and journalist and writes a weekly column in Al Khaleej newspaper. He holds a bachelor degree in Arabic literature. Abdullah has anchored a number of programs on Sharjah Radio and RAK Radio and has published several poetry collections.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT
Head of Communications
The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
Tel: +971 (04) 353 4002 ext 207
Mob: +971 (0) 509200 287
Notes to editors
1, The books published to date in the Swedish Poetry Series by Almutawassit Publishing House, in cooperation with Noon Emirates publishing House and Baghdad Café Swedish Association of poetry and music are:
• Kvad by Ann Smith. Translated into Arabic by Jasim Mohamad.
• I djuret by Eva Runefelt. Translated into Arabic by Jasim Mohamad and Ibrahim Abdul- malik.
• Det enda nödvändiga by Kjell Espmark. Translated into Arabic by Jasim Mohamad.
• Trilogin by Bruno K. Öijer. Translated into Arabic by Jasim Mohamad.
• Det röda by Ingrid Arvidsson. Translated into Arabic Said Aljaffar.
Noon Publishing House was established in March 2011 to publish work related to the Arab Countries and cultural developments in the Arabic Community. In particular it aims to create a platform for the publishing of work by emerging young writers.
Baghdad Café is a Swedish Literary Association which resulted from the successful revival of the poetry and music festival Cafe Baghdad in Stockholm. Founded and run by the Iraqi and Swedish poet Jassim Mohammed it attracts poets from Sweden and other countries, particularly Arab countries.
Al Mutawassit is a non-profit cultural association founded in Milan by a group of Arab and Italian intellectuals for the purpose of promoting art and culture primarily but not exclusively between Italy and the Arab world.
The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Arabian Radio Network (ARN) news presenter Rebecca Davidson, who died in a tragic accident on Friday. We also wish her colleague and LitFest supporter Lucy Taylor a quick and speedy recovery.
'Remember' by Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830–1894)
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
In this new 'My Life with Books' series, the people supporting the LitFest tell us about their reading habits.
Sarah Shokr, Marketing Specialist, Arab Organisation for Education and Culture (AFEC), talks to the LitFest.
Q: What book are you reading right now?
A: Bab Al Khurooj: The Exit Door, by Ezz El Din Shukri Fsher.
Q: If you were stranded on a desert island, would you prefer to find a poetry anthology, a novel, a non-fiction book (History; Biography; Art; Cookery?) or a collection
of short stories buried in the sand?
A: A collection of short stories
Q: What's the best novel you've ever read?
A: Azzaizl by Youssef Zidan
Q: What books or stories do you most remember reading and enjoying as a child?
A: The Nabil Farouk series (Ragol el Mostahel). Most of Shakespeare's works. Stories of the prophets.
Q: What book would you give to your closest friend?
A: Why Men Marry Bitches and Who Moved My Cheese?
Q: Who is Literature's greatest Hero?
A: Sydney Carton
Q: Who is Literature's greatest Villain?
A: Lord Voldomort
Q: What do you like most about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature?
A: I love the idea of having a festival in the Middle East dedicated entirely to all kinds of literature and culture, satisfying all tastes and genres of audience.
Q: Who would be your first choice to hear/see at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature?
A: Max Easterman
Tickets for the 2013 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature are now available to buy online and in Kinokuniya, Dubai Mall.
The programme for 2013 is huge, so over the next few weeks we will be focusing on particular sessions, authors or strands here on the LitFest blog and on our Facebook and Twitter accounts - so make sure to keep checking back for the latest updates.
Kinokuniya (Book World) Box Office, Dubai Mall: 11am -10pm, 7 days a week until 9th March 2013.
Dar Al Adaab, Emirates LitFest offices, Al Fahidi Historic District: 9am-5pm, 5 days a week.
Helpline: 04 353 4002, answered from 8am till 8pm Sun-Thu and 10am - 5pm on Fri & Sat.
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is delighted to announce that Chevron has come on board to sponsor the Reader’s Cup, joining Taleem and Oxford University Press in providing fantastic support to the Festival in its quest to nurture a love of the written word.
This year’s children’s competitions have been a resounding success, with more entries than ever before for the Taaleem Poetry Award, the Oxford University Press Story Writing competition and the hotly contested Chevron Readers’ Cup. Yvette Judge, Head of Education and Children’s programming for Emirates Airline Festival of Literature said that the quality of the work submitted has surpassed the very high standards set in previous years. “We are delighted that many schools have actively encouraged participation, setting up creative writing groups or using the competitions as a focus within the curriculum. We are also very pleased to see that there has been more involvement from government schools this year.We would particularly like to acknowledge the contribution that Taleem, Oxford University Press and Chevron have made to education by sponsoring these awards, and to extend our grateful thanks for their support.”
Tim Bowler was one of the authors at last year’s Festival and chose the subject for this year’s Oxford University Press Story Writing competition, ‘Seeking the truth.’ “I felt hugely honoured last year to be asked to recommend a title for young writers to use in creating new stories. ‘Seeking the truth’ is about striving for honesty, and young people – with their creativity, optimism, energy and joy – embody honesty in the highest degree. These gifted young writers have poured their integrity into these stories. Enjoy them. They come from precious hearts.’
Frank Dullaghan, who judged the Taleem Poetry Award this year, agreed on the importance of encouraging young talent. “There is always great satisfaction in judging a children’s poetry competition. Over the many years I have judged such competitions, first in the UK and now in Dubai, I have always been lifted by the surprise and joy of the children’s fine imaginations, when writing at their best. There are always gems to be found. You now have the privilege of reading the work of these young poets; of seeing the sparkle; of sharing that surprise, that imagination, with me.”
The winners of the Taaleem Poetry Award, the Oxford University Press Story Writing competition and the Chevron Readers’ Cup will be honoured at the Festival on 9 March.
Week long Preview exclusive for Festival Friends 14 January 2013
Tickets for the Fifth Emirates Airline Festival of Literature go on general sale on 21 January 2013 at Kinokuniya booksellers in Dubai Mall and on the LitFest website at emirateslitfest.com.
Festival Friends can get to the front of the queue with an exclusive preview week, starting 14 January 2013, to buy the tickets of their choice at a special rate. Join Festival Friends on-line at emirateslitfest.com.
The full preview programme of events will be on-line and distributed across the Emirates in the coming weeks. Ticket prices start at a very reasonable AED40 and there are also many events and activities on offer free of charge.
The Festival will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City, between the 5-9 March 2013 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with Emirates airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the emirate’s dedicated Authority for culture, arts, and heritage.
More than 100 writers, thinkers and speakers from 30 countries will participate in the Middle East’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word, which brings people of all ages, nationalities and background together to promote education, debate and a love of reading and writing in a celebratory and enjoyable way. It is expected that more than 30,000 visitors will attend sessions at this fifth edition of LitFest which has become an eagerly anticipated annual event.
Join ‘The Literary Club’ -the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature prestigious Corporate Membership Scheme
The Literary Club is an exclusive membership opportunity for organisations who value literature and understand the right of all to be literate
Benefits include up to 40 Freedom Passes, which entitles each designated holder to free complimentary tickets to most sessions at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the Middle East’s largest international event of this kind. Membership also includes access passes to the Corporate Sponsors’ Lounge, to relax between sessions and enjoy complimentary refreshments and an opportunity to meet international writers.
Literary Club members can also take advantage of extra discounts for Early Bird Bookings and up to 30% discount on Special Events such as Literary Lunches, Dinners, Masterclassesand Workshops.Members also receive exclusive invitations to social functions and event and organisations will also have their name listed on the Roll of Honour.
There are three tiers of annual membership that each give great savings on Festival tickets, starting from just $3,200 per year.
For further details see our website emirateslitfest.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Take advantage of the fifth Anniversary Offer: 20% discount on membership fees until 31st January 2013
The Fifth Anniversary edition of the Festival opens with a spectacular Opening Night event on the evening of Tuesday 5th March, and is followed each night throughout the week with a series of innovative experiences which are sure to sell out quickly.
The first of these is the Dubai Culture& Art Authority sponsored Desert Stanzas: Poetry Under the Stars, an atmosphericevent which takes place at a Bedouin encampment. This evening of enchantment brings together music and poetry in Arabic and English, with traditional Arab dining beneath the desert sky. Join internationally renowned poets Simon Armitage, Roger McGough, Sjon, Ben Okri and JeetThayil, together with local voices Adel Khozam and Nujoom Al Ghanem for a magical night of words and rhythm.Following this linguistic feast, a buffet of traditional Arabic dishes will be available.
Next it’s time to put your sleuthing skills to the test at our Murder Mystery Dinner on Thursday 7 March. Pit your wits against authors such asBoris Akunin,Lynda La Plante, Ian Rankin and Jeffrey Deaver to unravel the crime and declare ’whodunnit’, in a tale of Murder in the Desert enacted by the Dubai Drama Group. Enjoy a three course dinner with one of our authors while discussing your theories, and see if your table can win!
Friday 8 March gives you the chance to indulge inThe Lighter Side. An evening to sit back, enjoy good company over dinner and be entertained by some of our wittiest visiting writers. The road to becoming a published author is often beset by difficulties and setbacks, while the euphoria that accompanies the recognition of published or prize-winning work is always memorable – but perhaps not for the expected reasons. Join our literary raconteurs to hear some of the highs, lows and near misses of their lives in print.
The Festival concludes with our closing ceremony where we bid Ma’a Al Salamah, farewell until next year, 4-8 March 2014.
In addition throughout the Festival visitors can enjoy literary discussions, panel debates, Masterclasses, workshops and readings as well as experience the Fringe and children’s events. There are cookery demonstrations, special art displays and Literary Lunches.
Givinga Festival Literary Treat is now even easier, with our online vouchers which can be used to purchase tickets or Festival Friends membership.
The gift of tickets is always sure to be warmly received, with the prospect of stimulating sessions by world famous authors and inspiring workshops and masterclasses to choose from. Whether its big names, old favourites, the chance to hear an unfamiliar author or discovera new writer, its sure to be a rewarding experience.Genres cover everything from cookery, travel, politics and sport, to popular fiction, literary fiction and more, so there is something to suit every taste at the Fifth Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.
Or why not give the opportunity of an enhanced Festival experience with a year’s membership to Festival Friends?
Festival Friend’s membership adds more value to the Festival, with priority purchase and savings on tickets, reserved seating, and access to our Friends’ Lounge where you can relax between sessions with complimentary tea, coffee and snacks. Premium and Plus Membership also entitles you to a range of additional benefits including two tickets to the Opening Night.
All Festival Friends also receive frequent updates on literary activities throughout the year, including invitations to events at Dar Al Adaab, the atmospheric home of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in the historic area of Dubai, Al Fahidi.
Prices start at AED 120 membership for 12 months
For full details and benefits please click here.
There’s still time for aspiring novelists to enter the Montegrappa First Fiction Writing Competition. Entries must be submitted by 20 January 2013
The innovative fiction writing competition gives first time novelists the chance to get that all important first break in the publishing world by having work evaluated by a leading UK Literary Agent, plus the chance to win a trip to London Book Fair 2013.
Open to unpublished writers, entrants do not need to submit a competed novel, just a 400 word synopsis and the first five pages of their fiction manuscript, to have the unique opportunity of having it read and evaluated by top UK Literary Agent Luigi Bonomi. The work judged to be the best will win a superb set of prizes, including a trip to London Book Fair 2013, lunch with Luigi Bonomi at the Fair,a Montegrappa pen and a copy of the current Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook. There are a series of other prizes for runners-up.
The competition, which is sponsored by Montegrappa, Italy's oldest manufacturer of luxury writing instruments, is open to writers over the age of 21 years and of any nationality but must be a current resident in the UAE. Closing date for entry is 20 January 2013. All work must be submitted in English. Complete information about the First Fiction competition is availableon the website, including useful tips on how to write a synopsis.
Winners and runners-up of First Fiction will be honoured in a prize-giving ceremony at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2013 which takes place in Dubai 5-9 March 2013, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated Authority for culture, arts, and heritage.