Singapore Writers Festival 2019: New director, headlining authors, key programmes, and other highlights you need to know
Play on words
Arguably one of the country's longest running arts events, Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) returns this November with a brand new director, acclaimed poet Pooja Nansi. The festival is set to feature an extensive roster of 250 international and local authors in about 250 programmes across its 10-day duration in the Civic District.
A Language of Our Own
This year's theme, "A Language of Our Own", explores different types of languages beyond traditional written text. "I landed on this theme largely as a nod to the festival's last three themes, which were in all our different national languages. We were interested in examining how our languages work above and beyond text, which includes sign language, memes, and GIFs", said festival director Pooja Nansi.
Internationally renowned authors headlining the festival include Roxane Gay (The New York Times best-selling pop culture and feminist author), Jamaican author Marlon James (winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize), Min Jin Lee (Korean-American author of hit novel Pachinko), as well as respected travel writer Pico Iyer.
Festival-goers will get the opportunity to interact with these literary heavyweights through two new formats: Roxane will be sharing her work as part of the "In A Tiny Room" series in the intimacy of the Old Man Bar at Keong Saik, while Marlon will be delivering the "Festival Prologue".
SWF Youth Fringe
The festival will be reaching out to youths aged between 13 and 18 for the first time through a new festival track, SWF Youth Fringe. Jointly organised with the Singapore Book Council, the SWF Youth Fringe has been curated by a panel of youth curators from a number of schools including Temasek Junior College and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. The programme will touch on a variety of trending topics including the fascinating relationship between K-pop and poetry as well as the semiotics of memes. Adults will be able to attend these sessions too.
SWF and Technology
Technology continues to be a key priority in our local arts scene. At SWF, local design studio and art gallery Kult Studio and Gallery will be presenting an interactive installation that'll explore the evolution of texting as a language. The studio is currently calling for submissions, so if you happen to have a noteworthy conversation to share, forward them your screenshots or texts at +65 8160 2205 and it might just get featured in their installation. All texts will be anonymous, so your secrets are safe.
Besides SWF's key activities, some notable programmes worthy of your attention and time include an hour with local actor Gurmit Singh, a Dikir Barat rap battle, and an epic spoken word night featuring some of the country's best wordsmiths.
Singapore Writers Festival will run from 1 to 10 November 2019. Festival passes and tickets can be purchased via SISTIC now. For more information regarding programming and ticketing, head over to SWF's website.
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