Singapore Writers Festival (SWF), Singapore’s most anticipated literary event, is back this year with an exciting line-up of authors and programmes centred around the theme ‘The Prospect of Beauty’, which promises to celebrate beauty in writing, literature and the world around us.
From left to right: Festival Director, Paul Tan; Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information; Philip Jeyaretnam, Chairman, SWF Steering Committee
Held from 31 October to 9 November, the Festival features a riveting line-up of over 200 Singapore and international writers participating in more than 280 events that comprise panel discussions, lectures, poetry readings, literary meals, film screenings and more.
In its 17th edition, this year’s Festival boasts some of the world’s literary greats such as Paul Theroux, American travel writer and novelist; leading figure in the feminist movement, social critic and political activist Naomi Wolf; Raymond E. Feist, science fiction and fantasy author; Karen Joy Fowler, best-selling writer and most recently long-listed for the Man Booker Prize; Irish poet Paul Muldoon, winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; three-time US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky; Jonathan Lethem, best known for his genre- bending fiction; Barry Lopez, often regarded as the most important living writer on nature and human culture; William T. Vollmann, American journalist, novelist and war correspondent; and prolific women’s fiction author Adele Parks.
Commenting on this year’s line-up and programming, Festival Director Paul Tan shares, “The Festival stays true to its mission to inspire, excite and engage fans of the literary arts through thought-provoking topics and diverse programming. We hope this year’s offerings will bring readers back to basics – by reminding them to take pleasure in the lyrical beauty of words, a well-formed poem, or an immersive novel.”
He adds, “In recent years, the Festival has also evolved into a platform for the lively exchange of ideas and opinions. This year, we want our audiences to think about timely and hard-hitting topics, such as morality in literature, the trade-offs between the environment and economic development, and society’s unrealistic ideals of female beauty. We have also introduced more experiential programmes inspired by the written word and beyond – from interactive theatre to spoken word, poetry and jazz – that promise unique and stimulating experiences for our festival-goers.”