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2nd Edition of Tata Steel Bhubaneswar Literary Meet (TSBLM) to begin on January 20th

Tata Steel today announced the second edition of the Tata Steel Bhubaneswar Literary Meet (TSBLM) to be held at Hotel Trident in Bhubaneswar on January 20 and 21. With an aim to foster the love for literature among the people of Odisha, TSBLM will bring together celebrated authors from across literary genres and serve as a local platform with a global appeal, which bridges the gap between literature of English, Odia and other regional languages.  The detailed event schedule was unveiled at the event.

Speaking on this occasion, Mr Chanakya Choudhury, Group Director Corporate Communications and Regulatory Affair, Tata Steel said, “Tata Steel Bhubaneswar Literary Meet is one of the important and flagship events of Tata Steel in Odisha. Fulfilling its role of being a responsible corporate citizen brand by promoting literature along with sports. Tata Steel endeavors to bring best-in-class experience to literary enthusiasts, and provide a knowledge platform for intellectual exchange of ideas on contemporary issues in Odisha.” Read more

Source: Orissa Diary 

 

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Seemanchal International Literary Festival- Taking Literature to the Grassroot India

Source: Kractivist.org

By Rahman Abbas

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Zafar Anjum, PN Balji, Jayanthi Sankar, Debanjan Chakraborty and Isa Kamari

I was surprised when Singapore based English author and publisher Zafar Anjum Emailed me and invited to attend Seemanchal International literary festival on 17-19 November in Kishanganj, Bihar. I kept thinking for hours that how this festival would take shape in one of the most backward regions of our country. On the other hand I was happy over the idea that festival of literature was shifting from superficial glare of metros and lights of hotels to rural India and amid people devoid of cultural activities.

On 16th November, I board flight from Mumbai to Delhi. At Delhi airport waiting for next flight for Bagdogra I met well known Urdu critic Shafey Kidwai and literary critic Nazia Anjum who is also English lecturer at AMU. We shared coffee and talked about festival and Kishanganj. Shafey was worried if there would be any audience, especially to attend sessions about gender discriminations and role of literature in contemporary society on which various foreign authors had to speak.  When we reached Bagdogra airport (West Bengal) we met English author and poet Abha Ayengar, senior journalist Ziya-us-Salam (The Hindu). From West Bengal to Kishanganj our journey was of two hours.  During the journey we saw beautiful tea gardens and green pastures. When Bihar approached greenery turned into dust and road into dilapidated state. We were chatting about festival and thinking what was there in store for next morning.

The venue was famous’ Insan school’ ground and stage was set for two days festival. We were around 20 authors mainly of English, Hindi, Urdu and Malay languages from India, Singapore and UK. Read more


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How the Seemanchal Literary Festival drew me out of my happy bubble, a first for a litfest: Rheea Mukherjee

Source: Scroll.in

By Rheea Mukherjee

Before I leave for Kishanganj, Bihar, friends and family have made a hundred comments. “A literary festival in a village in Bihar?” “Is it safe?” “How cool”.

I fly from Bangalore to Kolkata, and then Kolkata to Bagdogra, and arrive at 4 pm on a Wednesday. The sun is hazy-bright and in the middle of the sky. Our host Sarfaraz stands at the arrivals gate. He is here to accompany us from the airport on the two-hour drive to Kishanganj.

The Seemanchal International Literary Festival started as an individual dream, and then, as the founder himself said “was realised because it was a collective dream”. Singapore-based Zafar Anjum might have many accomplishments and books to his name, but Anjum’s roots are in Kishanganj. A boy from a large family who studied at the Urdu-medium Insaan school.

Anjum was acutely aware of two realities: literary fests are held primarily in elite big cities, and almost exclusively engage an elite audience. But literature wasn’t created to stay on the shelves of the bourgeois. The infinite power of writing and its potential to amplify ambition and social equality needed to be celebrated everywhere. The plain truth is this, very few would take up such a quixotic cause. Read more


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Even ‘backward’ regions can host Literature festivals if promoted well: Zafar Anjum

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The first Seemanchal International Literary Festival (SILF) kicks off tomorrow, November 18, at Insan School, Kishanganj. Its main organiser, author Zafar Anjum, spoke with Twocircles.net about how the idea came to him, and what were the challenges that he had to face in organising the first-of-its-kind literature festival in Seemanchal.

When was the idea for the Seemanchal festival conceived in your head?

The idea came to me as early as 2013 in Singapore. Although I had moved thousands of miles away from home, the memories had never left me. I grew up in the region, and in a rich history of literature. This was the place where the iconic Phanishwar Nath ‘Renu’ was born; but off late the area has not produced much literature that has caught attention. I was of the opinion that if we could get a literature festival in this region, it would be a massive boost to the local literature along with bringing in eminent litterateurs from across the country.

Why did you pick the Seemanchal region for the literature festival?

As I said, I belong to this region, so there was the emotional connect. But more importantly, it was an attempt to shed light on areas that have always been considered backward. Initially, when I thought of a literature festival in South Asia, it dawned upon us that almost all the regions had literature festivals anyway. Even in India, these kind of festivals have for long been conducted. But the biggest issue for me was that in India, almost all literature festivals are either held in big cities (Delhi, Bangalore) or tourist-friendly places like Jaipur and Goa. So, I decided to toy with the idea of doing one such festival in Seemanchal, so that it breaks the concept of festivals being associated with only famous places. Of course, it was easier said than done. Read more


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Jaipur Lit Fest releases fifth list of speakers for 10th edition

Jaipur Literature Festival today revealed the fifth list of 10 speakers set to appear at the 10th edition of the event next year.

Touted as the world’s largest free literary event, the festival is expected see participation by over 250 authors, thinkers, politicians and popular culture icons, with a special focus on world literatures.


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Bali: Festival lauded for engaging writers, readers

Closing out with a bang: The marching band from Udayana University performs during the closing ceremony of the 2016 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival at the Blanco Museum in Ubud, Bali, on Sunday. 

The 13th Ubud Writers and Readers Festival ended on Sunday. The event successfully engaged literary luminaries with an eager audience.

The last day of the festival started with attendees participating in “Literary Jalan-Jalan”, a morning walk with some of the festival’s finest storytellers along the hidden paths of Penestanan, through lush rice fields and a permaculture garden, all the while listening to tales from near and far over a delicious brunch. Read more


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VS Naipaul’s notorious conceit has drained away – and the man who remains is hard to read: Ian Jack

A writer’s personality can colour your sense of his work – but at a literary festival in India last week, the sad problem was almost the opposite: The Guardian

VSNaipaulFew books have meant more to me than some of those written by VS Naipaul, although the more I knew (or thought I knew) about the author, the less straightforward my admiration of his books became. One school of thought says this is foolish: a writer and his work need to be seen in separate compartments, so that the work can’t be contaminated by the author’s reputation as a wife-beating drunk, child molester or antisemite. Naipaul is none of these, but his perplexing frankness has hurt many people close to him and revealed a breathtaking, almost comic, arrogance that this reader at least finds hard to forget. In the age when writers were read and not seen or heard, we would have known much less about these characteristics. Which reader of Biggles knew the true life and habits of captain WE Johns, or even how he looked? Today, however, writers are often more visible than their books, which makes the argument for a work-life division harder to sustain. At literary festivals, we see a person rather than a printed page. It can have unexpected effects. Continue reading


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Nobel Myanmar Literary Festival

by Lucas Stewart, Editor-at-Large (Myanmar), Kitaab

The Nobel Myanmar Literary festival has come and gone, quietly slipping under the media radar. While its well-publicised cousin the Irrawaddy Literary Festival, attracts the power name international authors, the Nobel Myanmar Literary festival offered up a much more local flavour.

Organised by Myanmar media outlet DVB Multimedia Group and The Peoples Age Journal and chaired by renowned writer U Pe Myint, the festival has been in the making for over a year, securing funds from the HEDDA Foundation in Norway and the Swedish post code lottery. Continue reading


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Jaipur Literature Festival heads to US too in 2015

After successfully establishing its brand as a free literary festival, Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) is heading to Boulder in Colorado in 2015 to marry dynamic publishing industry of Asia and Latin America with literary luminaries of the US.

With the aim of discovering another world, the three-day festival titled “JLF@Boulder” will be held Sep 18-20 and this brand extension would bring together Indian-American authors, Asian authors and Latin American authors to explore fluidity of language in a literary landscape. Continue reading


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Tata Literature Live Festival: Not just for bookworms

Award-winning writers, poets and erudite panel members are synonymous with literary festivals. But there’s more to the Tata Literature Live Festival, which starts later this week. Marisha Karwa lists the events you should watch out for: dna

Just like there’s no standard ingredient for an epic piece of literature, there is no easy script for a great literary festival either. But with its intrepid baby steps, Mumbai’s very own literary event, the Tata Literature Live Festival, now in its fifth year, comes close. Continue reading