Singapore Writers Festival (SWF), which celebrates its 22nd edition this year, is regarded as one of Asia’s premier literary events.
Founded in 1986 as Singapore Writers’ Week, it is one of the few literary festivals in the world which is multi-lingual, celebrating works in Singapore’s four official languages –English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil – as well as other languages. Over the years, SWF has become an exciting meeting point of writers and thinkers in a choice spread of lectures, panel discussions, workshops, masterclasses and performances in 10 days.
It has hosted literati the likes of Nobel Prize winner Gao Xingjian, Whitbread Book Awards First Novel winner Tash Aw, British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Nebula winner Neil Gaiman and Pulitzer Prize winners Michael Cunningham and Vijay Seshadri. This year, the Festival will be housed in the Empress Place district among historic buildings such as The Arts House, National Gallery Singapore and the Asian Civilisations Museum
Singapore Writers Festival 2019 – by the numbers. Can we count you in?
However you like your truth- well done, medium rare, or still bleeding- come listen to some of the best poets at the festival spill theirs.
In this conversation, New York Times bestselling author Min Jin Lee speaks about her novel, Pachinko, a sprawling historical saga that follows four generations of a Korean immigrant family in 20th century Japan. Expanding on questions of family and identity from her novel as well as her own experiences as an Asian-American, she will examine the intricacies of being a perceived outsider and the power of fiction in bridging cultures.
What could the traditional Dikir Barat form and contemporary hip hop have in common? In this 60-minutes performance, Tukang Karut performers from various Dikir Barat groups will be pitted against some of the best Malay rappers in a gelanggang or a free-style arena format to test their wit in traditional Malay quatrains .Come experience a spontaneous showdown of rhythmic poetry like never before.
What constitutes a story and who gets to tell it? In a world that is simultaneously globalised and fractured, how can one use language to reclaim conversations and identities? Man Booker Prize winner and festival headliner Marlon James, author of Black Leopard Red Wolf and A Brief History of Seven Killings, ruminates on the power of language and stories in considering diversity and representation.
Join leading cultural critic, professor, and self professed "bad feminist" Roxane Gay as she speaks to how pop culture has many lessons to teach us in unpacking and navigating our identities in a complex social and cultural climate.
However you like your truth — well done, medium rare, or still bleeding — come listen to some of the best poets at the festival spill theirs.
This session is made possible with the assistance of Spread the Word.
"Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true"? Natasha Kingsley, a young quantum physics student meets charming would-be medical student, Daniel Bae. Sparks fly between two strangers but will fate be enough to keep them together as Natasha’s family faces deportation? Based on the bestselling Young Adult novel of the same name, the film screening will be followed by a dialogue with the book’s author, Nicola Yoon.
At once personal and global, this lecture based off Kamal Al-Solaylee's seminal work unpacks a multitude of issues from growing anxieties around multiculturalism and cheap labour to colourism. Brown is the result of reporting conducted over two years in 10 countries on four continents from destinations as far apart as the United States, Sri Lanka, and the Phillipines. This resonant work challenges our assumptions about immigration and globalism and recounts the heartbreaking stories of the people caught in the middle.