Well, it’s a wrap! The Seoul International Writers’ Festival has finished up for yet, another year.
Held both on and offline - from September 23rd ~ 30th September 2022, the festival saw a total of 35 writers partaking in the South Korean event, which included twelve foreign writers, who joined us from eight separate countries.
The eight-day festival, themed ‘Beyond Narrative’, explored the boundaries of language and genre with readers; opened up discussions between writers and critiques and offered readings to the audience members.
Pulitzer-winning poet – Forrest Gander delivered the opening, keynote speech. His book of poems titled - ‘Be With’ - published in 2019, gained him world-wide recognition as an international poet. Other leading writers, such as Kim Hye-Soon and Santiago Gamoa also participated in the event. Soon is well-respected in South Korea writer and was the first Asian woman to have ever won the Canadian, ‘Griffin Poetry Prize’. As part of the SIW Festival, she also recited some of her works at the Seoul Community Cultural Centre in Seogyo, on Saturday, September 24th.
Also taking part, was the well-known Columbian author, Gamboa - for his book, ‘Night Prayers’. Both Gamboa and Song also joined the virtual presentation at closing session of the event for literary discussion. Sun was responsible for translating his work into Korean for the general public to enjoy.
The festival saw many well-known writers come together. Hugo Award-winning, American author - Naomi Kritzer of ‘Cat Pictures Please’; New York Best-Seller, Indian novelist - Megha Majumdar for the title, ‘A Burning’; Shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize Argentinian author – Samantha Schweblin for her work entitled, ‘Fever Dream; and Wu Mingyi who was the first Taiwanese writer to have been longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize for work titled, ‘The Stolen Bicycle’.
It can be noted, Korean author – Kim Bo-Young who wrote, ‘I am Waiting for You’ was the first English translation of a Korean sci-fi novel, published by HarperCollins. Author of ‘The Plotters’ by Kim Un-Su, saw this book shortlisted for the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere in France; it is presently being made into a Korean Film. Cheon Seon-Ran – author of ‘A Thousand Blues’ also took part in the event. Her novel won Grand Prize, at the Korean Science Literature Award in 2019.
All-in-all, we saw and listened to some very interesting and knowledgeable authors present not only their works, but also an insight into their creative minds that penned these wonderful works.
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