Taken from The Star E-Paper [free registration], Wednesday 22 July 2004, Star 2, A literary festival for all by GOH EE KOON
THE overall number of book lovers in Malaysia is rather low, with few people having grappled, enjoyed and gotten hooked on serious literature. But if Silverfish Books proprietor Raman Krishnan has his wish, that can, and will be changed.
Raman, together with friends and associates Sharon Bakar and Lorna Tee, is organising the upcoming Citigroup International Literary Festival 2004, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur from July 29 to Aug 1.
From what I've gathered from the official website, this 4-day festival includes events such as readings [Dr Seuss!], meeting various writers [autograph sessions etc], and creative writing workshops [3 days, starting 29th July, registration required].
Also, a open mike session (31st July, 830-1030pm Mezzo Bar, Renaissance Hotel), young people's poetry workshop [29th july], drama workshops for teachers ;D [30th July], various conferences [registration required], children's theatre! [29th July, 4 -5 pm, Suria KLCC], cultural performances [30th July 1 - 2pm, KLCC], etc.
All very exciting and etceteras and whatevers, but only certain events are open to the public, others require registration and etceteras.
The Citigroup International Literary Festival 2004 was first conceptualised by Raman about a year ago, because he found that readership in Malaysia was just too low.
"Not enough people read, in any language. How can we be so literate, yet read so little?"
The festival, he hopes, will kickstart a widespread habit of reading and through it, more people will appreciate books.
The point in bringing in serious fiction writers is to let people know that literature is not a forbidding genre. By meeting writers, readers can learn that books are not just about entertainment and discovery.