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Five-day bonanza at Malta Book Festival

The Malta Book Festival will take place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta between November 9 and 13.

Visitors can expect to find numerous stands representing both local and foreign publishers, bookshops, distributors and NGOs. Many of these participants have prepared events with literary themes, including presentations of new publications and their authors, dramatic performances and discussions.

Maria Grech Ganado.Maria Grech Ganado.

The festival will also feature several events and activities of a cultural and educational nature which have been prepared for both adults and children by the National Book Council.

Among these, a conference on literature and totalitarianism will offer the adult public the chance to engage with four contemporary minds who are among this year’s special guests: Alek Popov, the renowned Bulgarian satirical writer, the British author and academic Patrick McGuinness, the Egyptian novelist Basma Abdel Aziz and the Egyptrian and French author Gilbert Sinoué.

For the second consecutive time there will be an event to honour last year’s winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, the poetess Maria Grech Ganado.

She is a bilingual poetess and has published four collections of poems in Maltese, the latest being Taħt il-Kpiepel t'Għajnejja (2014.)

Friday's evening events will be dedicated almost entirely to poetry and to this end the NBC will be organising a second event in collaboration with the Maltese Poets Association, where apart from selected readings, the winners of the Mgr Amante Buontempo Poetry Contest 2016 will be announced.

This year the festival will also feature a one-day conference on the theme of literacy and publication, entitled Books and Literacy: yesterday, today and tomorrow. It will zoom into the modern era to see how the extension of the term ‘literacy’ – to include digital, visual and cyber literacies – can coexist with what is now percieved as ‘traditional literacy.’

Saturday evening closes off with a highlight event, the short film premiere in Temi Zammit Hall at MCC. This year’s winner of the NBC PBS Short Film Contest is Ryan Gatt who will be adapting Walid Nabhan’s short story Il-Kompliċi.

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