Ranging from the US Presidential Elections to the refugee crisis in Europe to the Fukushima disaster, writers, poets and speakers will examine these contemporaneous subjects in their myriad ways.
More than 250 Singapore and international talents are set to converge at SWF2016. The multi-disciplinary line-up includes award-winning fiction writer Lionel Shriver (US); rapper and performance poet Omar Musa (Australia); Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry Vijay Seshadri (US); literary critic Marjorie Perloff (US); theatre critic Lyn Gardner (UK); crime-fiction writer A Yi (China), Booker Prize-nominated writer Tan Twan Eng (Malaysia); sci-fi legend Taiyo Fujii (Japan); Singapore’s pioneer poet Edwin Thumboo (Singapore) and critic-poet-comic artist Gwee Li Sui (Singapore).
Housed across the Civic district, this year’s Festival continues to be helmed by Festival Director Yeow Kai Chai. The 10-day Festival will showcase fictionists, poets, academics and thinkers, as well as unconventional literary artists like musician-poets, theatre thespians and YouTube personalities, the Panama Papers journalists and commentators on the US Presidential Elections.
Festival goers can look forward to a diverse range of panel discussions, workshops, lectures and performances that are broadly categorised under SWF Stage, SWF3 (SWF For Families), SWF Beyond, SWF Class as well as SWF POP, a series of pop-up literary events. These include collaborations with partners such as Unthinktank, The Select Centre, Esplanade, the Noise Singapore festival, BooksActually and the Organisation of Illustrators Council. The Country Focus this year is Japan, in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Singapore-Japan Diplomatic Relations (SJ50) and featuring writers, poets, musicians and translators.
The 10-day event is one of the few literary festivals in the world that is multi-lingual, celebrating works in Singapore’s official languages – English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil.