What can a hundred rupees (approximately 0.75 USD) get you? A bottle of water, a snack, some sweets, maybe a short bus ride to wherever and back? That’s not much really. A hundred rupees certainly won’t get you in through the door of any theatre or movie hall anywhere in the country either. But on Saturday April 25, a hundred rupees opened the doors to a literary festival. And it wasn’t just any literary festival but one that brought together local writers from all communities in Sri Lanka to one single venue for an entire day. Yes, a hundred rupees marked its value well that day.
Anyone interested in books and writing had a whole day to spend at a literary event with an added bonus of a sampling of kadala (chickpea) served in a typical gotta (paper cone) all for a hundred rupees.
The Western Province Aesthetic Resort in Colombo that played host to the event was in many ways an ideal location. Two well air-conditioned halls and one open hall, an open air space and a fairly large area for stalls – books and food and resting places, plus the greenery and water features provided a pleasing setting on a sultry Sri Lankan day.
The Annasi & Kadalagotu Lit Fest created a first in many ways. The thirteen events from a book launch, talks with writers, a documentary, publishers’ clinic and panel discussions were spread out across three halls. It was the first literature festival in the country that had such a low entrance fee, enabling everyone from all walks of life to participate in every activity with no extra charges. It was also the first time writers from all three languages of the country Sinhala, Tamil and English came together to talk about all things writing.
Adding to the local flavour were the street vendors who’d set up at the entrance selling hot hot kadala, boiled spicy manokka (cassava), annasi (pineapple), corn on the cob and veralu achcharu (pickle). Discussions flowed, ideas were exchanged, friends met, books bought and autographed, food consumed while the coffee ran out even before the start of the first session.
Kudos to the organisers for all the hard work.
(Images curtsey A&K Lit Fest)
Moving Worlds Volume 14 Number 2 Catastrophe and Environment will be launched during the two-day public conference Reframing Disaster that will be held from 28-29 November 2014 at Leeds.
Reframing Disaster is being held to mark the 30th anniversary of the Bhobal Gas Disaster in India, the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide and the 10th anniversary of the South Asian Tsunami.
The conference will “think through how these and other global disasters have been conceptualised and represented in art, literature, film and the media.”
For more details about the book including a table of contents and purchase information go here.
Turn to page 44 for my poem “Conversations in the Dark.”
Can you tell a story in 25 words? How do you fit in a beginning, middle and an end, describe characters, themes, set the scene, add dialogue in just 25 words?
The answer – Short & Sweet, Sri Lanka’s first ever anthology of hint fiction.
Short & Sweet includes over 160 little pieces of fiction written by over 90 Sri Lankan writers from all walks of life including some well known names such as Yasmine Gooneratne, Shyam Selvadurai and Ameena Hussein. It is curated by Sanjana Hattotuwa.
Short & Sweet was launched last evening in Colombo.
Happy to have one of my short, short, short stories published here.
For more information and orders go to http://www.pererahussein.com
Join us on September 15th on Facebook for the worldwide launch of Song of Sahel the Anthology of poetry fiction, music, art and photography. Featuring artists from around the world including the UK, US, Ireland, Spain, Sri Lanka, Germany, Canada, India and Australia, Song of Sahel hopes to raise awareness of the plight of the people living in the Sahel. Published by Plum Tree Books as a multi-media kindle and available on amazon, the proceeds of the sale will go to SOS Sahel an NGO working in the Sahel region of Africa.
Signup at http://www.facebook.com/events/455785594445002/
Listen to music composed specially for the event and hear live readings of some of the poems submitted. you could also listen to a special radio broadcast with Claudio Fiore and Niamh Clune. The event begins at 10am GMT and will continue around the clock until 10am the following day.
The radio event will be broadcast at 6pm GMT, 10am PDT, 12pm CDT and 1pm EDT.
I am proud to have one of my poems included in the anthology “Every Child Is Entitled to Innocence.” Published by Orangeberry Press the e-book will be launched on February 14th at 11. am. All proceeds will go to Child Helpline International.
Please visit the page and help this worthy cause.