Jun 17 2011
Preparations for this year’s Ubud Writers and Readers Festival are bearing excellent fruit with a raft of prominent international writers confirmed to be attending the October 5 to 9 event. The full programme is set to be announced in a few weeks, with discounted early bird tickets set to be available within that time frame as well.
Ready to get excited? Set to jet into the cool hills of Bali’s Ubud* are: Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones, The Almost Moon, Lucky), Glen David Gold (Sunnyside, Carter Beats the Devil), Alexander McCall Smith (Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, 44 Scotland Street series, Sunday Philosophy Club series — and more), Tim Flannery (Here on Earth, We are the Weather Makers, The Future Eaters), Paul Kelly (How to Make Gravy), Janice Lee (The Piano Teacher) and Junot Diaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao).
Melissa Delaney, programme director of the festival, ran me through these latest headline confirmations, noting as well that a range of interesting African poets who for different reasons have left their home countries and live in varied parts of the world will also becoming. “So there’s a bit of an African influence this year,” she said.
The festival theme is “cultivate the land within“, and it’s resonating with the writers, Melissa said.
“It’s really interesting how the writers are responding to the theme. It’s a universal theme, especially as many writers see that they’re working with a strong inner life,” she said. “A lot of the writers coming have expressed an interest in talking through the theme, especially the ones who are prominent and engaged politically, who see this as an opportunity as they value that concept of inner life — there can be a richness within that isn’t necessarily about materialistic things.”
The festival is shaping up to be a genuinely international affair, with writers confirmed to be coming from Palestine, India, Pakistan, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, Denmark, Indonesia, Russia, France, Germany, Malta, Cuba, Tunisia, Australia, New Zealand and Samoa.
“It’s really amazing to have people from so many different places come together to be in one place, to have an open forum and talk about different issues and ideas,” said Melissa.
Once you’ve got your tickets in hand over the next few weeks you’ll want to book accommodation fairly promptly. The festival works in partnership with a broad array of hotels and guesthouses in Ubud — these will be announced in conjunction with the festival programme, Melissa added, so stay tuned.
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