George Town Literary Festival (GTLF) returns to its physical form after two years of digital presence. George Town Literary Festival’s theme for 2022, Taming the Wild sets to explore the complex relationship between Wilderness and Human Nature.
GTLF’s 12th edition will take place on 24 – 27 November 2022. The festival is funded by the State Government of Penang and is produced by Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) for the seventh (7th) consecutive year. This year, the festival has a line-up of 72 participants from 18 countries. The festival’s main site is along Gat Lebuh Cina, George Town.
GTLF2022 looks at the ways in which Wilderness has shaped the creative power of our human imagination. The festival also hopes to consider the dark side of human nature — our inclination for violence, brute power, war, and the destruction of the natural world.
This edition will be directed by Pauline Fan and curated by Izzuddin Ramli, both respected figures among the Malaysian writers and translators’ community. The curatorial team is further expanded to include two new curators for the Tamil and Chinese panels.
These panels will be curated by M.Navin, a distinguished Malaysian Tamil writer and Dr. Florence Kuek of Universiti Malaya, whose research foci include Chinese literature as well as literary criticism, respectively.
Notable Malaysian guests for this edition include Malaysian National Laureate, Zurinah Hassan, the winner of the Epigram Books Fiction Prize 2022, Karina Robles Bahrin, Fang Lu the first prize recipient of the Huazong Literary Award, and visual artist Syarifah Nadhirah.
Our regional and international headliners include Indonesian poet and critic, Nirwan Dewanto, 2022 International Booker Prize finalists Bora Chung and Anton Hur, eminent poet, essayist, and translator Pierre Joris, Algerian poet Habib Tengour, Ukrainian poet Andriy Lyubka, Myanmar poets ko ko thett and Nandar, Vietnamese-French novelist Thuan, Scottish writer Cal Flyn, and Indian writer and literary critic B.Jeyamohan.
This year’s programmes to include one-on-one conversations, panel discussions, readings, book launches, exhibitions, and workshops. GTLF further expands its arm by publishing Muara, an anthology featuring essays, lectures, short stories, poetry, and translations. Muara gathers established and emerging writers from Malaysia, the region, and the world. The book will be launched during GTLF2022 in November.
Prominent Japanese bookstore Kinokuniya returns as the festival’s official bookstore for the fourth consecutive year. As the official festival bookstore, Kinokuniya will be carrying titles by GTLF2022’s prestigious line-up of writers and speakers, depending on availability.
Kinokuniya’s pop-up store will be at UAB Building from 25 – 27 November. The festival is grateful for the continued support from the State Government of Penang, Embassy of France, Ministry of Culture, Taiwan, Taipei Economic Cultural Office in Malaysia (TECO), Thinkcity, Bangunan Wawasan, The Prestige Penang, and other cultural organisations and foreign embassies who identify with GTLF’s cause.
Programming partners for this year’s festival include the Canada High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian Institute for Debate and Public Speaking (MIDP), Freedom Film Festival Penang, and the British Council Malaysia. With the exception of writing workshops by festival writers, GTLF remains free for all members of the public.
Cover image and press release supplied by George Town Literary Festival.