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Anupriya Bedi Jan 08 2014

Which are the best Literature Festivals held around the world?

Benazir Khan Jan 08 2014
1 person found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Words - throw them in or take them away, you always seem to be sculpting a reality with them, even if it is one that exists in the world of fiction. Some of the best Literature Festivals held around the world bring to you some of the most solid stories, in a tell tale fashion or in a manner of a mapped out roadway. However you stop, pause, spill the beans or puncture the sentence midway with silence, our world alters for that time capsule when one is warped around that treasury called a book.

Extending or altering our visions, through a journey of the mind, one is driven to ecstasy or simply develops a lump in their throat, head and heart, all with the karaoke of the written word. Thus, giving us a taste of relative experiences by someone else, going through the same emotional graph or simply exposing us to alternate unthinkable realities which are at stark contrast with our own world, a book is literature and beyond.

North America

AWP Conference and Bookfair


The Association of Writers and Writing Programs is perhaps the largest lit-fest in all of America, holding a conference every year in a circuit of different cities in the USA. The event shall see a much celebrated author - Annie Proulx, presenting as a keynote speaker. A Pulitzer Prize winning author, she is much revered for her story, “Brokeback Mountain,” now a major feature film.

Several renowned authors who will be presenting - include contemporary names like Chang Rae Lee and Timothy Egan. However what takes the cake away, is the part when authors seated on the dias talk about their own stories, what led them to writing and where the resilience for the same came on matters of thought. Most of the times they talk with each other and the audience is open to a reaction at large.


A photo of a litfest (by Kim Traynor)

When: February 26, 2014
Where: Seattle, USA

Women Writers Conference

Their logo reads a phenomenal caption - ‘Women mentoring women since 1979.’ The conference is the largest of its kind in Kentucky, and attracts a lot of footfall, despite its focal address being largely regional. The inspirations that have led to the authors taking up to sharing their stories is richly rooted to Kentucky as a geography and a complete cultural microcosm and how it has affected or shaped the lives and visions of the women writers herein. The works of Bonnie Jo Campbell come to mind.

A paradise for literary sisterhood, relativity, identification of being a woman writer with oneself and the world around are issues which see a lot of active, vocal and sometimes hysterical discussion. Help with a personal situation as a free thinking writer and more importantly as a woman, is also that comes by with oodles of warmth at a level of a diaspora.


A photo of a collection of books (by LabLit)

When: September 12-13, 2014
Where: Lexington, Kentucky, USA

South America

Hay Festival


The festival sees a lot of collaborative measures at understanding perspective - standpoints of the West and the East.These in a nutshell have several inspired stories of fusion especially for a culturally amalgamated place like Colombia. These tell highly about the human spirit, as they bring together different contextual elements and confront them from the sightings of various works by the authors participating. The idea is to fade these demarcated cultural boundaries and see where the blurs land us.

Even if it is a zone of confusion, the zone is as much one of liberation. Fostering understanding at so many levels is a task that is undertaken quite merrily though - one which encourages as much enjoyment, as it fosters deep thinking. Gael Garcia Bernal, Juan Campanella, John Boyne, Irvine Welsh, among others, will talk about the same.


A photo of a literary discussion (by Megan Hoover)

When: 30 January - 2 February, 2014
Where: Cartagena, Colombia, South America

Trujillo Book Festival

An International Literary Festival is held in Trujillo, a town in Peru. It sees a footfall of people interested in understanding the Peruvian inclination towards art and literature - its typicalities, influences and inspirations, together with the place inspiring one to visit some famous places here. Some renowned participants include Peruvian authors - Arturo Corcuera, Jorge Díaz Herrera, among others.

Readings of compilations, paper presentations reflect issues of identity, the classic versus the contemporary, stereotypes about South America’s myriad ethnicities, etc and are issues that one gets a whiff of. Book presentations, readings of verse and poetry alike, together with a relook at literature for children are some other important topics of discussion.


A photo of reading deckchairs (by Jim Barton)

When: March 2014
Where: Trujillo, Peru, South America

Middle East

Emirates Airline Festival of Literature


Pankaj Mishra, Melanie Chappuis, Saniyasnain Khan and the likes would grace the occasion which sees a heavy influx of an intellectual thought-process binding the general reception of books of all kinds. It would be a good idea to plan your trip soon as this is one of the best Literature Festivals held around the world.

The reception of all kinds of works from all over the world is met by a deep introspection into the cultural influences of the author in question - their experiences, quirks, likes and dislikes about their local culture which bind the very fabric of the writing reflected in all sorts of works in question. Reading groups and an applause to celebrate the marvel on sightings of little pieces of text leave a lasting imprint on the memory, long before you forget the real drift of the issue at hand!


A photo of a range of books (by Abhi Sharma)

When: 4-8 March, 2014
Where: Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai, UAE

Scandinavia


Found and owned by The Swedish Writers’ Union, in Stockholm, this is an exceptional platform to revise the ideals and ideas behind reading in general. Authors who participate in this phenomenal platform, agree heartily with celebrated writer Philip Pullman, who believes, “the act of reading is a very good example of pure democracy in action.” Ideals on the pedestal which are constantly celebrated and are emphasised on in terms of practices are - safeguard freedom of expression in its broader sense, to increase literacy, and to safeguard the author’s rights.

Literature aims to single on a single uncomparable commodity - the pursuit of truth and the pursuit of truth in its myriad forms. This complexity of the simple notion of truth also forms the crux of the meet, which empowers as it complicates.


A photo of a collection of books (by Angelo Amboldi)

When: Around September, 2014
Where: Stockholm, Sweden

Asia Pacific

Jaipur Literature Festival


Asia’s largest literature festival, this fest is attended by people fro all over. Delhi airport sees a swarm of tourists and the New Delhi to Jaipur taxis are at their busiest. it is also touted as the grandest - owing to the scale and the excessive footfall of cinestars, celebrities in the writing and publishing world and in the movies. Directed by writers Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple, who shape the festival to have a interspersion of several mediums with the written word, this is one to be reckoned with to understand literature in all its forms. Moving away from just books, in the interim, do take some time out to experience the local cuisine, among some famous places to eat here.

The litfest strives to understand literature embedded in lyrics, ghazals, folk anthems, to name a few mediums. Authors that see a lot of popular fan following for their work and need no introduction - Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie, Kiran Desai, Arundhati Roy, Orhan Pamuk, to name a few have have a one-to-one with a crowd waiting to discuss accounts of their book. The teeming rush of book signing that follows is a personal battle with the rising levels of excitement within oneself. You can also take the New Delhi to Jaipur train if your timing matches withe train's after having a look at the trains list.


A photo of a literary talk (by Kartikdhar)

When: 17-21 January, 2014
Where: Diggi House, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Auckland Writers’ and Readers Festival

Politics, Economics, Science, Marketing, all mingled into one huge potboiler together with some special and out-of-the-box events mark this exhaustive parade of literary talks. While in Auckland, also indulge in other outdoor activities to make the best of your trip. The intertwining of all of these topics together are a major marker of the thinking pulse for many pressing events of our contemporary life - ‘Pressing pharmaceutical businesses versus responsible curative medicine,’ ‘Is the rule of the West over?’ - which are a few definite topics of discussion.

A writing workshop by Stephanie Johnson, an hour with Anita Desai, the dissection of the craft that is the short story by Wayne Macauley, are some splendid toppings to the tray of literary savouries being served here. Delights like these are undoubtedly going to add to the momentum of an experience in a state of absolute stupefaction and pure joy. New Delhi to Auckland flights are available for booking with normally a layover at Hong Kong before reaching your destination.


A photo of a book reading session (by Joe Mabel)

When: 14-18 May, 2014
Where: Aotea Centre, The Edge, Auckland, Australia

European Union

Linton Children's Book Festival


Alit fest which is centred towards children’s literature and its subsequent consumption of it by children of varying age groups is what the book fest is aimed at. For your stay options, once you are in Cambridge - you could choose between mid-budget to some luxury options. Literary events here include community events like gardening, photography and fostering an understanding of literature through all these activities. A visual imprint of all these activities are equated with the wholesome idea of participative literature - one that solidifies the idea that you are creating literature every waking second, with whatever you are doing.

A special lit fest of its own kind, it comes with a promise in the wake that every child will find their direction magnetically towards telling their own story by word of mouth or simply spilling it through the written word. Verse and possible participative poetry readings of Tony Mitten’s - Come into this poem, simply add to the experience of awakening the child within, with clear eyes to absorb a whole new world.


A photo of a reading session in progress (by United States Navy)

When: 10-11 May, 2014
Where: Linton Village College, Cambridge, UK

Oxford Literary Festival

The affair here is a mass gathering of understanding the realm of literature, its expansions, contractions, the limitations and liberating forces that come with it. Just before you plan your trip, do figure out some of the best times to visit Oxford. The social, economic, cultural, historical, fictional and autobiographical - all collide with each other. Genres of literature are sought out to with an open heart and the boundaries between them are often blurred out with an open mind.

All that one needs while warming themselves to what’s on board here is an emphatic reception to the same, although one is often delighted even with the enlightening disagreements on board. Mary Midgley, Sebastian Barry, Shami Chakrabarti, are among a few contemporaries that will be present.


A panel of writers (by Cory Doctorow)

When: 22-30 March, 2014
Where: Christ Church, Oxford, UK

Bath Literature Festival


An engagement with the truth and its counterparts, is an experiment that takes place in quite the unabashed fashion here, right here in England. Its significance is only heightened when one gets a sense of the scale in which passionate thinkers from all walks of life immerse themselves in a discussion of a scaling height and importance.



A photo of a literary chat (by British Council Ukraine)


Whether one is speaking merely on an experience based emotional plane or is coming from a place where the emotion has triggered a mental mindset, outlook or perception, the debates are more a struggle with oneself than the differing points of view floating around. Viv Groskop of the Sky News, Front Row, Esquire, Daily Express and The Telegraph fame will be creatively directing the festival and its array of offerings.


When: 28 February - 9 March, 2014
Where: Bath, Somerset, South West England


To book or not to book? Well, that’s a forlorn question, but definitely carry the book. Reason - some of the best Literature Festivals held around the world. The strumming of your grey cells however, to the tune of an emboldened vocal reaction will be the melody to live by for a long long time to come. Think of that! Agreeably as Stephen King once rightly put it, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

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