Bumper offering at Garden City Literary Festival

| September 4, 2011 | 0 Comments

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Organisers have unveiled the programme of events for this year’s Garden City Literary Festival (GCLF) taking place in Port Harcourt, Rivers State from September 12 to 17.

The week-long event by Rainbow Book Club and the Rivers State government has for theme ‘Literature and Politics’. It will feature directing, TV and radio workshops besides the usual writers’ workshops, interactive sessions with authors and book fair.

Literary icon Chinua Achebe will deliver the keynote address via satellite while Ghanaian writer Ama Atta Aiddo and African-American Civil Rights leader, Jesse Jackson, will be there in person.

Unlike previous editions, this year’s festival will feature a five-day directing workshop being organised in partnership with the British Council. Emmanuel Emmasealu and founder of Theatre at Terra, Wole Oguntokun, are among those who will facilitate the sessions. The training, which is open to persons not more than 35 years of age, will hold at Royal Banquet Hall of Hotel Presidential for the duration of the festival.

Former CNN ‘Inside Africa’ Correspondent, Femi Oke, will also facilitate a TV and radio masterclass during the festival. Oke’s session with interested participants will take place at Hotel Presidential on Friday, September 16 from 2pm to 4pm.

This year’s book fair, open to booksellers, bookshops, publishers, artists and gift shops, will also feature a photo exhibition. It will hold daily from 9am to 6pm at Atlantic Hall, Hotel Presidential.

The 2011 festival, with sub-themes like ‘Literature and the Niger Delta’ and ‘Women in Literature and Politics’, also has a strong drama component. Ola Rotimi’s ‘Man Talk Woman Talk’; Achebe’s ‘A Man of the People’ and Atta Aidoo’s ‘The Dilemma of a Ghost’ will be staged during the course of the event.

Similarly, a host of writers including Molara Ogundipe, Lisa Combrinck, Tade Ipadeola, Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, Eghosa Imasuen and Turkish poet Ilyas Tunc, who has been busy translating Nigerian poems, will participate in various activities of the festival.

Explaining the choice of theme, the organisers explained: “This year’s theme challenges our speakers and participants to wrestle with questions of the ways that literature and politics intersect. How are the works of African writers shaped by political developments, and how do the writers shape the national and continental conversations?”

Speaking during an interaction with journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, August 31, Koko Kalango, the founder of Rainbow Book Club, noted that “this year’s festival is a bumper edition”. She highlighted all the new content and promised participants to “expect more this year. We are offering more; the festival used to be four days previously but it’s a week this time. We are growing and enriching the festival with more content.”

Author of ‘From Caves of Rotten Teeth’, Igoni Barrett and previous participant at the festival, who was at the forum, described the GCLF as the premier literary festival in Nigeria. He noted that it is bigger than the annual Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) organised convention. “You will put the festival on your calendar if you are a book lover and interested in literature,” he said. The member of Jalaa Collective added that the festival is “an international event which brings a lot of local writers into the mix. It is a good place to mix.”

Author of ‘Yellow-Yellow’, Kaine Agary, echoed the same sentiment. According to her, the festival is a place where you get inspired and meet other writers. She disclosed that she met older writers she read growing up at the festival. “It exposes young people to their literary idols,” she said, adding that “The amount of focus being given to theatre and drama is good because literature comes alive on stage. It is great that these different areas of the arts are being married because they feed off each other.”

Culled from :Here

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