From Suad Amiry
I am amazed at the bond and friendship created between all of us in such a short time. In addition to the genius in the organization of the poets and writers workshops and festival it must’ve been the spirits of the Temples and the shared dip in the Mediterranean that did it.
With love to all of you, Suad
(4 Sept 2012)
From Costanza Ferrini:
I think that the formula used during the Festival that allows us writers to present our work to each other coupled with a distinct public moment gives to the group a kind of intimity that is strenghtened every time one of us goes on the stage.
When one of us was reading it wasn’t the challenge of an individual, but a collective one. All the others were close, and we encou
raged each other. Every reading, in this way was supported by all and concerned us all, not only those who translated the poems and short stories and read them but all of us.
Given that we enjoy or suffer inside because of what is being told about our lives on stage, or when we eat together mixes our memories of moments that we live together, that we have shared. The writing is a very deep part of our own life and to share it with others persons is to share one of our most precious possessions. To translate each other means to surrended this part of ourselves to somebody else that conveys it in another language. This is a process that sometimes we cannot control. So this increases our faith in the other members of the group.
These formulas are transformed, enriched by the fantastic people that you all are and the wonderful group that we are together! I’m still thinking about what I’ve listened to during these wonderful days, and I’ld like to keep in contact with you, trying to improve my English, so that I can appreciate better what I read, so that I can comunicate better my thoughts (sometimes I doubt whether they are clear) and slowly I’m reading again, calmly, what you’ve written. It was fantastic to be with you. I feel me very lucky to have met you all, and shared such beautiful and even funny moments!
Costanza Ferrini 4 Sept 2012
From Maria Grech Ganado
I always enjoy the festival, but this year I enjoyed it even more than usual. Perhaps the full moon had something to do with it but the whole atmosphere was one of conviviality, genuine communication and simultaneous relaxation.
The three days each had a different characteristic which to someone like me who attends every evening, offered something new and varied and I think there was a genuine bond between the participants which became more marked as the festival progressed.
Keith Borg was very good as presenter and the idea of having the meal as Saturday lunch rather than after the festival was excellent.
As I’ve remarked on Facebook, although I was not a participant, I still managed to make new friends and those I didn’t have occasion to meet personally ‘gave’ enough of themselves onstage to establish a relationship.
As usual I was tempted sufficiently to buy books I look forward to reading. Prosit to all who were involved.
Author Selma Dabbagh reports from the Malta Mediterranean Festival of Literature 2012
In our group of poets and writers, I am in the minority as a monolingualist of the globally dominant tongue. Feelings and thoughts are expressed on stage in and out of English, Maltese, Arabic, Slovenian, Catalan, Italian, Spanish, Italian and Greek. The other participants have been intensely translating each other for days before I arrive and I come in new to read from my novel to a large sun-healthy crowd of multilingual strangers. ‘It might make one in love with death to think that one should be buried in so sweet a place,’ says the Shelley quote carved above a doorway as you enter into the graveyard venue where the Festival takes place. Adrian Grima the organizer tells me of Protestant visionaries who were excommunicated from their society and buried there. Many British dead here too, with their countys (Hampshire, Berkshire) of origin marked on their tombstones.
I can only describe the venue as spectacular: a sloping path, a spread of grass and then a tumble down to a creek of dark blue, light reflected water with yachts, a hill rising on the other side, a sky streaked orange and pink by the fall of day. What would one need to do now to be buried in such a place? Settle and gain nationality? Convert? To what? Protestantism? Catholicism? Would one need to have gained wealth as well? Or fame? Would one need to bribe? Bequeath an endowment to the entrance hall with the loos in it? A tall order to fall in love with death.
As with the best of Festivals, I come away loved up with the company of others, intrigued by a place I had no knowledge of and most of all, inspired.