Programme 2018

All pre-Festival and Festival events: July – August 2018

Wednesday, 25 July 2018, India and the Next Chapter in Publishing | With special guest, Neeta Gupta, Yatra Books and Festival co-Director Jaipur BookMark

Thursday, 26 July 2018, 5.00pm, Residenza San Vinċenz de Paul | Laqgħa ma’ Awtur. Philip Sciberras 

Thursday, 26 July 2018, 8.00pm, Maori Bar, Marsamxett, il-Belt Valletta 26 ta’ Lulju | Open Mic/Palk Ħieles: Guest writer: Maria Grech Ganado

Sunday, 19 August 2018, 8.00pm | Round table discussion: Losing my Space: The Nature of Literature 

Tuesday, 21 August 2018, 8.00pm, Dar l-Ewropa, Triq San Pawl, il-Belt Valletta | Round table discussion: Writing fragile | Literature and Mental Health

Wednesday, 22 August 2018, 8.00pm|Palk Ħieles / Open Mic

Thursday 23 August, 8.00pm | Festival First Night, Fort Manoel, Manoel Island, Gzira

Friday 24 August, 7.00pm | Meeting international publishers, a festival organiser, and an agent, Fort Manoel, Manoel Island, Gzira

Friday 24 August, 8.00pm | Festival Second Night, Fort Manoel, Manoel Island, Gzira

Saturday 25 August, 7.00pm | Pre-Festival event tba, Fort Manoel, Manoel Island, Gzira

Saturday 25 August, 8.00pm | Festival Third Night, Fort Manoel, Manoel Island, Gzira

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Teodor Reljić, photo by Virginia Monteforte

Sunday, 19 August 2018, 8.00pm, Palazzo de la Salle (MSA), Republic Street, Valletta

a round table discussion

Losing my Space | The Nature of Literature

With: Teodor Reljić, Roger West,


The Moon, how definite its orb! …

Distinct by one dim shade and yet undivided from the universal cloud

In which it towers, finite in height.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Nature has always been the focus of literature, a source of renewal, spiritual, pure. The relation of authors with nature has changed because our landscapes and seascapes have changed, but nature remains a source of inspiration and concern, a concern transfixed by agony. How does the lack of natural environment and open spaces translate to literature? How do we write trees and fields when trees and fields are no longer? How do we write the colour of the changing sea? Our space and light are being stolen by buildings that reach for the sky. How does literature deal with this daylight robbery? How does it document our struggle for space?

Alda Merini


Spazio spazio, io voglio, tanto spazio

per dolcissima muovermi ferita:

voglio spazio per cantare crescere

errare e saltare il fosso

della divina sapienza.

Spazio datemi spazio

ch’io lanci un urlo inumano,

quell’urlo di silenzio negli anni

che ho toccato con mano.

(Vuoto d’amore, Giulio Einaudi Editore, Torino, 1991)

juana adcock
Juana Adcock (Mexico/UK)

Tuesday, 21 August 2018, 8.00pm, Dar l-Ewropa, St Paul’s Street, Valletta

a round table discussion

Writing fragile | Literature and Mental Health

With: Juana Adcock, Clare Azzopardi, Massimo Barilla, Jean-Rémi Gandon, Laia López Manrique

Moderator: Immanuel Mifsud

Can literature alleviate, explain and deploy the pain of living? To tell of an illness, and to hear it being told, has always served as an effective instrument of reshaping all the fragments which make it up, and which compose and structure our composite relationship with the world. A shattered world, and one that we now find ourselves strenuously trying to reassemble, word by word.

Scrivere fragile | Letteratura e salute mentale

Può la letteratura spiegare, dispiegare e alleviare il male di vivere? Narrare la malattia o trovarla narrata, è in effetti, da sempre, un efficace strumento di rimodellamento dei frammenti che la compongono e che strutturano il nostro composito rapporto con il mondo. Un mondo andato in frantumi e che strenuamente si cerca di ricomporre, parola dopo parola.

Neeta Gupta

Wednesday, 25 July 2018, a special event for publishers and cultural operators

India and the Next Chapter in Publishing

With: Neeta Gupta, Yatra Books and Festival co-Director Jaipur BookMark


yatra logoNeeta Gupta is the publisher at Yatra Books and a literary consultant with a special emphasis on translations. She is also the editor of Bharatiya Anuvad Parishad’s quarterly journal on translation, Anuvad. Yatra Books and Bharatiya Anuvad Parishad share strategic strengths and draw synergy and creativity from their complementary activities. She has been working towards creating publishing connectivities across different languages and cultures, a mission she also carries forward as the Festival co-Director of Jaipur BookMark.

Yatra Books have a published over 400 titles in English, Hindi, Marathi and Urdu, as well as key collaborations with international institutions like Sciences PO in Paris, for the translation of Christophe Jaffrelot’s India Since 1950; Ramon Llull Institute, Barcelona, and TEDA (Turkish Culture Ministry) for a series of Catalan and Turkish translations into Hindi. Some of these titles have been co-published in collaboration with Penguin India, Dorling Kindersley, Cambridge University Press India Ltd. and Westland-Amazon. Being linked to a bigger publishing house has given Yatra the advantages of working on a larger scale; while retaining an autonomous identity, has allowed for an independent voice.

Anne-Lise Dyck-Daure

Friday 24 August, 7.00pm | Meeting international publishers, a festival organiser, and an agent, Fort Manoel, Manoel Island, Gzira

With Anne-Lise Dyck-Daure and Mohamed El-Baaly

Après des études de langues et de philosophie, Anne-Lise Dyck-Daure a travaillé plusieurs années dans les échanges de droits de traduction : depuis le bureau de scouting littéraire franco-allemand de Hella Faust, elle a contribué à installer plusieurs auteurs français dans des catalogues d’éditeurs européens, une activité qu’elle a poursuivie aux éditions du Seuil à Paris, en proposant des écrivains de fiction et de non fiction à des maisons du monde entier. Au sein de l’agence internationale Andrew Nurnberg à Londres, elle a participé au développement du département français.

Aujourd’hui, à Cognac dans le Sud-Ouest de la France, elle assure la programmation et l’administration du LEC festival pour Littératures Européennes Cognac (31ème édition en 2018), un lieu de rencontres pour les écrivains de toute l’Europe. Elle organise également la résidence d’écriture Jean Monnet, ouverte à la jeune création littéraire européenne.


The LEC Festival, organized by Littératures Européennes Cognac, promotes reading and European contemporary literature. Each year in November, it is dedicated to a specific European area. 2017 was devoted to the Mediterranean Islands. The forthcoming edition heads North, for the Baltic Sea. Around 60 European writers, translators, journalists, publishers and artists gather during four days for literary meetings and readings, European debates, movies, concerts, performances, workshops and activities for children.

Apart from the festival, several cultural actions mobilize all over the year publics from schools and libraries in Nouvelle-Aquitaine (the biggest French « région », capital is Bordeaux).

Besides, each autumn the « Jean-Monnet » writing residency welcomes a young European writer for 2 months.

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Mohamed El-Baaly

Mohamed ElBaaly (Cairo, 1976) is a publisher, writer and cultural activist. He graduated from Cairo University with a Bachelor in Arabic language and literature in 1998. He has worked as a journalist for more than 12 years in Cairo, Dubai and Abu Dhabi and continues to write articles and short stories in printed and online Arabic newspapers and literary magazines. He published his first short story in 1994 and plans to publish his first novel in 2018. Mohamed El-Baaly was involved in the Arab Spring since the beginning and committed to the movement of change in the region.

In 2009, Mohamed El-Baaly co-founded Sefsafa Publishing House. Since then Sefsafa has published more than 190 titles and proved to be one of the most active small publishing houses in Egypt. El-Baaly has participated in international book fairs and international programs like Frankfurt Book Fair Invitation Programme 2012, 2014, Young Publishers Visit Program to Germany 2012, Non-Fiction Publishers Professional Trip to Paris 2013, Sharjah Book Fair Professional Program 2014 and 2017, and Cultural Entrepreneurship Course in Cape Town 2015.

In 2014, Sefsafa started a comics festival in Egypt under the brand “Egypt Comix Week”, and has organized three editions. In February 2015 Sefsafa Culture & Publishing started teh annual Cairo Literature Festival. Mohamed El-Baaly played a major role in establishing the festival and he is the festival director. Writers from 13 counties participated in the first edition of the festival including Nobel Prize Winner Orhan Pamuk. In 2018 the festival had participants from 15 countries including Canada, Germany and the US. Besides, Mohamed El-Baaly has been a member in the jury of the short story competitions for young writers organized by Goethe Institute in Cairo in cooperation with LIPTROM and KFW in 2014, 2015 and 2018.

Mohamed is married to the Egyptian researcher Hend Magdi. They both live and work in Cairo, Egypt.