A. Samad Said is one of Malaysia’s most prominent public intellectuals. His first job was at Singapore General Hospital but after six months he moved to Kuala Lumpur to work for the newspaper Fikiran Rakyat. He then joined Berita Harian, a national daily and became its editor. He is renowned for his poetry, novels, short stories, essays and plays. His major works include Salina (1961), Hujan Pagi (1987), Warkah Eropah (1991), Cinta Fansuri (1994), Al-Amin (1999), Lantai T. Pinkie (1996) and 68 Soneta Pohon Ginkgo (2008). He received the SEA Write Award (1979) and in 1986 was accorded the Anugerah Sasterawan Negara (National Literary Award), Malaysia’s leading literary honour.
A. Samad Said is supported by Penang Institute.
Al-Mustaqeem M. Radhi is a Kuala Lumpur-based translator, writer and editor. As a translator into Malay, he has published some 30 books, including George Orwell’s Animal Farm (as Politik Kandang, 2014) and Ibn Rusyd’s (Averroes) Decisive Treatise and Epistle Dedicatory (as Makalah Penentu Hubungan antara Syariah dan Falsafah, 2006). He is currently translating T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and Nikola Madzirov’s Remnants of Another Age. He is also the chief editor at IBDE Ilham, a publishing house based in Selangor, Malaysia.
Al-Mustaqeem M. Radhi is supported by Penang Institute.
Arshia Sattar is an author, translator and facilitator who works with epics and the storytelling traditions of the Indian subcontinent. Her bestselling translation of Valmiki’s The Ramayana (1996) from Sanskrit texts has remained continuously in print for more than 20 years. Her essays on the Ramayana as a tragic love story, Lost Loves: Exploring Rama’s Anguish (2011) was shortlisted for the Crossword Book Award (2011). Her most recent publications are Ramayana for Children (2016) and Uttara: The Book of Answers (2016), a translation and commentary on the last book of the Valmiki’s Ramayana. She teaches classical Indian literature at various institutions in India and abroad, and writes about books for a number of magazines and journals.
Arshia Sattar is supported by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
Azhar Ibrahim is a researcher, writer and translator. His research interests include the comparative sociology of religion, the sociology of literature, critical literacy and Malay-Indonesian intellectual development. His major publications include Contemporary Islamic Discourse in the Malay-Indonesian World: Critical Perspectives (2014), Narrating Presence: Awakening from Cultural Amnesia (2014) and Menyanggah Belenggu Kerancuan Fikiran Masakini (2016). He is a lecturer in the Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore.
Azhar Ibrahim is supported by Gerakbudaya Bookshop.
Azizah Zakaria is an educator, arts manager, translator and publisher, with more than a decade’s experience in producing for the stage and television. She was the translator for the National Library Board’s Aksara: The Passage of Malay Scripts (2007), on the history and development of the Malay language. At the same time, she created a micro-publishing imprint responsible for, among others, Rafaat Haji Hamzah’s Yang Bilang (2007), Nadiputra’s Lorong Buang Kok: The Musical (2012), Mohamed Latiff Mohamed’s Kota Airmata (2013), Suratman’s Suratman (2014) and Aidli Mosbit’s Chantek (2016). She teaches at the School of Technology for the Arts, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore.
Azizah Zakaria is supported by Gerakbudaya Bookshop.
Caroline de Gruyter is an author and journalist based in Oslo, Norway. She is a European affairs correspondent and columnist for the leading Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. She lived and worked in Brussels for seven years, covering the euro crisis and European politics. She was awarded the prestigious Anne Vondeling Prize (2013) for political reporting and her weekly column ‘In Europe’ won the Heldring Prize (2015) for best columnist. Her most recent book is Zwitserlevens: De nieuwe politieke realiteit in Europa (2015), a personal account of the clash between globalisation and democracy in a Swiss village.
Caroline de Gruyter is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Malaysia.
Chiew Ruoh Peng is a Malaysian poet and columnist for Chinese-language newspapers. He has published three volumes of poetry 相思扑满 (Lovesick, 1999), 速读 (Speedread, 2008) and香草 (Vanilla, 2013), a collection of prose writing 突然 我是船长 (Captain, Suddenly, 2014) and a book on entrepreneurship. He has performed his work nationally and organises the Dong Di Yin poetry performance, which tours the country. He has served as a judge for poetry reading contests in schools and conducts lectures in creative writing. He is a winner of the Hua Zong Literature Award and Hai-O Literature Award, and is the executive director and founder of The Name Technology and chairman of Mentor Publishing.
Chris Keulemans is a writer, journalist and cultural activist based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In the 1990s he was curator and director of De Balie, a centre for culture and politics; and from 2006 to 2914 he was the founder and artistic director of Tolhuistuin, an arts centre, both located in Amsterdam. He has published novels, essays and plays, as well as numerous articles on art, social movements, migration, music, cinema and war – with a particular focus on art after crises.
Chris Keulemans is supported by the supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Malaysia.
Darryl Whetter is a writer, editor, critic and the inaugural director of the first taught creative writing MA in Southeast Asia at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore. His publications include a short-story collection, A Sharp Tooth in the Fur (2003), two novels, The Push & the Pull (2008) and Keeping Things Whole (2013), and a poetry collection Origins (2012), which is concerned with evolution, energy and extinction. His new collection of poems, Search Box Bed, is in press.
Darryl Whetter is supported by the LASALLE College of the Arts.
David Van Reybrouck is a journalist, writer of literary non-fiction, cultural historian, poet and playwright. He is the author of several acclaimed books. His first, De Plaag (The Plague), is a cross between a travelogue and a literary whodunnit set in post-apartheid South Africa. His book Congo: The Epic History of a People (2010/2014), based on hundreds of interviews and 10 research trips to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, won numerous awards including the AKO Literature Prize (2010), the Libris History Prize (2010) and the NDR Kultur Sachbuchpreis (2012). His most recent books include (as essayist) The First World War Now (2015), a reflection by 10 Magnum photographers on the impact of war; Against Elections: The Case for Democracy (2016); and (with Mohamed El Bachiri) Een jihad van liefde (A Jihad for Love, 2016), which will be published in English, French and German.
David Van Reybrouck is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in Malaysia.
Dina Zaman is a journalist, writer and founder of IMAN Research, whose aim is to examine the connections between society, religion and perception in order to strengthen community resilience. For many years she worked in the media, serving as an editor and columnist at Malaysiakini.com, the Malaysian Insider and the Malay Mail Online. Her book I Am Muslim (2007) brought together some of these essays in a study of Islamic religious life as it is lived by Muslims themselves. Her short-story collection, King of the Sea (2012) explores themes of love, grief, loss and longing. Her new collection of essays, Holy Men, Holy Women, is due later this year.
Dorothy Tse is a writer and assistant professor of creative writing at Hong Kong Baptist University. She has published three short-story collections in Chinese. Her short-story collection So Black (好黑) won the Hong Kong Biennial Award for Chinese Literature (2005) and A Dictionary of Two Cities (雙城辭典), co-authored with Hon Lai-chu, won the Hong Kong Book Prize (2013). Her first English-language short-story collection is Snow and Shadow (2014) – comprising both translations from the earlier collections and new work. She is also a co-founder of the Hong Kong literary magazine Fleurs des lettres.
Dorothy Tse is supported by the Hong Kong Baptist University.
Fahmi Mustaffa is a Penang-based writer whose fictional work addresses questions of ethics and philosophy, including topics that are deemed ‘sensitive’ in Malaysia. His debut novel, Laknat (2015), tackles the place of homosexuality within the dominant religious discourse. His second novel, Suatu Hari Nanti Manusia Akan Melupakan Tuhan (2016), set in a dystopian future, focuses on religio-ethical issues that confront human civilisation. His recently published novel Amsterdam (2017) offers a portrait of the city inhabited by those at its very margins.
Felicia Yap grew up in Kuala Lumpur. She has been a radioactive-cell biologist, a war historian, a university lecturer, a technology journalist, a theatre critic, a flea market trader and a catwalk model. She lives in London and is a graduate of the Faber Academy’s novel writing programme. Her debut thriller Yesterday (2017) is a futuristic murder mystery dealing with short-term memory loss. She has been selected as The Observer’s Rising Star for Fiction (2017).
Gerður Kristný, is a versatile and prolific Icelandic author. Over the past 25 years, she has written poems, novels, short stories, children’s books, stage plays and non-fictional works. She has received numerous awards for her work including the Icelandic Journalism Award for her biography Myndin af pabba: saga Thelmu (2005), a true story of child abuse, and the Icelandic Literary Award for the poem cycle Blóðhófnir (Bloodhoof, 2010), based on the myths from the Eddic poem Skírnimál. Her latest publication is the novel Hestvík (2016).
Gerður Kristný is supported by the Icelandic Literature Center.
Gündüz Vassaf originally trained as a psychologist and is the author of 14 critically acclaimed books of non-fiction, fiction, essays and poetry, weaving together philosophy, psychology, literature and anecdote. He is widely regarded as one of the most important critical voices in Turkey. His bestseller, Cehenneme Övgü (Prisoners of Ourselves, 1992/2012), examines the totalitarianism of everyday life and the quest for freedom. His most recent books are the epic poem A Cat in Istanbul (2014), Nazım (We Will See Good Days, 2015) and What Can I Do? (2016), all published in Turkish. He writes a weekly column for the newspaper Radikal.
Gwen Robinson is the chief editor of the Nikkei Asian Review. She was previously a senior editor and correspondent at the Financial Times, the North Asia correspondent for The Times (London) and an editor/writer at the Nikkei Weekly. In the 1980s, she covered Southeast Asia from Manila and Bangkok for US, Australian and British media organisations. She is a senior fellow at the Institute of Security and International Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, specialising in Myanmar and the Southeast Asian region.
Intan Paramaditha is an Indonesian author and a lecturer in media and film studies at Macquarie University, Australia. Reworking horror, myths and fairy tales, her fiction explores the relationship between gender and sexuality, culture and politics. She has published two collections of short stories: Sihir Perempuan (2005), shortlisted for the 2005 Khatulistiwa Literary Award, and Kumpulan Budak Setan (with Eka Kurniawan and Ugoran Prasad, 2010). She collaborated with Teater Garasi in the production of Goyang Penasaran, a play on sexuality and religious conservatism in Indonesia. Her short stories have been translated into English and German as Spinner of Darkness and Other Tales (2015).
Jahabar Sadiq has been in journalism since high school and never looked at another career. He honed his reporting skills at the New Straits Times, went on to the Business Times before settling at Reuters where he was first a correspondent and later its television producer. He reported from Afghanistan to East Timor, and elsewhere in between, before returning to Malaysia in 2010 where he ran the Malaysian Insider until its demise in March 2016. A year later he started a news portal called the Malaysian Insight. His new book, Kandaqstan, was named for all the good food that came out of Penang and other parts of Malaysia.
James Shea is the author of two books of poetry, Star in the Eye (2008), which was included in the Poetry Society of America’s New American Poets series, and The Lost Novel (2014). His poems have appeared in various literary journals and anthologies including Isn’t It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets (2004) and The New Census: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (2013). A former Fulbright Scholar in Hong Kong, he is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Humanities and Creative Writing, Hong Kong Baptist University.
James Shea is supported by the Hong Kong Baptist University.
Jelena Dinic migrated to Australia from Serbia in her teens and writes in both Serbian and English. Her work has been published in leading Australian journals and anthologies. Her chapbook Buttons on My Dress (2015) is a reflection on her journey from Serbia to the Adelaide Hills, where she now lives with her family. Her poem ‘The Silence of Siskins’ (2015) was selected and published in The Best Australian Poems 2016. She currently runs Friendly Street Poets Featured Poet Series and a poetry group at Thebarton Senior College where she works.
Jelena Dinic is supported by the SA Writers Centre.
Jérôme Bouchaud is a writer, literary translator and publisher. He has been living in Asia for the past 15 years and made Malaysia home 10 years ago. He founded and curates Lettres de Malaisie, a French-language webzine dedicated to literature from and about Malaysia. In 2015 he launched Editions Jentayu, a publishing venture focusing on pan-Asian literature and literary translation. Its main publication is the eponymous Jentayu review, a biannual literary journal dedicated to writings from Asia translated into French, with eight issues released so far. His latest book, Langkawi Style (with Howard Tan, 2015), is a tribute to Langkawi’s craftmakers and artists.
Jérôme Bouchaud is supported by Gerakbudaya Bookshop.
John H. McGlynn lives in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he co-founded and serves as director of publications for the Lontar Foundation, the only organisation in the world devoted to the promotion of Indonesia through the translation of literary texts. Through Lontar, he has ushered into print more than 200 books on Indonesian literature and culture. As the translator of several dozen publications himself, he has garnered much international praise for his work. John McGlynn is a contributing editor to several literary journals, including Manoa and Words Without Borders. He is also head of the literary and translation funding programmes of Indonesia’s National Book Committee.
Kelly Falconer is the founder of the Asia Literary Agency, representing Asian authors, experts on Asia and writers living in the Australia-Asia region. Previously she was an editor of fiction and non-fiction in London, working for a variety of publishers including Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Virgin Books and Granta magazine. In 2012 she was the editor of the Hong Kong-based Asia Literary Review. She has contributed to the Times Literary Supplement, the Financial Times and the Spectator.
Khalid Jaafar is a writer, literary translator and publisher. He was a reporter with the National Echo and the Business Times before becoming press secretary to Anwar Ibrahim. He then co-founded Parti Keadilan Rakyat, serving as a news editor for Berita Keadilan until 2001. In 2002, he became the publisher and news editor of Siasah, a monthly magazine on opinion and current affairs, and his articles were published in a book, Tumit Achilles (2003). He has facilitated the translation of major works of philosophy and non-fiction into Malay, and is currently the executive director of Institut Kajian Dasar. Since 2014 he has served as the head of strategy and research development in the Office of the Chief Minister of Selangor.
Kirsty Logan is the author of the short-story collection The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (2014), awarded the Polari First Book Prize and the Saboteur Award for Best Short Story Collection, and a novel The Gracekeepers (2015), which won the Lambda Literary Award. Her most recent book, A Portable Shelter (2016), is a collection of linked short stories inspired by Scottish folktales and was published in a limited edition with custom woodblock illustrations. Her next novel, The Gloaming, is out in May 2018. She is currently working on a collection of short horror stories, a television pilot script and a musical collaboration project.
Kosal Khiev is a poet, tattoo artist and survivor of the US prison system. Born in a Thai refugee camp, his family fled to the United States in 1981 to escape the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge war. While serving 14 years in prison he discovered spoken word poetry from a former Vietnam War veteran. Upon release in 2011, he was deported to Cambodia, where he used poetry to uplift his situation. He has been selected as the first artist-in-residence with Studio Revolt, a new media lab based in Phnom Penh, where he is collaborating on Spoken Kosal: Verses in Exile, a series of short films featuring his poetry.
Laksmi Pamuntjak is a bilingual Indonesian novelist, poet, essayist, journalist and food critic. Her bestselling first novel, Amba (The Question of Red, 2012/2016), won Germany’s LiBeraturpreis (2016) and was named in first place on the Weltempfänger list of the best works of fiction translated into German (2015). The novel was also shortlisted for the Khatulistiwa Literary Award (2012). Her latest book, There Are Tears in Things (2017), contains poems and prose texts, newly and previously published, collected over a period of 15 years. Her novel The Birdwoman’s Palate is due in 2018. She also writes on culture and politics for the Guardian and divides her time between Berlin and Jakarta.
Latiff Mohidin is a poet and visual artist. He has published seven volumes of poetry, including Kembara Malam (1974), Sungai Mekong (1972) and Pesisir Waktu (1981), as well as several art books. His corpus of poetical work earned him the SEA Write Award (1984) and many national awards. His poems been translated into English, Chinese, German, Italian, Danish and Tamil. As a painter, he has redefined Malaysian visual arts with series such as Langkawi (1979), Mindscape (1983), and Pago-Pago (1964). His artworks have been exhibited worldwide in over 30 solo exhibitions. He has translated Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck and Goethe’s Faust from German to Malay, and has produced Malay versions of world classics such as the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the poetry of Rumi, Lao Zi’s Tao Te Ching and Noh plays by Yukio Mishima.
Lee Yew Leong is an editor and translator, and the founder of Asymptote, a free portal of world literature which won the London Book Fair Award for International Literary Translation Initiative (2015). He advocated for greater inclusiveness in world literature via 76 weekly Translation Tuesday showcases he curated for the Guardian. His translations of contemporary Taiwanese literature include Fu-chen Lo’s From Taiwan to the World and Back (2015). He is a recipient of the James Assatly Memorial Prize for Fiction and served as one of the judges for PEN International’s New Voices Award (2016).
M Aan Mansyur works as a community librarian at Katakerja, a social and creative space in Makassar, and is the program curator for the Makassar International Writers Festival. The author of several volumes of poetry and prose work; a recent collection of his poetry, Tidak Ada New York Hari Ini (There Is No New York Today) became a national bestseller, selling more than 100,000 copies in less than six months.
Maung Day is a Burmese poet, visual artist, translator and development worker. He has published six books of poetry in Burmese and one in English. His poems have appeared in literary journals such as The Wolf, The Awl, Guernica, Shampoo, International Poetry Review and Bengal Lights. He has translated poetry by Adonis, Maram al-Massri, Tomas Transtromer, Ilya Kaminsky, Robert Kelly, Dennis Cooper and Kim Addonizio. He has also shown his artworks internationally. He now lives and works in Yangon, Burma.
Mei Fong is an award-winning investigative journalist and writer. She shared a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting (2007) as part of a team at the Wall Street Journal, while her stories on China’s migrant workers won a 2006 Human Rights Press Award from Amnesty International and the Hong Kong Correspondents Club. Her book, One Child (2016), on the history and consequences of China’s one-child policy, also weaves in details on her childhood growing up in Malaysia, including family ties in Penang. One Child was voted one of 2016’s top 10 non-fiction books by Zocalo, has won an award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and has been critically acclaimed around the world.
Minh Bui Jones is a serial publisher and editor of journals and magazines, and the founding editor of Mekong Review, a literary quarterly publishing fiction, non-fiction and poetry from mainland Southeast Asia. He also initiated the Mekong Translation, a new publishing venture to translate and publish literary classics from the Mekong region. He is the founding editor of The Diplomat, American Review and the Euro Daily, an online business and political news website. He was formerly a television producer at SBS-TV, reporter at the Sydney Morning Herald and news editor at Asia Times Online. He currently contributes to Knowledge@Wharton of the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania.
Minh Bui Jones is supported by Gerakbudaya Bookshop.
Muhammad Haji Salleh is a Malaysian poet, critic, translator, editor and professor of literature, who has published over 35 books in both Malay and English. He has published 14 books of poems, including Sajak-Sajak Pendatang (1973), Buku Perjalanan Si Tenggang II (1977), Travel Journals of Si Tenggang II (1979), Time and Its People (1978), Beyond the Archipelago (1995), Sebuah Unggun di Tepi Danau (1996), Aksara Usia (1996) and Rowing Down Two Rivers (1999). He has published a definitive translation of Hikayat Hang Tuah (2010). He has won many national prizes for his poetry and criticism/theory: the National Laureate of Malaysia (1991), the ASEAN Literary Award (1977), SEA Write Award (1997) and MASTERA (Southeast Asia Literary Council) Award (2001). He is now professor emeritus at the Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Muhammad Haji Salleh is supported by Penang Institute.
Nisha Ayub is a leading advocate for transgender rights in Malaysia. She is the project director of the Seed Foundation, the first trans-led non-governmental organisation in the country. She is also the co-founder of Justice for Sisters, which provides legal aid to transgender individuals and seeks to end persecution of LGBTI people. She has been advocating on behalf of transgender people community for the past eight years. She has been honoured as Hero of the Year at the Asia LGBT Milestone Awards (2015), Human Rights Watch’s Alison Des Forges Award for the Extraordinary Activism (2015) and the US Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award (2016).
Ooi Kee Beng is a sinologist and political biographer. He has published biographies of prominent politicians from Malaysia and Singapore, including Ismail Abdul Rahman, Goh Keng Swee, Lim Kit Siang and Yusof Ishak. He has also translated several ancient war manuals from classical Chinese into Swedish and English. These include the 'art of war' books Sunzi bingfa, Weiliaozi bingfa and Wuzi bingfa. The Swedish editions were the first ever from classical Chinese into Swedish. He is also the founder-editor of Penang Monthly, Penang Institute’s policy brief series ISSUES, and Singapore’s ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute’s ISEAS Perspective. He is the executive director of Penang Institute.
Paul McVeigh, who is based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, founded a theatre company, wrote and directed plays, and has also written comedy for stand-ups, writing shows and toured the comedy festival circuit. His short stories have been published in literary journals and anthologies, and been aired on BBC Radio. His first novel, The Good Son (2015), garnered many accolades, winning the McCrea Literary Award (2015) and the Polari Prize (2016). In translation as Un bon garçon, the novel is currently shortlisted for France’s Prix du Roman Cezam. He is a co-founder of the annual London Short Story Festival.
Paul McVeigh is supported by Culture Ireland.
Rahmat Haron wears many hats as an activist, poet, writer, visual and performance artist. He has published two books of poetry in Malay, Utopia Trauma (2006) and Yang Terbangsatkan (2017). His art deals with social interaction and compromise with regard to individual problems, conflicts, and the complex psychologies that come into play. Self-proclaimed as an ‘outsider artist’, his opinion pieces on social, cultural, political, human rights and environmental issues can be found at Malaysiakini.com, an independent news website.
Saidah Rastam is a composer who has written music for theatre, film, martial artists,
choral groups, orchestras and electronica. She was the music director for the launch of
the Petronas Twin Towers, as well as for the large-scale musical productions M! The
Opera, Spirits and Malam Terang Bulan. The publication of her book Rosalie and
Other Love Songs (2017) is part of a preservation project on Malayan music
recordings, manuscripts and oral history. She is a senior research fellow of Khazanah
Nasional and is currently researching the history of Malacca.
Saidah Rastam is supported by Gerakbudaya Bookshop.
Saw Teong Hin is an award-winning writer, producer and director, whose directorial debut, Puteri Gunung Ledang (2004), was the first Malaysian film selected by the Venice International Film Festival. His semi-autobiographical Penang Hokkien film, You Mean the World to Me (2017), shot by Christopher Doyle, enjoyed both critical and popular acclaim. For the theatre, he co-wrote the book for Puteri Gunung Ledang: The Musical (2006), for which he won a BOH Cameronian Arts Award. He has also directed Emily of Emerald Hill (2010) and Silat (2012), a martial arts dance drama. He was the creative director for both opening and closing ceremonies of the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.
Sonny Liew is a graphic artist/illustrator, who was born in Malaysia and is based in Singapore. His first published illustration work was the comic strip Frankie and Poo in The New Paper. His break in the US comic industry was with Vertigo Comics’ My Faith in Frankie. He has since been published by Flight Anthologies, Marvel Comics, First Second Books and DC Comics. He is the creator of Malinky Robot, recipient of an Xeric Award (2004) and winner of the Comic Album of the Year at Utopiales International SF Festival (2008). The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (2015) has been a global phenomenon, winning the Singapore Literature Prize (2016) and the Book of the Year at the Singapore Book Awards (2016), while the US edition scooped an unprecedented three Eisner Awards (2017): Best Writer/Artist, Best US Edition of International Material – Asia, and Best Publication Design.
Sonny Liew is supported by the Singapore Literature Prize.
Suchen Christine Lim is a writer whose work spans different genres: novels, short stories, children’s books, non-fiction and a play. She has published five acclaimed novels. Her second novel, Fistful of Colours (1990), won the inaugural Singapore Literature Prize and was chosen as one of 10 classic Singapore novels by the Sunday Times. Her latest novel The River’s Song (2014) was selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of 100 Best Books of 2015. Her other works include A Bit of Earth (2001) and the shoprt-story collection The Lies that Build a Marriage (2007), both shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize. She received the SEA Write Award (2012) in recognition of her body of work.
Suchen Christine Lim is supported by University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus.
Takako Arai is a poet known for her avant-garde, experimental style incorporating the use of dialect, radical juxtaposition of images and the use of sentence fragments. She has published three books of poems: Haō Bekki (The Emperor’s Unfortunate Lover, 1997), Tamashii dansu (Soul Dance, 2007) and Betto to shokki (Beds and Looms, 2013). Some of the poems in her second collection, which won the Oguma Hideo Prize, appear in English translation in Four from Japan: Contemporary Poetry and Essays by Women (2006) and Soul Dance: Poems of Takako Arai (2008). She is the editor of Mi’Te, a journal featuring poetry and criticism. She teaches Japanese and Japanese poetry at Saitama University.
Takako Arai is supported by the Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur.
Ulrike Draesner is a poet, novelist, short-story writer, translator and essayist. She has published five major poetry collections, five novels, two of which were nominated for the Deutschen Buchpreis, three collections of stories and two collections of essays. She also engages in cross-media projects with other artists, including sculpting, music and peforming arts. Her most recent novel, Sieben Sprünge vom Rand der Welt (Seven Springs, 2014) deals with the importance of family memory across four generations. She has translated the work of Louise Glück, Charles Simmons and Gertrude Stein, among others, into German. She has received numerous poetry readerships literary prizes, most recently the Nicolas-Born Prize for Literature (2016).
Ulrike Draesner is supported by Goethe-Institut.
Zen Cho is a short-story writer, novelist and editor. She is the author of the Crawford Award-winning short story collection Spirits Abroad (2014) and editor of the anthology Cyberpunk: Malaysia (2015). She has been nominated for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer and honour-listed for the Carl Brandon Society Awards for her short fiction. Her debut novel Sorcerer to the Crown (2016), about magic, intrigue and politics in Regency London, won a British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer and was a Locus Awards finalist for Best First Novel. She currently lives in London.
Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, better known as Zunar, is a political cartoonist who has been drawing editorial cartoons for the past 30 years. His work exposes corruption and abuse of power committed by the government of Malaysia through his art. His most recent books include Sapuman: Man of Steel (2015), Wasabi: Wa Sapu Billion (2016) and Twit Twit Cincin (2017). He was selected by Amnesty International as the Malaysian representative for their biggest annual international campaign, Write for Rights (#W4R) 2015. He was awarded the Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award (2011) by Cartoonists Right Network International, the Cartooning for Peace Award (2016) and the Human Rights Watch Hellman/Hammett Award (2011 and 2015).
Zunar is supported by Penang Institute.
Ann Lee is a playwright, writer, editor and researcher. Her work for the stage has been performed in Kuala Lumpur, Ubud, Sydney and New York, and is published in Sex, Stage & State: Kuali Works Plays (2011). She has published short stories in collections such as Body2Body: A Malaysian Queer Anthology (2009) and Malaysian Tales: Retold and Remixed (2011), and edited an anthology of fiction about Sabah, Chronicles of KK (2016). She is an Asia Leadership Fellow, awarded by the Japan Foundation and the International House of Japan for her work in the arts, media, and NGO sector, and is currently a doctoral candidate at the National University of Singapore.
Danton R. Remoto is writer, editor and scholar. He has published 12 books – of poems, essays and edited anthologies – the latest of which is Riverrun: A Novel (2015). His work has been published in Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Britain and the United States. He is working on a second novel as well as a collection of short stories. In 2015 he received the National Achievement Award in Poetry from the Writers’ Union of the Philippines. He is a professor of creative writing and literature at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus.
Eddin Khoo is a poet, writer, translator, journalist and teacher. He is the founder of Pusaka, one of the region’s leading cultural centres, and the publishing house Kala, which devotes itself to publishing literary translations from the world’s languages into Malay. He has worked intimately with Malaysia’s custodians of the traditional and ritual arts including shadow puppeteers, musicians, dramatists and dancers. In recognition of his work in culture, he was selected as one of the Asians of the Year 2006 by Channel NewsAsia, Singapore. He is the co-author of a study on traditional Malay woodcarving, The Spirit of Wood (2003), and has translated the Indonesian poet Goenawan Mohamad and the Malaysian poet Latiff Mohidin into English.
Gareth Richards is a writer, editor and bookseller. He is the founder-director of Impress Creative & Editorial, a small innovative company involved in diverse areas of the arts and book production, notably consultant editing and translation. In 2014 he founded Gerakbudaya Bookshop, Penang, the first independent bookshop in the Unesco world heritage site of George Town. He is the co-author/editor of Asia–Europe Interregionalism: Critical Perspectives (1999), and wrote the texts for two books of photography, Portraits of Penang: Little India (2011) and Panicrama (2016). Together with Aida Redza, he is working on a book about the multimedia dance production, Moved By Padi.
Jason Erik Lundberg is the author and anthologist of more than 20 books, including Red Dot Irreal (2013), The Alchemy of Happiness (2013), the six-book Bo Bo and Cha Cha children’s picture book series as well as Carol the Coral (2016). He is the editor of the biennial Best New Singaporean Short Stories anthology series. He serves as the fiction editor at Epigram Books, as well as the founding editor of LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction. His writing has been shortlisted for the SLF Fountain Award, Brenda L. Smart Award for Short Fiction, SCBWI Crystal Kite Member Choice Award and Popular Readers’ Choice Award. He has lived in Singapore since 2007.
Kam Raslan is a writer and radio broadcaster who originally worked in film, television and theatre. He has a long-running column for The Edge and Off the Edge magazines. He has published a novel Confessions of an Old Boy (2007) and his earlier writings were compiled in Generation: A Collection of Contemporary Malaysian Ideas (1997). He also writes for the Instant Cafe Theatre and co-hosts the ‘A Bit of Culture’ radio show on BFM 89.9.
Melizarani T. Selva is a spoken word poet, journalist and poetry educator. Her first collection, Taboo (2015), was a critical and commercial success. Her poems have been translated into French and Bahasa Malaysia, and has has performed her work internationally, notably in Britain, India and Indonesia. She is the founder of Kuala Lumpur’s monthly spoken word poetry open mic, ‘If Walls Could Talk’, and a bilingual poetry slam, ‘Slamokrasi’. She teaches performance poetry at international and national schools.
Michael Vatikiotis has worked as a writer and journalist in Southeast Asia for the past 30 years. After training as a journalist with the BBC in London, he moved to Southeast Asia and was a correspondent and then chief editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review. He has written three books on the politics of Southeast Asia, the latest of which is Blood and Silk: Power and Conflict in Modern Southeast Asia (2017). He currently works as a mediator in armed conflict as the Asia Regional Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and lives in Singapore.
Mohd Izzuddin Ramli is a researcher at Penang Institute. His research interests include culture, local politics, subaltern studies and literary production, particularly translation work. He writes social and political commentary on local news portals and for Penang Monthly. He has published essays in Letters to Home: Young Malaysians Write Back (2016), Lastik! Lontaran Batu-Batu Kerikil (2016) and Prisma: Koleksi Rencana Kontemporari, Suara Anak Muda, Seni dan Budaya (2015). He is working on a Malay-language translation of Anthony Milner’s The Malays.
Pauline Fan is a writer and literary translator, and the creative director of the cultural heritage organisation, Pusaka. Her translations from German to Malay include works by Bertolt Brecht, Immanuel Kant, G.E. Lessing and Franz Kafka. She is currently completing Malay translations of the poetry of Paul Celan and the letters of Rainer Maria Rilke. Her translations and essays have appeared in Inventory, Orientierungen, Zeitzug, Axon: Creative Explorations and Obscura: Merapat Renggang, among others. She is a contributor with to New Straits Times and a columnist with Esquire Malaysia and Malaysiakini.com. She is the Malaysia coordinator for Lyrikline, a Berlin-based international poetry network and archive.
Sharon Bakar is a writer, editor and teacher. Her articles, reviews and short fiction have appeared in a number of publications. She is a creative writing teacher and has run courses for Oxford University Press, Monash University and the British Council. She also organises Readings, the monthly event for local writers at Seksan Gallery in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Three collections of writing have emerged from this event, the most recent being Everything About Us (2016). She is also co-organiser and sponsor of the annual D.K. Dutt Award for Literary Excellence. She has lived in Malaysia since 1984.
Umapagan Ampikaipakan is a media moll. You can find him almost everywhere – from newsprint to the world wide web, from radio to television – where he contemplates everything from the idiosyncrasies of Malaysian politics to his unnatural obsession with the written word. Blessed with a critic’s pen and a reader’s enthusiasm, he is a leading literary voice. His long-running radio show, ‘Bookmark’ on BFM89.9, is Malaysia’s pre-eminent broadcast on all things relating to books. He also runs the Cooler Lumpur Festival, KL’s yearly gathering of literary minds and thought leaders and Southeast Asia’s first and only festival of ideas.
Yana Rizal is a cultural researcher, writer, poet and literary translator. She is the co-editor of Khoo Kay Kim’s I, KKK: The Autobiography of a Historian (2017) and is currently completing a translation of his essays. She is also the co-curator of the Kuala Lumpur Literary Festival and has led the Khabar dan Angin interfaith art project which culminated in an exhibition at Balai Seni Visual Negara. She is the co-editor of the bilingual literary journal, Naratif | Kisah; has translated works by the award-winning author, Faisal Tehrani, and is completing a translation of a collection of folk tales in classical Malay.
Faliq Auri Trio is a Malaysian Celtic fusion trio founded and led by Faliq Auri on uilleann pipes, whistles, soprano saxophone and flute. The trio includes Suriya Prakash on guitars and Abdul Karim Zafiruddin on percussion. Their music brings a blend of Malaysian/Nusantara flavours with gypsy rhythms and Celtic music.
Participating Workshop Leaders
Jo Parfitt is a journalist, writing teacher and mentor. She has authored over 30 books, and makes a living from her love of ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’. Her company, Summertime Publishing, helps new writers to plan, write and publish work based on their own life experiences.
Marco Ferrarese Marco Ferrarese is a travel writer, novelist and anthropologist. He has published more than 100 articles on Malaysia, Southeast Asia, India and overlanding from Asia to Europe for BBC Travel, CNN Travel, The Guardian, National Geographic Traveler, DK Eyewitness Travel, Air Asia Travel3Sixty, Nikkei Asian Review and more. He wrote the Malaysia and Brunei chapters for Rough Guide’s Southeast Asia on a Budget (2018) and is working on the new edition of Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei. His is the author of the novel Nazi Goreng (2013), Banana Punk Rawk Trails (2016) and a collection of his travel writing, The Travels of Marco Yolo (2017).
Pang Khee Teik is a creative artist working in a range of media and an activist on LGBT issues. He co-founded the sexuality rights festival, Seksualiti Merdeka, in Kuala Lumpur and moderates its online social media platforms. As an actor, he has performed in theatre and independent films. His photographs have been exhibited internationally. And as a writer, he co-edited Body 2 Body: A Malaysian Queer Anthology (with Jerome Kugan, 2009) and is an editor for Queer Southeast Asia: A Literary Journal of Transgressive Art. He was formerly the arts programme director of the Annexe Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, and for the last 10 years he has been the director of the art and activism bazaar, Art for Grabs.
Charis Loke is an illustrator and educator based in Penang, Malaysia. Trained as a scientist and schoolteacher, she now illustrates for clients like Gerakbudaya, Editions Jentayu and TEDxKL; her work has been shown in galleries in the United States, Britain, Nepal and Malaysia. She is interested in the relationships between word and image as well as how images are used to communicate, enhance and subvert narratives. She teaches art workshops for young people and teachers, and is a member of Arts-ED, a community arts and culture education non-profit organisation.
Participating Book Launch Authors
Faisal Tehrani is a novelist, poet, essayist and playwright. Among his most notable publications are Cinta Hari-hari Rusuhan (2000), Perempuan Politikus Melayu (2000) and the revisionist historical fiction 1515 (2002), which won a National Book Award. The novel Bagaimana Anyss Naik ke Langit (2014) was translated into English as How Anyss Went to Heaven (2016). His latest book Profesor is due this year and deals with human rights issues.
Jit Murad is a playwright, director and actor. A co-founder of the Instant Café Theatre Company, Malaysia, he helped establish its reputation for satire. As a co-director of Dramalab, he has also helped nurture Malaysian writing for the theatre. The newly published Jit Murad Plays (2017) brings together five of his most notable pieces for the theatre: Gold Rain and Hailstones, Visits, The Storyteller, Malam Konsert and Spilt Gravy on Rice. His film credits include Shuhaimi Baba’s Selubung (1993) and John Boorman’s Beyond Rangoon (1995).
K.S. Maniam is a short-story writer, novelist and dramatist. His is the author of three novels: The Return (1981), In a Far Country (1993) and Between Lives (2003). His short stories have appeared in local and international journals and anthologies, notably in Manoa (1999), Kunapipi (2000) and A Rainbow Feast: New Asian Short Stories (2011). He published three short-story collections Arriving and Other Stories (1995), Haunting the Tiger (1996) and The Loved Flaw (2001), and a collection of stories and plays, Sensuous Horizons (1994). He was the inaugural recipient of the Raja Rao Award (2000) for his outstanding contribution to the literature of the South Asian diaspora.
Lee Su Kim has published 11 books of fiction and non-fiction. Her debut collection of Peranakan life stories, Kebaya Tales: Of Matriarchs, Maidens, Mistresses and Matchmakers (2011) won the Popular-Star Readers’ Choice Awards for Fiction. She published another collection, Sarong Secrets: Of Love, Loss and Longing (2014). She was an associate professor of English language studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, where she lectured and published widely on language, culture and identity. She is the chief editor of Border Crossings: Moving between Languages and Cultural Frameworks (2007).
Malachi Edwin Vethamani is a poet, short-story writer, critic and scholar of contemporary literature. His stories have been published in Lakeview Journal (2017) and in ‘The Literary Page’, New Straits Times (1995, 1996); Coitus Interruptus and Other Stories (2017) is his first collection of short stories. He has published two volumes of poetry, Life Happens (2017) and Complicated Lives (2016), and edited an anthology of Malaysian poetry in English entitled Malchin Testament (2016). He has also published A Bibliography of Malaysian Literature in English (2015). He is a professor at the School of English, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus.
Regina Ibrahim is a holistic artist. A former schoolteacher, she started writing creatively at a relatively age. She has published seven books and appeared in many more anthologies. She is also a painter and is active on social media with a view to inspiring young people. While she began by writing about transgender issues, she now engages with other topics as an inspiration for her realist fiction. Her previous books include Perjalanan (2014), Cerpen (2015) and Delima (2016).
Shivaji Das is the author of three travel memoir and photography books: Sacred Love: Erotic Art in the Temples of Nepal (2013), Journeys with the Caterpillar (2013) and Angels by the Murky River (2017). He is the conceptualiser of the Migrant and Refugee Poetry competitions in Singapore and Malaysia. His work has been featured in Time, The Economist, Asian Geographic and the BBC.