#Word: The Cooler Lumpur Festival, is a multi-arts festival that takes place 21 – 23 June at venues around Publika. Celebrating words in all forms, the festival packs a vast array of activities into the weekend, ranging from panel discussions to performances, readings and more.
With so much going on, it’s hard to know where to start. So we’ve picked out the best events for you – depending on whether you like your festivals loud, serious or arty. Choose your flavour, and then dive into the fun…
Got a novel hidden in your desk drawer? These workshops will help to get you inspired as published writers talk you through their personal tips.
Writing Workshop with Rishi Reddi
Sunday 23 June, 1.30pm-3.30pm, Interpr8 Gallery
RM25 / RM30
This workshop will address the two basic building blocks of any good story: plot and character. Rishi Reddi is an American author whose book Karma and Other Stories won the 2008 PEN New England / L.L. Winship prize for fiction.
Creative Writing with Benjamin Markovits
Sunday 23 June, 11.30am-12.30pm, Interpr8 Gallery
RM25 / RM30
Benjamin Markovits, recently named one of the best British young novelists of the decade by Granta, leads this workshop on how to get to the heart of your novel and why you are writing it.
For art lovers
Art in Search of Words
Throughout the festival, Interpr8 Gallery & White Box
This innovative art exhibition curated by Interpr8 sees artists communicate with their viewers through the medium of words, using writing devices that accompany the artworks. Confirmed artists include Shahril Nizam, Sharon Chin and Haslin Ismail. There will be an opening on Saturday 22 June at 8.20pm where you can meet the artists and curators.
EWWC Panel: A National Literature
Saturday 22 June, 3.30pm-4.30pm, Black Box
At one of the official panels of the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference, join A Samad Said, Suzanne Joinson (UK), Alfian Sa’at (Singapore) and Bernice Chauly as they discuss the place of literature in a globalised world.
Reading and the Brain
Sunday 23 June, 11am-12pm, The Bee
Is there a difference between those who prefer fiction to non-fiction? Reading for pleasure to reading for information? Find out at this talk with Nicola Morgan, who explains what happens in the brain when we read – and when we don’t.
For film buffs
Keynote by Dain Said
Friday 21 June, 8.30pm-9.30pm, Black Box
RM25 / 30
The director of Bunohan, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, gives a keynote address on Malaysian cinema.
Saturday 22 June, 5pm-7pm, Black Box
Local film collective Filemmakers Anonymous will screen a variety of Malaysian short films by emerging filmmakers.
For rebels with a cause
EWWC Panel: Censorship Today
Sunday 23 June, 2pm-3pm, Black Box
What impact does censorship have on writing in Malaysia and around the world? Join Marina Mahathir (Malaysia), Lourd de Veyra (Philippines), Nicola Morgan (UK), Dr. Ma Thida (Burma) for this panel discussion, moderated by Ezra Zaid.
Keynote by Dr Ma Thida
Sunday 23 June, 8.30pm-9.30pm, Black Box
RM25 / 30
Dr Ma Thida is a Burmese surgeon, human rights activise and writer. She was sentenced to prison for 20 years in Burma for her writings. She has published nine books in both Burmese and English. She will give a closing night keynote address on freedom and literature.
For thrill seekers
Bump in the Night
Saturday 22 June, midnight, Black Box
Shiver with scares at this ghost storytelling event, with stories told by Patrick Teoh and Jo Kukathas. There will be a few short films to set the mood at the start of the event.
Panel: Malaysian Noir: The Real and Unreal in Crime Fiction
Sunday 23 June, 4pm – 5pm, Paradiso Lounge
Noir writers Shamini Flint, Brian Gomez and Rozlan Mohd Noor talk about the rise of Asian noir in both fiction and film.
For book hoarders
Saturday 22 June, 11am – 3pm, White Box
Swap your unwanted titles for new ones, or donate them to a good cause, at this book swap organised by charitable enterprise Novels for All. You can also pick up second hand books for a bargain price.
Borders Festival Bookshop
Throughout the festival, MAP, between White Box and Black Box
If you’re hoping to bump into your favourite writer, you’d better have your books ready to be signed! Borders will be stocking books by featured festival writers throughout Saturday and Sunday.
For those who like it loud
Saturday 22 June, 5.30pm-7.30pm, Paradiso Lounge
RM25 / RM30
This poetry-art-technology blast sees gender, culture and language collide. Featuring female spoken word poets Elaine Foster, Khairani Barokka, Illya Sumanto and Abby Latif, the performance is followed by an informal Q&A on women in the arts.
Sunday 23 June, 5.30pm-7.30pm, Paradiso Lounge
See the best spoken word poets from Malaysia and the region perform with this line-up curated by Sheena Baharudin. Australian poet Omar Musa, previous winner of the Australian Poetry Slam, will perform and launch his new book, Parang.
For those who can’t decide
Readings at #Word
Saturday 22 June and Sunday 23 June, 3.30pm-6.30pm, The Bee
Hear local and international writers read from their work with an eclectic line-up at Readings, which runs on both Saturday and Sunday. Modelled on the monthly Readings at Seksan’s, this is the place to get your fill of literature, in bite-sized chunks. Jo Kukathas will headline Saturday’s Readings.
Children’s Tea Party
Saturday 22 June, 10.30am -12.30pm, The Bee
Kids can learn about language in a fun and yummy way at this storytelling session. The first 50 children will get a free cup of special Green Eggs and Ham ice cream (peppermint with chocolate fudge) by The Last Polka. There will be storytelling and live illustration with Magicbird books, supported by Borders.
Sunday 23 June, 11am-12pm, White Box
Celebrated Malaysian children’s illustrator Yusof Gajah will lead this interactive #Word Junior event, supported by Borders.
For those who are just there for the ice cream…
Choose from two limited edition festival flavours by The Last Polka: Green Eggs and Ham (peppermint with chocolate fudge) and Wonderland (butterscotch with black pepper and walnut brittle). Both flavours are available at The Bee, Publika, for the whole month of June.
You can also buy the flavours at a discount (RM15 for 2) at White Box on Saturday and Sunday.
Cover image by Kazimir Lee Iskander.
UPDATE: The Futura Party on Sunday 23 June has been cancelled and the line-up for the EWWC panels has been amended (16.06.2013).
UPDATE: Information on The Last Polka ice cream sales has been updated. (20.06.2013)