Please join us to this special literary event, a joint reading organised by Literature Across Frontiers and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, on Friday 8 November 2019, at the wonderful Kafnu Hong Kong. Visiting European writers will be joined by three Hong Kong-based Cha contributors to share their work and writing experiences, moderated by Alexandra Büchler and Tammy Lai-Ming Ho.
This is part of the Cha Reading Series:
LITERATURE ACROSS FRONTIERS & CHA:
A JOINT READING
❀ Date: Friday 8 November 2019
❀ Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
❀ Venue Sponsor: Kafnu Hong Kong (2F, Kerry Hotel, 38 Hung Luen Rd, Hung Hom)
❀ Moderators (bios below):
Alexandra Büchler (Wales / UK) and Tammy Lai-Ming Ho (Hong Kong)
❀ Speakers (bios below):
Selja Ahava (Finland), Harkaitz Cano (Basque Country / Spain), Inga Gaile (Latvia), Guo Ting (Hong Kong), Caryl Lewis (Wales / United Kingdom), Juta Pīrāga (Latvia), Kate Rogers (Hong Kong), and Chris Song (Hong Kong)
▍Selja Ahava (Finland)—Speaker
Selja Ahava (1974) is an fiction author and scriptwriter. Her debut novel, The Day the Whale Swam through London was awarded the Laila Hirvisaari Prize in 2010. Her second book, Taivaalta tippuvat asiat (Things that Fall from the Sky) explores the unexpected and inexplicable nature of reality. Winner of the European Union Prize for Literature in 2016, its translation rights have been sold to eighteen territories and the English version was published by Oneworld in April 2019 in translation by Emily and Fleur Jeremiah. Ahava’s autobiographical novel Ennen kuin mieheni katoaa (Before my Husband Disappears) came out in 2017. She is currently working on her fourth novel that examines metamorphoses, both in insect life and the lives of fictional characters.
▍Alexandra Büchler (Wales / UK)—Moderator
Alexandra Büchler is founding director of Literature Across Frontiers – European Platform for Literary Exchange, Translation and Policy Debate, an initiative based in Wales, UK, that has been creating literary links between Europe and Asia for a decade. She has lived in Greece, Australia and Britain since she left her native Prague, and has worked cultural manager and curator for over thirty years, served on the board of the advocacy network Culture Action Europe and of the UK Translators’ Association, and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Asia Pacific Writers & Translators network. A translator and editor of numerous books and publications, her latest translation into English is the Czech modern classic, The House of a Thousand Floors by Jan Weiss (2016). She co-edited Zero Hours on the Boulevard: Tales of Independence and Belonging, Parthian 2019, an anthology featuring young authors from around Europe. She has edited the bilingual poetry anthology series ‘New Voices from Europe and Beyond’ at Arc Publications from 2006.
▍Harkaitz Cano (Basque Country / Spain)—Speaker
The prominent Basque author Harkaitz Cano (1975) has published over thirty books of poetry, short stories, novels and comics, as well as books for children. His work has been translated into a dozen languages, including Spanish, German, Polish and Russian. His novels A Blade of Light and Twist were published in English translation by Archipelago in 2010 and 2018 respectively, both translated by Amaia Gabantxo. A Blade of Light (Belarraren ahoa, 2004) explores the hypothetical possibility of an encounter between Hitler and Charlie Chaplin, whose film The Great Dictator is a thorn in Hitler’s side. Twist (original published in 2011) is set in the politically charged climate of the 1980s in the Basque Country, providing a multi-vocal account of the conscience of a society in turmoil. He is also script writer and translator, and has translated into Basque works by Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton and Allen Ginsberg, among others. He collaborates with artists, musicians and theatre people producing works for stage and performing his poetry. http://www.harkaitzcano.com
▍Inga Gaile (Latvia)—Speaker
Inga Gaile (1976) is a Latvian poet, prose writer, spoken-word performer, playwright and theatre director, and translator of poetry from Russian. Her work focuses on everyday lives of women, gender issues and social injustices. To date she has published five books of poetry, including her latest Lieldienas (Easter, 2018) and a book of poems for children Vai otrā grupa mani dzird? (Can the Back Row Hear Me? 2014). Among her prose works is the Stikli (The Glass Shards, 2016), published as part of the series of historical novels titled We. Latvia: The 20th Century, and her collection of short stories Piena ceļi (Milky ways, 2018). Mūsu Silvija debesīs (Our Sylvia, who art in Heaven) is her theatre play about Sylvia Plath. Her selected poems 30 Questions People Don’t Ask came out from Pleiades Press in 2018 in translation by Ieva Lešinska. She is active in the feminist movement in Latvia and founder of a female stand-up comedy group.
▍Guo Ting (Hong Kong)—Speaker
Born in Shanghai, Guo Ting spent her formative years in Scotland studying anthropology and religious studies, and worked for Oxford and Purdue Universities before moving back to Asia. Her doctoral thesis on Alan Turing and being human in the Digital Age won the Edinburgh Innovative Award, and made the cover of Anthropology Today. She is currently turning the thesis into a book, while working on the politics of love in modern China, as a comparative study of secularism and the quest for identity. She writes bilingually, contributes to LA Review of Books, openDemocracy, and has two books forthcoming: Politics of Aesthetics (審美的政治) and An Anthropologist's Charity and Vintage Life (人類學家的舊物之戀), to be published in Taiwan and mainland China simultaneously. She is currently teaching at the University of Hong Kong.
▍Tammy Lai-Ming Ho (Hong Kong)—Moderator
Tammy Lai-Ming Ho is the founding co-editor of the first Hong Kong-based international Asian-focused journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, an editor of the academic journals Victorian Network and Hong Kong Studies, and the first English Editor of 聲韻詩刊 Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine. She has edited or co-edited seven volumes of poetry, short fiction and essays, the most recent one being Twin Cities: An Anthology of Twin Cinema from Singapore and Hong Kong (Landmark Books, 2017). Her literary translations have been published in World Literature Today, Chinese Literature Today, Pathlight, among other places, and by the Chinese University Press. Tammy is an Associate Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University 香港浸會大學, where she teaches poetics, fiction, and modern drama. She is also the President of PEN Hong Kong, a Junior Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities, an Advisor to the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing and an Associate Director of One City One Book Hong Kong. Tammy’s first collection of poetry is Hula Hooping (Chameleon 2015), for which she won the Young Artist Award in Literary Arts from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Her first short story collection Her Name Upon The Strand (Delere Press), her second poetry collection Too Too Too Too (Math Paper Press) and chapbook An Extraterrestrial in Hong Kong (Musical Stone) were published in 2018. Her first academic book is Neo-Victorian Cannibalism (Palgrave, 2019). She recently guest-edited a Hong Kong Feature for World Literature Today (Spring 2019) and the Hong Kong special issue of Sweden PEN’s The Dissident Blog.
▍Caryl Lewis (Wales / United Kingdom)—Speaker
Caryl Lewis (1978) is the author of eleven Welsh-language books for adults, three novels for young adults and thirteen children’s books. Three-times winner of the Wales Book of the Year, she came to prominence with her novel Martha, Jac a Sianco (2004) which, like most of her work, explores the lives of farming families in rural Wales. It was published in English translation as Martha, Jack and Shanco in 2007 by Parthian Books in translation by Gwen Davies and made into a successful feature film. Her novel Y Gemydd (2007) is being published in September this year in English as The Jeweller. Caryl Lewis has also written extensively for cinema and television, notably adapting her novel for the film version. Her TV credits include the Welsh-language scripts of the internationally acclaimed bilingual crime series Y Gwyll / Hinterland and Craith / Hidden.
▍Juta Pīrāga (Latvia)—Speaker
Juta Pīrāga holds an MA in cultural diplomacy and international management. She has worked as cultural manager since 2014 and was one of the co-creators of the Latvian Literature Platform established to promote Latvian literature abroad, raising its profile and increasing translations of Latvian books into other languages. She has curated a number of international events with Latvian authors, and organised publishers’ visits to Latvia, training workshops for translators and poetry translation workshops with Latvian and international poets. The Latvian Literature Platform is one of the organisers of Latvian presence at international book fairs and was in charge of the Baltic countries Market Focus ( Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) at the London Book Fair 2018.
▍Kate Rogers (Hong Kong)—Speaker
Kate Rogers' poetry is forthcoming in Tamaracks: Canadian Poetry for the 21st Century. Her poems won second place in the 2018 Big Pond Rumours Contest. They have been shortlisted for the 2018 Vancouver Tagore Society Contest and the 2017 Montreal International Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in World Literature Today; Algebra of Owls; Voice and Verse; Twin Cities Cinema (Hong Kong-Singapore); Juniper; The Guardian; Asia Literary Review; Cha: an Asian Literary Journal; The Goose: a journal of Arts, Environment and Culture; and Kyoto Journal. Kate's latest poetry collection is, "Out of Place" (Quattro-Aeolus House, Toronto, 2017).
▍Chris Song (Hong Kong)—Speaker
Chris Song, among many roles, is the editor-in-chief of 聲韻詩刊 Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine and Executive Director at International Poetry Nights in Hong Kong 香港國際詩歌之夜. His latest poetry is published in the Spring 2019 issue of World Literature Today.
Cha Reading Series takes the online journal out into the physical world. It brings together poets, writers, translators and artists who are in some way or other affiliated with Cha. Readings will take place in various impromptu locations across the city, in public and private rooms, lecture halls, on park benches, in front of billboards, next to a window scratched by tree branches. They will read their work informally or seriously. They will discuss issues, argue, debate and exchange. We also hope to form dialogue and explore specific pertinent topics that inspire or beset the contemporary world. Suggestions for future events can be sent to [email protected]