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HK Literature Festival traces growth of local literature

     Popular feature columns, literary magazines, boutique bookstores, cross-media literature, blogs... With a wide range of lively activities, the forthcoming 8th Hong Kong Literature Festival will walk readers through local literary history culminating in latest literary scene in Hong Kong.

     Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) to promote literary creativity and extensive reading, the bi-annual Hong Kong Literature Festival runs from June 24 to July 11.

     The festival will present a variety of activities, including a thematic exhibition and an exhibition on the prominent writer Liu Yi-chang, symposiums, a series of talks tracing local scenes depicted in Hong Kong literature, interactive programmes with renowned writers, guided reading sessions, poetry recitals, dialogues with creators, programmes by cultural organisations and film shows contributed by the Hong Kong Film Archive.

     Announcing the festival at a press conference today (June 10), the Assistant Director of the LCSD, Mr Lee Yuk-man, said that with "Footprints along the Way" as the theme this year, the festival would feature a diverse array of activities to provide insights into change and continuity in Hong Kong literature.

     The thematic exhibition, "Footprints along the Way ─ A Tribute to Hong Kong Literature" will feature an overview of the development of Hong Kong literature, highlighting important milestones. The exhibition will be held from June 24 to July 11 at the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL). There will also be a feature exhibition on Mr Liu Yi-chang, a prominent writer-cum-journalist. His literary works set in Hong Kong spanning over half a century will illustrate the growth of home-grown literature.

     The highlight of the festival is a symposium entitled "The Cultural Essence of Hong Kong Literature". A distinguished panel of writers and scholars from Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong will discuss in three seminars Hong Kong literature in the context of its modal changes, interaction with different forms of media and its relationship with cities.

     How do writers pass on their literary passion? In an innovative new talk series, several pairs of closely bonded writers, including a professor and students, father and son, mother and daughters, as well as sisters, will throw light on how kinship and mentorship help pass on the passion for writing.

     Four awardees of the 10th Hong Kong Biennial Awards for Chinese Literature will join critics and scholars to delve into the heart and creation of their winning works.

     Another new feature of the festival is the "Mid-Summer Poetry Recitals". Poets will recite beautiful poems in personal interpretations to reveal the mesmerising depth of poetry. The session "Enchanting English Poems" to be held at 6pm on July 8 at HKCL will be conducted in English. Award-winning poets, Mr Viki Holmes, Dr Agnes Lam and Mr Arthur Leung, will perform their favourite poems and share their ways of experiencing poetry through writing and reading.

     In addition to its content, a book increases its attractiveness via design and composition. Writers, scholars, artists and cultural writers will share their perspectives on their experience in the act of creating in the popular "Dialogue with Creators". Different areas of interest, ranging from composition of lyrics, the design of books, the forms of re-presenting literary works, to travelogue, English writing and the way forward for next-generation writers, will be explored with participants in a relaxed and casual atmosphere.

     One of the sessions, "English Creative Writing in an English-as-a-second-language City" to be conducted in English, will be held at 5pm on July 10 at the HKCL. Dr Gillian Bickley, Dr Verner Bickley and Dr Stuart Christie will review the local English-language literary scene with their experiences in English literature teaching and publishing.

     Not to be missed is "Interflow" presented by four arts and cultural organisations. They will showcase different interpretations of literature via children's drama, unorthodox Chinese writing, martial arts fiction, and Chinese operatic literature.

     To support the festival, the Hong Kong Film Archive will present the "Look Back at Memories" film series. Three local films will be screened to take audiences down memory lane to trace Hong Kong cinema in the 1980s and 90s.

     As a prelude to the festival, three pre-festival outings have been organised. Guided by renowned writers and scholars, the participants visited scenes depicted in various literary works. Tie-in radio and Internet programmes will be presented by Radio Television Hong Kong.

     Three pre-festival competitions -- the Literary Performance Competition, "Literature and Film" Short Video Competition and "Feel the City's Pulse" Essay Writing Competition -- have also been held with an enthusiastic response. Contestants expressed their creativity and the vitality of literature through drama, story-telling, video and writing.

     The results of the Literary Performance Competition were announced today (June 10) and one of the merit award winners, Salome Tong from Diocesan Girls' Junior School, performed her adapted work. The results of the other two competitions will be announced soon and the winning entries will be displayed at the HKCL's exhibition gallery during the festival period and uploaded to the festival's webpage.

     A new activity, "Fans of Literature Festival", will also be launched. Participants will receive souvenirs of the festival and updates of future literary activities.

     All activities, except the film shows, are free. Festival booklets are available at all public libraries, and performing venues of the LCSD. For more details, see the website: Enquiries can be made at 2928 4551.

Ends/Thursday, June 10, 2010


The press conference announcing details of the 8th Hong Kong Literature Festival, presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), was held today (June 10) at the Hong Kong Central Library. Picture shows the attending guests (from left) Executive Producer of Radio Television Hong Kong, Mr Sunny Li; adjudicator of the "Literature and Film" Short Video Competition and moderator for session two of the symposium, Mr Wong King-fai; speaker of the literary talk, "Passing On the Torch", Mr Lau Wai-shing; speaker of the literary talk, "Passing On the Torch", Dr Wong Leung-wo; moderator for session one of "Interflow" and speaker of the literary talk "Liu Yi-Chang and Hong Kong Literature", Dr Wong Chung-ming; Assistant Director (Libraries and Development) of the LCSD, Mr Lee Yuk-man; LCSD Advisor on Literary Arts and Adjudicator of the Literary Performance Competition, Ms Ho How-sim; speaker of the Dialogue with Creators: "English Creative Writing in an English-as-a-second-Language City", Dr Verner Bickley; speaker of the Dialogue with Creators: "English Creative Writing in an English-as-a-second- Language City", Dr Gillian Bickley; Head of Culture of Radio Television Hong Kong, Dr Ng Man-yee; Assistant Editor of "fleurs des lettres", Ms Hung Hiu-han; and Chief Librarian (Hong Kong Central Library and Extension Activities), Ms Rochelle Lau.


Picture shows the merit prize winner of the Literary Performance Competition of Primary Students, Salome Tong from the Diocesan Girls' Junior School, performed her adapted work at the press conference held today (June 10).



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