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HK Literature Festival showcases local literary history with variety of programmes

     The first Hong Kong literary magazine, popular feature columns, valuable archives of the prominent writer Mr Liu Yi-chang, second floor bookstores, travel writings, cross-media literature, blogs, performances......The 8th Hong Kong Literature Festival, which opens today (June 24), will take participants through the development of local literature with creative works of different periods and a diversity of lively activities.
     Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, this year's festival, themed "Footprints Along the Way", runs from today to July 11. Most of the events will be held at the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL).

     The range of activities include a thematic exhibition, 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.

     Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Florence Hui Hiu-fai, said the festival aimed to promote literature appreciation and creative writing by bringing together talent in a wide variety of activities.

     "We hope that the diverse and multi-faceted programmes in the festival will attract more people to take an interest in local literature and reading activities," she said.

     The Chairman of the Public Libraries Advisory Committee, Professor Leong Chi-yan, said that the festival was set to take the participants on a journey through the literary history of Hong Kong, highlighting important issues as well as representative writers and works of different periods.

     One of the festival highlights is the thematic exhibition "Footprints Along the Way ─ A Tribute to Hong Kong Literature", held at the HKCL. It surveys the development of Hong Kong literature through various literary phenomena from newspaper columns to bookstores and literary activities. There is also a feature section on Mr Liu Yi-chang whose literary works set in Hong Kong spanning over half a century will illustrate the growth of home-grown literature.

     A distinguished panel of writers and scholars from Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong will share their study of Hong Kong literature in the context of its modal changes, interaction with different forms of media and its relationship with cities at symposiums entitled "Between Tradition and Modernity – Changes of Literary Form", "Interdisciplinary Crossover between Literary Fields" and "The Consciousness of City in Literature".

     In the new talk series, Passing on the Torch: Talk Series of Hong Kong Writers, several pairs of closely bonded writers, including a professor and students, father and son, mother and daughter, as well as sisters, will throw light on how kinship and mentorship help pass on the passion for writing.

     How to create and read winning works? To learn about the skills and delve into the creation of winning works, four awardees of the 10th Hong Kong Biennial Awards for Chinese Literature will join critics and scholars to share their experiences in the Guided Reading Session.

     Participants can relax in the hot summer with beautiful poems of different styles. In Mid-Summer Poetry Recitals, another feature of the festival, poets will recite poems, their personal interpretations revealing 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 a relaxed and casual atmosphere, scholars, artists and cultural writers will share their perspectives on the act of creating in the popular Dialogue with Creators. Interesting topics on "Appreciation of Lyrics", "The Art of Book Design", "Adaptations of Literary Works" "Travelogue", "English Creative Writing" and "The Road to Creation for the New Generation" will be explored.

     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 the interactive and fun-filled Interflow presented by four local arts and cultural organisations. Different interpretations of literature through unorthodox Chinese creative writing, martial arts fiction, Chinese operatic literature and children's drama will be showcased.

     As a contributing programme to the festival, the Hong Kong Film Archive is presenting the "Look Back at Memories" film series, screening three local films that will 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 built on the themes of literature and heritage were organised. Guided by renowned writers and scholars, participants visited scenes depicted in various literary works. Tie-in radio and Internet programmes are available at the website of the Radio Television Hong Kong.

     Three pre-festival competitions -- the Literary Performance Competition for Primary Students, the “Literature and Film" Short Video Competition and the "Feel the City's Pulse" Essay Writing Competition -- were held and prizes were presented to the winners of the competition today at the festival's opening ceremony.

     With characters like sushi, a hamburger and an on-diet pig, the students participating in the Literary Performance Competition fully demonstrated their creativity and imagination. The other two competitions also received an enthusiastic response. Contestants expressed their creativity and the vitality of literature through video and writing. The winning entries are on display at the HKCL's exhibition gallery throughout the festival period and will be uploaded to the festival's webpage.

     A new activity, Fans of Literature Festival, has been launched. Registered participants can receive souvenirs of the festival and updates on the library's 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, browse the website: . Enquiries can be made at 2928 4551.

Ends/Thursday, June 24, 2010


The Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Florence Hui Hiu-fai (left), and the Chairman of the Public Libraries Advisory Committee, Professor John Leong Chi-yan, officiated at the opening ceremony of the 8th Hong Kong Literature Festival.


The champion of the Literary Performance Competition for Primary Students, Sze Yam-wai (right) and Wong Shing-hang from St. Patrick's School gave a vivid demonstration of their winning piece.


One of the 8th Hong Kong Literature Festival highlights is the thematic exhibition "Footprints Along the Way -- A Tribute to Hong Kong Literature", held at the Hong Kong Central Library from today (June 24) to July 11. It surveys the development of Hong Kong literature through various literary phenomena.


Picture shows some of the exhibits being displayed at the thematic exhibition "Footprints Along the Way - A Tribute to Hong Kong Literature".





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