Rangoon Literary Festival to Showcase Nobel Laureates

By San Yamin Aung 19 December 2014

RANGOON — Burmese writers will hold a second international literary festival in Rangoon next month in order to showcase the works of Nobel Prize winning authors.

Pe Myint, a renowned author and chairman of the Festival Working Committee, said that the Nobel Myanmar Literary Festival will showcase the work of writers, poets and cartoonists, with 200 locals and up to 15 international writers slated to participate.

“It is to empower the Burma’s literary community. Burmese readers will also be able to read Nobel Prize winning books in one place,” he said.

The festival, themed “Literature for Peace”, will be held from Jan. 17-19 at Rangoon National Theatre. The schedule includes group discussions, a book market, exhibitions of cartoons and photographs, poetry readings and drama performances. Burmese translations of books written by Nobel laureates will be made available for sale at the theatre.

Invitations have been sent to Nobel laureates across the world, including National League for Democracy chair Aung San Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

Pe Myint said that the festival’s theme presented an ideal opportunity for people to expose themselves to different opinions, increasing understanding and reducing social conflict, in addition to cultivating an appreciation for the written word.

“I hope this festival will raise Burmese peoples’ interest in literature and inspire them to read,” he said.

Burma hosted its first-ever international literary festival in Rangoon last year. The Irrawaddy Literary Festival, organized by the wife of the UK Ambassador to Burma, featured events with 25 international writers and 120 local authors. A second literary festival was held in Mandalay in February of this year.