By Kang Gahui
Writers around the world will gather in Seoul late this week to interact with their Korean counterparts and readers.
The Literature Translation Institute (LTI) of Korea and Incheon International Airport Corp. on Sept. 14 said they will jointly host the Seoul International Writers' Festival from Sept. 23-30.
The event will be held both online and offline at Seoul Community Cultural Center Seogyo in the city's Mapo-gu District, Community House Masil in Jung-gu District and Incheon International Airport.
This year's event is the 11th edition and the first in three years to be held offline since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the theme "Beyond Narrative," the festival will stress the message of going ahead by overcoming literature's barriers like genre and culture as well as the pandemic.
The festival will have 19 events including talks with 35 writers from nine countries, discussions and book readings.
The opening lectures will be given by poet Kim Hyesoon, the first Asian woman to win the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2019, and American poet Forrest Gander, who won the Pulitzer Prize in the same year.
The sixth edition of the event "Facing the Writer" will have Korean and foreign writers hold one-on-one talks. Novelist Kang Hwa Gil and Japanese counterpart Sayaka Murata on Sept. 25 will discuss the theme "Women and Gender," and Kim Un-su, a leading novelist in the "K-thriller" genre, and Indian author Megha Majumdar will focus on "Narrative."
The event "Writer's Room" has writers and translators discussing the process of translation and in-depth analysis of literary works.
Ko Woo-rim, the bass singer of the vocal quartet Forestella, will give the opening performance. Participating writers will also host direct readings of their novels and poems.
LTI President Kwak Hyo Hwan said, "At this festival, we can confirm concerns on the essence of literature and what the roles of writers should be amid the global barriers that emerged due to the COVID-19 pandemic."
All events can be viewed online. Participation is free but reservations are required through the festival's official website (www.siwf.or.kr) or Naver reservation website (https://booking.naver.com/booking/12/bizes/754168).
(The names of the festival's events are unofficial translations).