Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival to Take Place This August

The XVIIIth edition of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival organised by Inizjamed will be held between Monday 21 and Saturday 26 August 2023 at the Valletta Design Cluster and Fort St. Elmo, in Valletta.

Seven writers from five countries will be reading at the festival, which is set to feature poetry films, a jazz band, local singers, a book stall curated by Mallia & D’Amato, drinks and a selection of food.

The authors participating in this edition are Tanja Bakić from Montenegro, Adania Shibli from Palestine, Joelle Taylor from the United Kingdom, Karin Tidbeck from Sweden and Claudia Gauci, Maria Grech Ganado and Simone Inguanez from Malta.

Readings will be mostly in Maltese and English, but some short works will also be read in their language.

Friday 18 August

A lunchtime reading will be held at 1pm at Ta’ Berta in Għargħur together with Simone Inguanez and Ruqaya Izzidien.

Monday 21 August

Ray Fabri will moderate a roundtable discussion in English about “The expression of gender in literary writing”, with the participation of writers Simone Inguanez, Karin Tidbeck, Joelle Taylor and Tanja Bakić.

Tuesday 22 August

Local poet Antoine Cassar will lead an event commemorating the centenary of the birth of Wisława Szymborska, a Polish Nobel Prize winner poet and essayist. The special guest will be Michał Rusinek, Szymborska’s former secretary. All events leading to the final nights of the Festival will be held at the Valletta Design Cluster and will start at 7.00pm, unless specified otherwise.

Thursday 24 August

The day will start off at 9am with a masterclass with Joelle Taylor  at the Valletta Design Cluster.

The first evening will be a multilingual Open Mic with special guests Tatev Chakhian and Ruqaya Izzidien. Writers and singer-songwriters will be given the opportunity to read or perform their works on the main stage.

Friday 25 August

At 7.00pm, an event will be held with Nigerian-Irish poet, performer and playwright Felispeaks, together with Tobi Bello, with the support of local artists Noah Fabri and Ġagħel Dingli. This event is part of Project Ulysses’ Shelter 3. The writers reading during this evening are: Maltese poet Simone Inguanez; the prominent Montenegrin poet Tanja Bakić; renowned Maltese Poet Laureate Maria Grech Ganado; and the multi-award winning British poet, author and playwright Joelle Taylor. 

An interview conducted by Immanuel Mifsud will be held with Maria Grech Ganado. This night will also feature a poetry film and live music, which will be provided by the resident jazz trio, led by Effie Azzopardi. Local singer Cheryl Camilleri will also perform a number of songs.

Saturday 26 August

The writers reading on the day are Maltese poet Claudia Gauci; Swedish author of fantasy Karin Tidbeck; and renowned Palestinian author and essayist Adania Shibli. An interview led by Adrian Grima will be conducted with Adania Shibli. This third and final evening will also feature the screening of another poetry film and live music, which will be provided by the resident jazz trio, led by Effie Azzopardi. Local singer Claire Tonna will also perform a number of songs.

Some of the literature read during the festival might require an adult audience. The writers will be in Malta throughout the week of the festival to take part in the Malta LAF Literary Translation Workshop led by Nadia Mifsud. They will be translating each other’s works, and reading some of these translations during the festival. Following the festival week, an event will also be held at Dar Kenn għal Saħħtek.

 More information is available on Facebook on pages of Inizjamed Malta and the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival 2023 and at Most of the events are free unless indicated otherwise.

Tickets for the final nights may be purchased here.