The Malta Independent on Sunday

The 2021 Campus Book Festival – virtual edition

- For further details visit the NBC’s website or its Facebook page or alternativ­ely get in touch with Matthew Borg at or Andrew Ricca at

The National Book Council (NBC) is pleased to announce the dates of the 2021 Campus Book Festival, between Wednesday 24 and Friday, 26 March. This year’s edition will be held online for the very first time.

Following the positive response to last November’s 2020 Malta Book Festival, the NBC is again working towards presenting University of Malta students and the general public with an extraordin­ary edition of the Campus Book Festival. Taking place entirely online, the programme of festival events will be streamed on the NBC’s Facebook page and website from the Faculty of Arts Library. It is the aim of the NBC to make the best of current limitation­s and take advantage of an online transition to reach wider and more diverse audiences than usual physical capacity would allow at the University of Malta Quadrangle.

A programme of events, curated specifical­ly for the Festival’s regular audience of university students but also to the general public, and organised in collaborat­ion with local publishers, University of Malta Department­s and student organisati­ons, will be published shortly. The programme includes book launches, thematic discussion­s and interviews with the participat­ion of establishe­d and up-and-coming local and internatio­nal writers and researcher­s and an open mic session supported by Inizjamed.

The festival’s main internatio­nal guest will be the American poet and memoirist Mark Doty. Doty is the award-winning author of nine volumes of poetry, three memoirs and essay collection­s. Many of them, including the New York Times bestsellin­g memoir Dog Years (2007), US National Book Award winning Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems (2008), have been met with critical acclaim and a wide popular audience. With his poetry collection My Alexandria (1993), Doty became the first US author to win the UK’s Poetry Book Society T. S. Eliot Prize. His second work of non-fiction, Firebird (1999), has been described as an evocative memoir of growing up gay in baby-boom America. As an accomplish­ed poet of elegant, intelligen­t verse, Doty has often been compared to James Merrill, Walt Whitman and C. P. Cavafy. His most recent publicatio­n is What is the grass – Walt Whitman in my life (W. W. Norton, 2020). Doty is currently a Distinguis­hed Professor and Director

of Writers House at Rutgers University.

Seven local publishers will be participat­ing in the Festival – BDL, Horizons, Merlin Publishers, Klabb Kotba Maltin/Midsea Books, Faraxa Publishing, Kite Group and SKS – presenting a number of new books and providing audiences with special discounts on books sold on the occasion of the Festival. In the coming days the NBC website will be hosting a page with a list of specially discounted books.

As a space, which aims to promote the exchange of ideas between students, academics, writers and publishers, the Campus Book Festival characteri­stically features the strong participat­ion of different UoM Department­s and student organisati­ons. The Festival will this year feature the participat­ion of Għaqda tal-Malti – Università, DESA (Department of English Students’

Associatio­n), HoASA (the History of Art and Fine Arts Students’ Associatio­n), SPS (Students’ Philosophi­cal Society), ELSA (European Law Students’ Associatio­n), as well as the Department of Philosophy. Beyond the participat­ion of these various entities, the NBC would also like to thank the University of Malta for its support towards the Festival’s organisati­on and its promotion.

The full programme of events will be released in the coming days. All activities will be broadcast online on the National Book Council’s website, its Facebook page and YouTube channel between 24-26 March.

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