The Malta Independent on Sunday
The 2021 Campus Book Festival – virtual edition
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.