With an office bookshelf positively groaning with the works of 150+ speakers set to descend on the UWRF17, Festival staff have no shortage of literary inspiration. So what’s keeping them up at night, page by page, in the lead up to this year’s event? In our latest series, #UWRFBookClub, we chat to the Festival team about their highlight authors and artists. In our third week, we hear from our International Program Consultant, Donica Bettanin.
Both on and off the page, Carmen Boullosa’s representation of women’s experiences has struck a chord with me. She’s an incredibly agile writer, ranging across fiction, poetry, plays and journalism, and masterfully evokes times and places that I’ll never visit in person. Mexico is a long way from Indonesia, but literature enables us to imagine other lives, and I can think of few writers who do this as powerfully as Carmen does. No pressure, but I’m confident she’ll find many new fans at UWRF17.
As a grunge-loving teenager I spent three formative months as an exchange student in West Java. This year, I can’t wait to have Voice of Baceprot, the all-girl teenage metal band from, you guessed it, West Java, take the UWRF stage. These young women are challenging stereotypes in the most joyous way, creating and sharing music that has earned them rocking followings both here and abroad. They’re discussing their experiences as part of our Emerging Voices Program and playing at the Festival Hub – join me in the front row!
I discovered Erri De Luca via his small but perfectly formed novel God’s Mountain. Exquisite in both its language and storytelling it was an introduction to a multi award-winning author whose breadth of interests is intriguing: novelist, translator, poet… screenwriter, actor, mountaineer. I have a feeling that his sessions will only add to my reading pile, and that’s fine with me.