Women in Literature – More than Writers

(photo: Virginia Monteforte)

With another edition of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival sewn up, four female writers look back upon this year’s experience. The Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival spans on three open air evenings of live music and magical reading by foreign and local literary figures.

Samantha Barendson: Reading in Public

Samantha Barendson
Samantha Barendson (photo: Virginia Monteforte)

I consider words and voice as the instruments that help me transmit 3-D images and excitement. The reaction of the audience influences the text in unexpected ways. I feel I can play with the audience’s sensitive response, because a text without a reader is incomplete. In 2008 I started writing poetry. Reading to an audience gave me such an incredible new feeling; it felt like giving away a part of me.

Claudia Gauci: Translating Works by Foreign Writers

Claudia Gauci
Claudia Gauci (photo: Virginia Monteforte)

Translation leads to personal enrichment; the author whom you would be translating for, very often, would have an online presence, and could also be involved in literary associations, which have their own space for publishing. That is where local Maltese work can be exported. But translation is challenging task and constant communication with the author is crucial, especially if the text carries a lot of local expressions. It would be difficult to transmit a whole way of thinking into a poem with a different language and culture. All in all, it always ends with a good general feeling of satisfaction and pride.

Leanne Ellul: Promoting an Internationally Renowned Festival

Leanne Ellul
Leanne Ellul (photo: Giola Cassar)

One of the most painstaking tasks is to plot out a marketing plan, even though those genuinely interested end up promoting it themselves by word of mouth. The festival does have its share of faithful audiences, so much so that it is extremely common to meet the same artistic individuals, avid readers and writers year after another. However, whilst keeping our faithful audiences interested, we have also succeeded in securing a number of new audiences. Our top priority remains one: offering an unforgettable personal experience to all attendees, who ultimately share one thing in common: sensitivity to language in all its forms.

Nadia Mifsud Mutschler: Coordinating Translation Workshops

Nadia Mifsud Mutschler
Nadia Mifsud Mutschler (photo: Virginia Monteforte)

Collaboration very often sprouts naturally – it is not unusual that two people end up translating one another’s works spontaneously. We start communication as early as March, so when the writers finally meet up in Malta in August, it somehow feels like the conversation has already started. Obviously, during the workshop they are together for six hours, so they do strengthen and develop that ‘conversation’ – they get to know each other very well, and delve deeper into the texts they are translating. Getting to listen to each other reading in the original language gives them a better feel of the rhythm, tone and melody they must achieve with their translations.

The 11th edition of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival (25-27 August) was organised by Inizjamed with the support of Literature Across Frontiers, Arts Council Malta, Heritage Malta, Valletta 2018 Foundation, Għaqda tal-Malti – Università, the Fortress Builders – Fortifications Interpretation

© 2016 – VIDA Magazine – Clifford Jo Żahra