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HKILF 2024 Recap

Jun 11, 2024

The Hong Kong International Literary Festival 2024 has created an abundance of extraordinary memories with an impressive lineup of 190 events, a total attendance of 1927, and 65 speakers, which included over 20 international guests. Let’s revisit a selection of the captivating events that encapsulated the joyous moments shared together!

 
 
 

TALKS 

 


 

 Opening Event 

 

“Working It” podcast host Isabel Berwick introduced her recent book The Future-Proof Career. She shared insights on how we can navigate the ever-evolving landscape of work to ensure long-term success in one’s career.

 

 Going Down-Under 

 

Australian authors Diana Reid and Ronnie Scott entertained us at breakfast with a lively discussion about writing complex women characters. The special IWD event explored the nuances of portraying multi-dimensional women in literature. At a separate lunch event Diana shared how she came to write her first novel during the pandemic and delved into the themes that emerge in her writing: self-actualisation, selfishness, desire, consent, love and family.

The Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet David McAllister explored life behind the curtain with Hong Kong Ballet’s own Septime Weber. His book Ballet Confidential dishes the dirt on wardrobe malfunctions, the pain of jockstraps and midshow injuries. During the weekend event moderated by Karen Kho, David dived further into his career as an internationally acclaimed dancer.

 

 Local Heroes 

 

Author Ritu Hemnani shared the inspiration behind her recently published story in verse Lion of the Sky. From her beginnings as a secondary English teacher through her involvement in TEDxTinHauWomen, we followed her exciting journey from amateur to author.

Artist, culturalist and storyteller Dylan Kwok delved into the fascinating world of traditional craftsmanship. As well as sharing the stories from his latest project Open Birdcages, Dylan showcased various birdcages and tools, allowing attendees to witness the artistry firsthand. Dylan also hosted a walk along Yuen Po Street Garden to meet some of the artists in the community.

 

 Culinary Delights 

 

Renowned food writer and cook Fuchsia Dunlop shared her knowledge of the world’s most sophisticated gastronomic culture. From her training as a chef at the Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine to publication of her latest book Invitation to a Banquet: The Story of Chinese Food she took guests on an epic journey of China’s culinary traditions.

Hong Kong media professional and author of Eat Well and The Taste of Hong KongLui Ka Chun, shared his passion for the culture and traditions of the cha chaan teng. Participants gathered at Tai On Tea House to hear various stories about  the food, operations and architectural style of these cafes which are essential to the daily lives of many Hong Kongers, all while enjoying a coffee and an egg tart!

 

WORKSHOPS 

 


 

 Feathered Friends 

 

Kids aged 3-10 joined palaeontologist and professor at the University of Edinburgh, Steve Brusatte to explore what dinosaurs actually looked like. They enjoyed creating their own visions of dinosaurs using templates and feathers.

 

 The Ink Trail 

 

Hong Kong-based Swedish artist Andreas Von Buddenbrock enthralled participants with his nature drawing using pencil and ink pens. Everyone walked away with their very own masterpiece!

 

 Write the Future 

 

Aspiring writers joined author Tristan Bancks and founder of Press Start Academy Vince Siu to explore how to create worlds of  science-fiction and fantasy using technology. Budding authors also learned how to write for children and get it published from four established female writers: Siobhan McDermottJessixa BagleyRitu Hemnani, and Dora Tsang.

 

 Collaborations 

 

HKILF celebrated International Women’s Day alongside Room to Read with a special lunch with Vietnamese author Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai. The author of 12 books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction had the audience mesmerised with her writing process and creative mission, as well as entertaining with traditional Vietnamese singing.

 

It’s a Wrap! 

 

Local and international artists celebrated a successful festival with everyone involved–much fun was had, useful contacts were shared and many lasting friendships were made. Thanks to all who helped to keep the spirit of reading alive in Hong Kong!

 

Poetry Competition “Home” Winners Announcement (Chinese Section)

Apr 23, 2024

Congratulations to Victoria Jin and Chong Kwan Wong, the winners of the Chinese Section in HKILF 2023 Poetry Competition “Home”! Both winners will receive a voucher and a special gift from Bookazine.

Well done to all participants for their remarkable contributions. We express our heartfelt gratitude to our esteemed judge, Mr. Sy Wai Nok, for his careful selection.

Sy Wai Nok is a local writer and a member of the Xinchuan Literary Club. He currently teaches at the Education University of Hong Kong and has worked at the Hong Kong Literature Research Center of CUHK. He has won the Awards for Creative Writing in Chinese, Intervarsity Creative Writing Competition Award, among others. His works have appeared in Fleurs des Lettres and Voice & Verse.

 

 

我的心 我的家

 

金嘉悅 Victoria Jin

現在我可以做夢了嗎
柔軟的沙發、溫馨的台燈
外婆的紅燒肉、外公的手擀麵
和家人擁抱的瞬間
幸福就這樣沾滿全身

我想和家人生活
還記得,那年夏天
我們來到沙漠中的某個小鎮
聆聽駱駝的腳步聲
它們脖子上的駝鈴搖晃
叮叮噹噹
像時間輕輕撥動
遠在異鄉
可我依然內心充實
因為
只要家人在哪裡

家就在那裡

請允許我再說一遍
我愛你們
即使一遍遍地重復也不會膩
那是我演奏的鋼琴聲
那是蠟燭點燃後的歌唱
也是我記憶中媽媽的叮嚀

我喜歡出發
但我不喜歡離開
即使有一天
我走遍千山萬水
即使有一天
星辰指引我去向遠方
不管我在世界的哪個角落
我的心
永遠在家

 

 

家的形狀

 

黃創筠 Chong Kwan Wong

將浴缸放在廚房
為碗碟洗澡
將抽油煙機放在廁所
抽走頭油
將餐桌放在睡房
睡在桌上
將睡床放在玄關
帶着睡夢出門
將鞋櫃放在露台
跳出窗外
——邊個噉教你?
將浴缸放回廁所
頭要洗得潔淨
將抽油煙機放回廚房
抽走危險的滾燙
將餐桌放回客廳
長輩晚輩要排正
將睡床放回睡房
替睡夢蓋被壓死在睡床
將鞋櫃放回玄關
怎樣走着也要牢記被鞋套上
——邊個噉教你?

Poetry Competition “Home” Winners Announcement (English Section)

Apr 23, 2024

We are delighted to announce two exceptional winners of the English Section in HKILF 2023 Poetry Competition “Home”: Aimee Hong for the Junior Sector, and Kaitlyn Chan for the Public Sector. The two winners will each receive a voucher and a special gift from Bookazine.

With a total of 101 entries, we extend our sincere gratitude to all the talented participants who contributed to the success of this competition. A special thank you goes to our esteemed judge, Dr. Sayed Gouda, for carefully selecting these outstanding works.

Dr Sayed Gouda was born in Cairo and moved to Hong Kong in 1992 where he currently resides. He did his undergraduate studies in Egypt and China, majoring in Chinese language and literature, and received his PhD in comparative literary studies from the City University of Hong Kong. He won several poetry awards with 15 books that include 5 poetry collections, 3 novels, and other books of translation.

 

Who I Am

 

Aimee Hong

The flickering, blinking lights fade into blurry, glowing lines
They fly past in a blink, mellowly upon the city’s fickle scene
A short stop in a traffic jam, the red light shines
Falling deeper into a dazzling night, all of it feels like a dream
Sentimental, I melt into the backseat as my vision becomes blurry
This comfort, familiarity, through the window, all of it shows
Though dominated by the neon street signs, the moonlight does not worry
It spills just like liquid silver onto the rocky, concrete roads
Everything washes over fuzzily, on the monotonous, crowded crosswalks
From red to yellow, then green, the car’s radio tunes out songs from days gone by,
It doesn’t wait, it washes over, the gentle melody rides with us past the many city blocks
I can’t help but feel it blends perfectly with the rich, indigo sky
Days of both joy and sorrow were embraced by the swaying skyscrapers,
Apartment complexes, indistinguishable just as I always knew they were
These narrow pavements I walk on again and again, covered in flyers and newspapers,
I want to stay here forever, for this life and the next, I’m sure
The nostalgia takes over me, even though I’ve never left
This is my home, my life, this is who I am

 

Home in the Archipelago

 

Kaitlyn Chan

Days that pass in fleeting moments
in suffocating snapshots of repetition. Only
in the witching hour do we realise
the endearing silence that we bring home,
As keys jangle and
footsteps fade…
The screeching kettle halts to a stop.
Breathe, in the quiet standstill
when what we take for granted fall
away from our fingertips.
Swift as sand
and harsh as the morning rush.
Alarms ring when we stand back from the platform doors.
Watch, through a flurry of teary
interludes and departures.
Always going away, never coming back.
“To leave or not to leave, that is the question—”
This City
With her blinding light shows and morning Dim Sum,
Gentle sunset runs and peanut butter egg waffles.
Alas! Even when home changes and
autumn cedar gets replaced by painted plastic,
the Aqua Luna heaves her red mast and
sets sail, nonetheless.