Literary heroes confirm attendance at Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2018

News Desk

The Jakarta Post


Jakarta, posted: Tue, August 14, 2018 | 04:33 pm

International literary superstars coming to UWRF this year include Hanif Kureishi, a British-Pakistani playwright, filmmaker and novelist; Kim Scott, an Australian writer whose debut work “Benang" (1999) received the Miles Franklin Award; and Geoff Dyer, a British novelist and essayist whose works have been translated into 24 languages. (Shutterstock/File)

The biggest literary and arts event in Asia Tenggara, Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) has just released the full list of speakers and programs for the upcoming edition slated to be held from 24 to 28 October.

In its 15th year, the festival has confirmed the attendance of more than 160 national and international speakers encompassing writers, journalists, enthusiasts, academics, artists, musicians and nature conservationists hailing from 30 countries, as reported by Antara News Agency.

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti is scheduled to feature on one of the discussion panels, as she will be visiting Bali in October for the Our Ocean Conference 2018. Religious freedom activist Yenny Wahid, who is the daughter of Indonesia’s fourth president KH Abdurrahman Wahid, will join Ndaba Mandela, founder of the Africa Rising Foundation and grandson of the first South African president, Nelson Mandela, in the event.

Local literary heroes such as poet Sapardi Djoko Damono, Leila S. Chudori, Aan Mansyur, Dee Lestari and Avianti Armand are also scheduled to attend. Confirmed speakers at the event include established names such as Djenar Maesa Ayu, who is known for feminist themes in her work; Putu Fajar Arcana, writer and founder of Kelas Cerpen Kompas (Kompas short story class); Warih Wisatsana, an award-winning editor and poet, and Endy Bayuni, senior editor of The Jakarta Post.

The festival also features Haidar Bagir, philanthropist, Islamic author and founder of Mizan Group; Noor Huda Ismail, founder of the Indonesian International Institute of Peace; and Rudi Fofid, a poet, peace activist and Maarif Award 2016 awardee. 

Younger Indonesian talents are also set to attend the festival, such as Norman Erikson Pasaribu, whose debut work “Sergius Seeks Bacchus” just won the 2018 PEN Translates Award; The Indonesian Language Council’s 2017 England residency awardee, Nuril Basri; Emmanuela Shinta, an environmentalist from Kalimantan; and Rain Chudori, daughter of Leila S. Chudori who follows in her mother’s footsteps in the literary world.

Read also: Dee Lestari, Hanif Kureishi among speakers at upcoming UWRF

International literary superstars who will be coming to UWRF this year include Hanif Kureishi, a British-Pakistani playwright, filmmaker and novelist; Kim Scott, an Australian writer whose debut work "Benang" ( 1999 ) received the Miles Franklin Award; Geoff Dyer, a British novelist and essayist whose works have been translated into 24 languages. 

The literary stars will share the stage with Fatima Bhutto, an award-winning memoir writer from Pakistan; Uzodinma Iweala, a Nigerian-American filmmaker who is also a doctor and CEO of The Africa Center in New York. Also in the lineup are Rwanda-born memoir author, Clemantine Wamariya and Southeast Asia Greenpeace director, Yeb Saño. 

Sidney Jones will join Janet Steele, author of "Mediating Islam", as well as Dina Zaman, author of religious books. From Australia, renowned academic and former president of the Australian Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs; biographer and journalist Jill Stark; and Jane Caro, a Walkley Award winning journalist will also be in attendance.

Indian author and dancer Tishani Doshi, social activist Gumehar Kaur and novelist Anuradha Roy have also confirmed their attendance at UWRF. 

Also in attendance will be rising literary stars, Clarissa Goenawan, the Singaporean author of “Rainbirds” and Innosanto Nagara, a children’s book author and graphic designer who currently resides in California, the United States.

The 2018 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival highlights the main theme of "Jagadhita", an ancient Hindu philosophy that speaks about happiness and prosperity in the universe, as well as the journey of human beings in seeking life harmony. (asw)


The first version of this article has several errors as follows Paragraph 7, Geoff Dyer was previously written as ‘an American novelist’, it has been corrected to Dyer’s nationality, that is British. Paragraph 9 ‘Wakely’ Award’ has been corrected to 'Walkley Award'. Paragraph 10; Tishani Doshi was written as only an author, and Gumehar Kaur was written as a dancer. This has been corrected to Tishani Doshi’s profession as an author and a dancer, also Gumehar Kaur as a social activist.


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