”I am delighted to be Patron of the Irrawaddy Literary Festival. The success of the inaugural Festival, in February 2013, demonstrated the importance of this unique literary endeavour, which I hope will become an annual event.
I look forward to taking part personally in the next Festival in 2014. The Festival will again provide a spotlight for some of the best of Burmese writing and bring to our attention some of the best of international authors. It is an exciting exchange which can only enhance our literary landscape.”
“…….the Irrawaddy Literary Festival, organised by the Ambassador’s wife [Jane Heyn], achieved more for freedom of speech in one afternoon than most of us manage in a lifetime”.
Rt Hon William Hague MP, British Foreign Secretary, speech to the FCO Leadership Conference, May, 2013
Although Burma has a rich literary tradition, during military rule authors and publishing were stifled by censorship and the ILF, the first ever international literary festival to be held in Burma, has ignited international press and public interest and support.
As the programme of international and local authors for the next ILF is being planned and confirmed, watch this flashback to the ILF 2013 for a taste of things to come in Mandalay.
The Irrawaddy Literary Festival 2014 promises to be even better.