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The LitFest with a difference is here

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Jan 19, 2016, 10:24 pm IST
Updated : Jan 19, 2016, 10:24 pm IST

Seventy writers representing 15 languages — the second edition of the LIC Gateway LitFest, being held at the NCPA on February 20 and 21, will have a much wider canvas than its inaugural edition.

File photo of the first edition of the Gateway LitFest
 File photo of the first edition of the Gateway LitFest

Seventy writers representing 15 languages — the second edition of the LIC Gateway LitFest, being held at the NCPA on February 20 and 21, will have a much wider canvas than its inaugural edition. The Gateway LitFest celebrates writings in Indian languages at the national level.

This year’s event will line up a number of top writers including several Jnanpith laureates, Sahitya Academy awardees and budding writers from across India to discuss and debate the contemporary regional literature landscape. Marathi writer Bhalchandra Nemade, Hindi poet Kedarnath Singh and Odia writers Pratibha Rayand Sitakant Mahapatra are among those who will hold forth on the event’s stage.

“We received an overwhelming response to the first edition of this unique initiative from the literary fraternity. The need to create a powerful platform for regional literature and writers in a largely English language-dominated milieu found wide resonance with the readers and writers alike. We intend to make this a people’s movement with the inclusion of new programme formats and wider participation of regional literature lovers,” said festival director Mohan Kakkanadan, of this second edition of the LitFest.

The festival’s executive director M Sabarinath added, “The effort is to bring together the writers from different Indian languages at the national level to promote co-existence and co-growth which is vital for preserving our national diversity in linguistics.”

The two-day festival will have several panel discussions and debates on themes like the impact of real life and fiction in films, the English language venturing into the Indian mythological realm, the impact of social media like Facebook and Whatsapp on Indian poets and poetry, the present state of regional women writers and their non-assimilation in the mainstream literary space, the changes and trends in Marathi literature from the ’60s to the ’90s, issues faced by contemporary Malayalam literature and the issue of translation losing the flavour of original literary pieces.