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PEN Melbourne @ MWF: Writing and Censorship

  • ACMI - The Cube - Federation Square Flinders Street Melbourne Australia (map)

Writing and Censorship

Sheng Keyi (China), Miguel Syjuco (Philippines), Nyein Way (Myanmar)

hosted by Arnold Zable, PEN Melbourne

Friday 21 Aug, 10-11 am 

Free event: no bookings required

What’s it like to write stories that critique a political regime? What’s the reaction from readers within – and outside – your country? Sheng Keyi (China), Miguel Syjuco (Philippines) and Nyein Way (Myanmar) talk about what drives them… and whether writing can bring about change. Hosted by PEN Melbourne’s Arnold Zable.

About the Speakers

Sheng Keyi was born in Hunan province, China, in 1973 and now lives in Beijing. Death Fugue is her sixth and most recent novel, and the second, after Northern Girls, to be published in English translation. She has also written four collections of short stories. Highly regarded in China, her work has been translated into German, Korean, Japanese and Dutch.

Miguel Syjuco was born and raised in Manila. A journalist and freelance writer, Syjuco was most recently a Radcliffe fellow at Harvard University and the writer-in-residence at NTU in Singapore. His debut novel Ilustrado was a New York Times Notable Book of 2010, as well as the winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize, the Hugh MacLennan Prize, the Palanca Award and the Filipino Readers’ Choice Award. It was also a finalist for the Amazon First Novel Award, the Grand Prix du Livre de Montreal, the Prix Jan Michalski, the Prix Courrier International, the Premio Von Rezzori and the Commonwealth First Book Prize. Illustrado has been translated into over 16 languages. Syjuco has a PhD in literature from the University of Adelaide, a master’s degree in creative writing from Columbia University and a bachelor degree in English literature from the Ateneo de Manila University. He is a member of the Academy of the Folio Prize, as well as associate editor at the Manila Review. Syjuco has written for the New York Times, Newsweek, the International Herald Tribune, the CBC, the BBC, and many others.

Nyein Way is a contemporary Myanmar poet, multi-disciplinary artist, post-conceptual writer, text-based artist and educator. His interests include experimental, avant-garde and contemporary Western and European poetry as well as Asian and African poetry, contemporary philosophy and Buddhism. He uses and conceptualises differences between all of these interests to show the staggering and different realities in the 21st century.

Earlier Event: May 3
World Press Freedom Day
Later Event: August 21
Talking Points: The War on Journalism