Curtains to the three-day Dhaka Literary Festival (DLF), previously known as the Hay Festival Dhaka, are to rise on November 16 for the 17th time, on the historic grounds of the Bangla Academy in the capital.
The announcement came yesterday at a press conference organised by the DLF organisers at an auditorium of the academy.
This year's event will notably feature eminent poet Ali Ahmad Said Esber, known as Adunis, eminent Padma-Shri-winning poet Nabaneeta Dev Sen and British actress Tilda Swinton. Eminent personalities from Bangladesh including Educationist Syed Manzoorul Islam, Writer Imdadul Haq Milon, Poet Helal Hafiz and Academician Salimullah Khan will also be present during the fest.
One of great highlights of this year is the announcement of the winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. Besides that, the festival will launch the British literary Journal Granta and host Gemcon Literary Awards, the highest monetary value literary prize in Bangladesh.
There will also be cultural performances, writing workshops, interactive panel discussions, book launches and creative sessions for children, including much more for literary enthusiasts.
The festival will host over 200 talents this year from 24 different countries and they will take part in the event with over 90 sessions, all of which will be free and open to all.
Speaking at the press conference, Shamsuzzaman Khan, director general of Bangla Academy, said the literature of the country is rich but they do not get enough patronage in introducing it to the global arena.
“However such a platform will provide the opportunity,” he said, adding that more translation for the Bangla literature is necessary for the international audience.
Sadaf Saaz, director and producer of DLF, said that they are keeping both Bangla and English sessions, so that audience from both languages can participate.
Poet Adunis will launch the festival at 10:00am and it will be open for the next three days from 9:00am to 7:45pm.
The DLF is being produced by Jatrik, with Bangla Academy as the co-host and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs as special partner.