IN A bid to make the Malaysian capital a regional hotbed for literature lovers, Perbadanan Kota Buku has rolled out a first of its kind literature festival.
The Kuala Lumpur Literary Festival (KLLF) 2016 saw booklovers coming out from the city's shadows to bask among fellow readers, writers, poets, editors, and other wordsmiths.
National Laureate Prof Dr Mohd Salleh who launched the event, said the nation has been blessed with literary bigwigs yet missed the mark when it came to being on par with famed Asian literary cities such as Singapore and Jakarta.
“We are not short of literary events but the issue is capturing the public’s attention,” he said, adding that the KLLF’s informality appeals to the youth.
Against the hipster-charm backdrop of the Art Printing Works in Bangsar, book lovers thronged the three-day festival, which ended with poetry readings, workshops, panel discussions and showcases.
“We aim to make Kuala Lumpur a global one-stop centre for book lovers and this is one of the landmark programmes for us to achieve this,” said Perbadanan Kota Buku chief executive officer Sayed Munawar Sayed Mohd Mustar.
Polish poetess Marzanna Kielar said the festival made her feel at one with literature lovers from other countries.
“Along with those from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, we are contributing and every country is in solidarity,” said the 53-year-old Philosophy professor, famed for her 2006 book, Salt Monody.
Local author Ridhwan Saidi, 32, said such festivals are important to connect literature lovers and those in the business.
“Here, the literature scene is not very happening, so we need to get more people to be interested so that the scene grows stronger,” said the former architect who penned the 2011 hot-selling Malay novel, Amerika.