As Patron of the Irrawaddy Literary Festival, I am looking forward to its third event in 2015. The Festival is providing an important open forum for Burma's literary talent. Its stimulating mix of gifted writers from overseas and some of our most accomplished Burmese authors, cartoonists, translators and artists, has helped to shine a spotlight on the arts and literature in Burma. The next Festival will strengthen existing bonds and encourage yet more creativity between Burma's writers and those from many other countries. It is also another opportunity for all those who care about literature to enjoy a world class Festival.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Welcome to the Irrawaddy Literary Festival website.

“The Festival is a kind of miracle…” (Margaret Simons, The Guardian, Thursday 2 April 2015 http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/02/water-shortages-factions-and-free-speech-at-burmas-irrawaddy-literary-festival).

Ms Simons, a leading journalist and academic at Melbourne University, travelled all the way from Australia, with a number of colleagues, to take part in the third Irrawaddy Literary Festival which took place in Mandalay at the Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel from 27-30 March 2015.

Ms Simons’ choice of ‘miracle’ to describe the Festival has been used by other commentators and indeed on many occasions by the small voluntary team behind the scenes, putting together a world class event on a shoestring budget.

You can read Margaret Simons’ full article for The Guardian as well as others on this site’s media page. The Festival team is grateful to all those who took the time to comment on the event; without funds for publicity or marketing, the Festival relies on word of mouth and the testimony of participants to provide an insight for those who are interested in knowing more about the first (and still the only) international literary festival in Myanmar.

The Festival’s patron, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has advised the team that she would like the fourth Festival to go ahead in the last quarter of 2016. Although we don’t have specific dates yet (that will depend largely on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s diary), the year of the fourth Festival benefits from the auspicious number 9 (2016: 2+0+1+6=9). Whilst the team isn’t about to rely on luck and mythology to put on another great event, a little extra help won’t go amiss.

Keep watching this space for news.

Every best wish from the ILF Team.

June 2015