PEN Hong Kong’s anthology Hong Kong 20/20: Reflections on a Borrowed Place (Blacksmith Books, 2017) is featured in this year’s Hong Kong International Literary Festival (HKILF). The anthology, which includes essays, poems, fiction and artwork by some of the city’s most prominent literary and creative minds, marks the 20th anniversary of the handover and reflects on the Fragrant Harbour’s post-colonial development. Come and hear some of the contributors read from their pieces in their own voices. Moderated by Simon Westcott.
PEN: Hong Kong 20/20
Date: Saturday 11 November 2017
Time: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Venue: Downstairs, Fringe Club
Moderator: Simon Westcott
Contributors who will be reading: Mary Jean Chan, Louise Law, Timothy O’Leary, Mishi Saran, Shahilla Shariff and Marco Wan
About the readers:
Mary-Jean Chan is a poet from Hong Kong. She won the 2017 Poetry Society Members’ Competition and the 2016 Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition (ESL), whilst being shortlisted for the 2016 London Magazine Poetry Prize, the 2016 Rialto Open Pamphlet Poetry Competition and the 2016 Resurgence Prize. Her work has appeared in The Poetry Review, Ambit, The London Magazine, Callaloo Journal, The Rialto, Bare Fiction, The Scores, Tongue and elsewhere. A Callaloo and VONA Fellow, Mary-Jean is currently a Research Associate at the Royal Holloway Poetics Research Center at the University of London, and is a Co-Editor at Oxford Poetry.
Graduated as a Philosophy major at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Louise Law received a master’s degree in English at the same school. In 2010 she joined Fleurs des lettres, one of the most acclaimed Hong Kong literary magazines and is now its executive director. She also occasionally contributes to local media such as City Magazine, Mingpao Weekly and Hong Kong Economic Times. She was the Festival Manager at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival and the Project Manager of LitStream, the first literary festival initiated by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. She was one of the first runners-up of the 3rd Li Shing Wah Modern Poetry Award for Young Poets.
Timothy O’Leary has lived in Hong Kong since 2001. He is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hong Kong, where he is an elected member of HKU Council. He has been an active defender of academic freedom at HKU for a number of years. He has published extensively in the fields of ethics, aesthetics, the critical powers of fiction, and the work of the French philosopher Michel Foucault. He is co-General Editor of the book series New Critical Humanities at Rowman & Littlefield International. Timothy is PEN Hong Kong’s Secretary.
Mishi Saran is the author of The Other Side of Light (HarperrCollins India, 2012), which was shortlisted for the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize. Her travel book-cum-memoir, Chasing the Monk’s Shadow: A Journey in the Footsteps of Xuanzang (Penguin, 2005), was shortlisted for India’s 2006 Hutch Crossword Book award. Her short stories have won prizes and been broadcast on the BBC. Mishi returned to Hong Kong in 2014 after a decade away. She is fluent in Mandarin, French and Hindi. She is writing a novel set in Shanghai. For more, visit her website.
Shahilla Shariff is the author of a collection of poetry, Life Lines (Proverse Hong Kong 2012), which was a finalist in the 2011 International Proverse Prize. Her poetry has been shortlisted for the 2013 Bridport Prize and long listed for the 2015 Montreal International Poetry Prize. Her work has been featured in anthologies such as Mapping Me, A Landscape of Women’s Stories (Maymona, 2014), Desde Hong Kong: Poets in Conversation with Octavio Paz (Chameleon Press, 2014), Quixotica: Poems East of La Mancha (Chameleon Press, 2016), LSF Poetry Anthology (2017) as well as various journals, including World Literature Today (November 2014 and January 2017). A lawyer who lives in Hong Kong, she was born in Kenya and is Canadian. She was educated at Harvard College, Harvard Law School and Cambridge University, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar.
Marco Wan is an associate professor of law and honorary associate professor of English at the University of Hong Kong. His research focuses on law and literature, law and film, gender and sexuality, and legal/critical theory. He is the author of Masculinity and the Trials of Modern Fiction (Routledge, 2016). He received his BA from Yale University, his first law degree and PhD from the University of Cambridge, and his LLM from Harvard Law Schoo.
About the moderator:
Simon Westcott is a travel and media entrepreneur, with 20 years experience in the UK and Australia. He is currently owner and CEO of LUXE City Guides, based in Hong Kong. He was previously the co-founder and Managing Director at Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Asia Pacific), Global Publisher at Lonely Planet Publications and Marketing Director at The Age, Melbourne and Reed Consumer Books in the UK. He chaired Australia’s Malthouse Theatre, and served as a board member of the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board, the dance company Chunky Move, the Castlemaine State Festival and the Australian progressive politics advocacy group, Get Up! Simon is PEN Hong Kong’s Treasurer.
“Hong Kong 20/20… is [the] best collection in years of writing and comment about [our] city.” —The South China Morning Post