Festival attracts prominent writers to Seoul, Jeju

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Sept 15, 2014 - 20:20
  • Updated : Sept 15, 2014 - 20:20
Writers from 13 countries will come together in Seoul’s historic neighborhood of Bukchon and the southern resort island of Jejudo to communicate through literature at the 2014 edition of the Seoul International Writers’ Festival.

The fifth biennial literary festival, which launched in 2006, will run for seven days from Sept. 21-27, and will include presentations and readings by writers, diverse performances and cultural events, under the theme of “Eros and Dream.” 
The official poster for the 2014 Seoul International Writers’ Festival (Literature Translation Institute of Korea)

A total of 28 poets and novelists ― 14 each from overseas and from Korea ― will participate. They include Korean-American novelist Susan Choi; Japanese novelist Tawada Yoko; French poet Claude Mouchard; Irish poet Sinead Morrissey; Korean novelists Kim Tae-yong, Hwang Jung-eun and Han Yu-joo; and Korean poets Kim Haeng-sook and Kang Jeong. Foreign writers are selected based on recommendations by Korean writers to the festival’s organizers.

During the festival, each international participant will pair up with a Korean counterpart to discuss each other’s literary works with the audience.

“There are many talented, young Korean writers who don’t get much exposure outside of Korea,” said Kwon Se-hoon, executive at the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, the organizer of the festival, at a press conference earlier this month.

“This festival will serve as an opportunity not only for foreign writers to experience Korean culture and arts, but also for Korean writers to exchange dialogues with writers from different countries.”

This year’s festival involves the creative collaboration of literature and diverse forms of arts, a step up from past festivals, the organizers said. The paired team will read out their works under the theme of Eros, followed by performances illustrating the recited works. Performances range from pansori (Korean traditional opera), film screenings and a theatrical play to ballet and flamenco dance performances.

“Through embedding various forms of arts, writers can communicate more actively and creatively with the readers,” said Choi Chang-keun, stage director of the festival, at the press conference.

For the first two days of the festival, writers will gather on Jejudo Island to participate in the opening ceremony and cultural events. The rest of the festival will take place in Bukchon, central Seoul.

For more information or to participate, visit or call (02) 6919-7721.

By Ahn Sung-mi (