In “Prometedor el Festival de la Palabra” (El Nuevo Día) writer Mayra Santos Febres speaks to Leyra E. González Pérez about the challenges she faced in inviting world renowned authors and great figures of the international literary scene to participate in Puerto Ricos’s forthcoming Festival de la Palabra [Festival of the Word] 2010. She was pleasantly surprised to receive very enthusiastic responses from he likes of Rosa Montero, Enrique Vila-Matas, Jorge Volpi, Arturo Pérez Reverte, Cristina Rivera Garza, Mario Bellatín, Pedro Mairal, and José Saramago (who has yet to confirm his participation). The inaugural keynote speech will be delivered by leading Puerto Rican writer and playwright Luis Rafael Sánchez. For the moment, the list of keynote speakers includes Gioconda Belli, Junot Díaz, and Alfredo Bryce Echenique. Around 100 writers from Puerto Rico and abroad are expected to participate.
Besides keynote speeches, the Festival de la Palabra, which will take place in May 5-9, 2010, will include literary contests, workshops for adults and children, activities for young readers, various art events, and talks in schools for students and teachers, in libraries, universities, and the communities. The festival should contribute to the internationalization and strengthening of literary culture in Puerto Rico and a healthy exchange between island readers/writers, Puerto Rican writers from the diaspora, and leading international authors producing work in Spanish.
The festival was proposed by the not-for-profit group Salón Literario Libroamérica de Puerto Rico. Its members, including Santos Febres, are people from various institutions brought together by the sole purpose of promoting reading and literary production on the island and encouraging people, not only to read, but also to interpret and understand what literature really is.
For full article (in Spanish) by Leyra E. González Pérez, see http://www.elnuevodia.com/prometedorelfestivaldelapalabra-635413.html
For more information, see www.festivaldelapalabra.net