Jon Mallia will lead a round-table discussion with prominent literary figures Trevor Żahra, Lon Kirkop, Alex Farrugia, Nadia Mifsud and Loranne Vella. The discussion will delve into the personalities and careers of these writers as well as how they perceive their role in the ever-evolving landscape of Maltese literature. Jon will pose thought-provoking questions to gain deeper insights into what these award-winning writers believe the future of books in Malta will be like and how this development can be influenced.
Trevor Żahra was born in 1947 at Żejtun. He has more than 130 publications to date, all written in Maltese. His first children’s adventure, Il-Pulena tad-Deheb (Merlin Publishers), was published in 1971. Ever since, he has never stopped writing novels, poems, workbooks and short stories. Żahra has won the National Book Prize several times, for both the children and adult fiction categories. In 2004, he was decorated with the Medal for Service to the Republic by the President of Malta in recognition for his contribution towards children’s literature.
Lon Kirkop is a Maltese artist and a printmaker but he loves writing more than anything. He is also involved in theatre and jumps at every opportunity to direct his own plays. When he is not creating art or writing, Lon spends his time reading, watching YouTube videos, and discussing his ideas with himself over a glass or two of red wine.
Aleks Farrugia is a writer, educator and political commentator. His socio-realist novel Ir-Re Borg (SKS) was published in 2022. His collection of historical short stories Għall-Glorja tal-Patrija! (SKS, 2019) won the National Book Prize in 2020. The English translation of this collection, Capricious Tales from Malta (SKS), was published in 2023.
Nadia Mifsud is a poet, novelist and literary translator. Her poetry collections Kantuniera ’l Bogħod (Edizzjoni Skarta, 2015) and Varjazzjonijiet tas-Skiet (Ede Books, 2021) won the National Book Prize in 2016 and 2022 respectively. In 2023, Mifsud was bestowed the prestigious title of Poet Laureate by the National Book Council.
Loranne Vella is the author of the novels Marta Marta (Ede Books, 2022), Rokit (Merlin Publishers, 2018) and Magna Mater (Merlin Publishers, 2011), the short story collection mill-bieb ’il ġewwa (Ede Books, 2019), and the Triloġija tal-Fiddien (Merlin Publishers, 2007–2009) co-written with Simon Bartolo. She won the National Book Prize several times, most recently for Rokit in 2018. Vella is also the co-editor of the online literary journal Aphroconfuso.