George Town Literary Festival > Moderators
Ahmad Fuad Rahmat is a PhD candidate at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. He co-hosts the radio show on BFM89.9 called Night School with Sharaad Kuttan and is a founding member of Projek Dialog, a platform for greater multicultural understanding among Malaysian youths.
Ann Lee was born in Tawau, Sabah. She is a playwright, writer, and currently a PhD student at the National University of Singapore, researching political satire in Southeast Asia. She holds a BA (Hons) in Applied Photography, Film and Television (Westminster) and an MSc in History of Science, Medicine and Technology (Oxon). She is also an Asia Leadership Fellow, awarded by the Japan Foundation and The International House of Japan. Her published short stories include those in Body2Body: A Malaysian Queer Anthology (Matahari, 2009) and Malaysian Tales: Retold and Remixed (ZI, 2011) and most recently edited an anthology of fiction about Sabah, Chronicles of KK (Fixi, forthcoming, 2016). Her work for the stage has been published in Sex, Stage & State: Kuali Works Plays (Parama Adhi Perkasa, 2011) and performed in Kuala Lumpur, Ubud, Sydney, and New York. Ann is working on a new full-length play, Not Far Now.
If you're looking for a quick hit of Ezra Zaid, look no further than the Internet or a working radio. You might have seen him on YouTube hosting That Effing Show, a popular satirical online series delighting in the absurdities of our local news & politics. If not, you may hear him on BFM89.9’s Evening Edition during your drive home, providing commentary about local and international stories alike. Recently, he has extended his work to hosting documentaries for The History Channel and Channel News Asia. With a focus on political science and philosophy, he graduated from the University of British-Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He regularly provides commentary on Malaysian current affairs that have featured on Al-Jazeera, CNN, The New York Times, ABC Radio Australia and The Straits Times (Singapore). He is also the co-founder of PopDigital, a creative media shop specialising in media and technology.
Gareth Richards is a former academic who taught politics at the University of Manchester and Universiti Malaya. He is the founder-director of Impress Creative & Editorial, a small and innovative company involved in diverse areas of the arts and book production, notably consultant editing and translation. In May 2014, he set up Gerakbudaya Bookshop, Penang, the first independent bookshop in the UNESCO World Heritage site of George Town. He is the co-author/editor of Asia–Europe Interregionalism: Critical Perspectives (1999) and wrote the texts for two books of photography, Portraits of Penang: Little India (2011) and Panicrama (2016).
Gareth Richards is supported by Gerakbudaya Bookshop.
Jason Erik Lundberg was born in New York, grew up in North Carolina, and has lived in Singapore since 2007. He is the author and anthologist of over twenty books, including Red Dot Irreal (2011), The Alchemy of Happiness (2012), Fish Eats Lion (2012), Strange Mammals (2013), Embracing the Strange (2013), Carol the Coral (2016), the Bo Bo and Cha Cha picture book series, and the biennial Best New Singaporean Short Stories anthology series. He is also the founding editor of LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction (est. 2012), and a recipient of the Creation Grant from Singapore’s National Arts Council. His writing has been shortlisted for the SLF Fountain Award, Brenda L. Smart Award for Short Fiction, SCBWI Crystal Kite Member Choice Award and POPULAR Readers’ Choice Award, and honourably mentioned twice in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.
Kam Raslan is a Malaysian writer and radio broadcaster who originally worked in film. He has a long-running column in The Edge, has written a novel, Confessions of an Old Boy (2007) and is currently writing a non-fiction study of the 1890s.
Ksatriya is an idea-preneur. He believes that there is great creative potential in Penang and Malaysia, and works to help realize dreams, support learning and encourage expression. He is the co-founder of Say It Like You Mean It, the first local mentorship programme for new performing artists in music, comedy and spoken word.
Lawrence Lacambra Ypil is a poet and essayist from Cebu, Philippines. He is the author of The Highest Hiding Place and has received MFAs from Washington University in St. Louis and the Nonfiction Writing Program of the University of Iowa.
Malachi Edwin Vethamani is Professor of Modern English Literature, School of English, at University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. His areas of specialization include Malaysian Literature in English, New Literatures in English, Victorian Literature, World Englishes, Malaysian English and teaching literature in English. He has a monthly column on English language and literature in the New Sunday Times, a Malaysian national newspaper. His latest publication is a collection of poems, Complicated Lives (Maya Press). In 2015, he published A Bibliography of Malaysian Literature in English (Maya Press).
Malachi Edwin Vethamani is supported by Maya Press.
Michael Vatikiotis has been writing and reporting about Southeast Asia for more than thirty years. He was formerly a correspondent and then editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review and a BBC Correspondent. He has written two novels set in Indonesia and two collections of short stories set in Southeast Asia. His next book, on power and conflict in Southeast Asia, will be published in 2017.
Mohd Izzuddin Ramli is a researcher at Nusantara Studies, Penang Institute. He graduated from Universiti Sains Malaysia in Political Science and Anthropology. His interests are in culture, local politics and subaltern studies. His current research is on literary activities in Penang, particularly on the aspect of translation. Apart from his academic work, he also shares his social and political commentary on local news portals and writes for the Penang Monthly. His recent work is included in Lastik! Lontaran Batu-Batu Kerikil (2016) and Prisma: Koleksi Rencana Kontemporari, Suara Anak Muda, Seni dan Budaya (2015).
Sharaad Kuttan has a Masters in Sociology from the National University of Singapore. He co-edited a collection of essays on Singapore, titled Looking At Culture in the early 1990s. He is also a member of the Singapore branch of the International Art Critics Association. As part of his contributions to the human rights agenda in Malaysia, he co-founded the Centre for Independent Journalism and ran the short-lived Radiq Radio initiative. He has a chapter on civil society action in the struggle for electoral reform in the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia publication, Elections and Democracy in Malaysia. He is currently a producer on BFM89.9.
Sharon Bakar was born in Britain but has lived in Malaysia since 1984. A teacher-trainer by profession, she now teaches creative writing through her company Word Works. Her articles, reviews, and short fiction have appeared in a number of Malaysian publications. She has edited or co-edited and published four collections of Malaysian writing. The latest is Everything About Us, launched in August 2016 and based on the monthly literary event she organises – Readings @ Seksan.
Shivani Sivagurunathan writes short fiction and poetry. Her collection of short stories, Wildlife on Coal Island came out in 2011 and was republished by Harper Collins India in 2012. She lectures in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. She is currently working on a new collection of short stories.
Umapagan Ampikaipakan is a media moll. You can find him almost everywhere - from newsprint to the World Wide Web, from radio to television - where he contemplates everything from the idiosyncrasies of Malaysian politics to his unnatural obsession with the written word. Blessed with a critic’s pen and a reader’s enthusiasm, Uma is one of our foremost literary voices. His long running radio show, Bookmark on BFM89.9, is Malaysia's pre-eminent broadcast on all things book related. He is also a film critic with At the Movies, a pop-culture columnist for #edGY, and the co-host of BFM89.9's drive time radio show, The Evening Edition. And when he's not doing all of that, Uma runs The Cooler Lumpur Festival, KL's yearly gathering of literary minds and thought leaders, and Asia’s first and only festival of ideas.
Yasmin Bathamanathan is a Penang-based writer, poet and playwright. She is one half of the Si-Jin Poets that works with elements of translation, contextual interpretation and imagination. Si-Jin Poet's experimental poetry project, Found in Translation is a first-of-its-kind Penang Hokkien–English bilingual poetry book. As an intersectional feminist and advocate for women's participation in the arts, she developed and curated the women writers programme VOICES for George Town Literary Festival in 2014, 2015 and 2016.