Seoul International Forum for Literature Underway in Korea This Week

In News by Dennis Abrams

From The Korea Times: Held every five years, Seoul’s forum brings together Korean and international authors with readers for discussions of current events.

Some 50 Korean writers are part of this week’s Seoul International Forum for Literature. Image: SIFL site

By Dennis Abrams | @DennisAbrams2
On ‘Radical Changes’
At The Korea Times, Yun Suh-young reports on the 2017 Seoul International Forum for Literature, running through Thursday (May 25) with the theme “Literature and Its Readership in the Changing World.”

First held in 2000, the event was created to provide a platform for international writers to engage in discussion and exchange views, while giving readers a chance to meet high-profile writers.

The forum, organized by the Daesan Foundation and Arts Council Korea, is held every five years.

Yun writes that at this year’s meeting, participants “will discuss the radical changes in society owing to globalization and technological advancements and how literature and its readership can respond to those changes.”

Among visiting writers are Nobel Prize laureates Svetlana Alexievich and Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio, as well as Yu Hua, Amitav Ghosh, Ben Okri, Robert Hass, and Nuruddin Farah. Korean writers in the program include Ko Un, Kim U-chang, Hwang Sok-yong, Jeong You-jeong, Hwang Sun-mi, and Chang Kang-myoung. All told, 50 Korean authors and 13 international authors are expected to participate.

The forum has scheduled four sessions:

  • “Perceiving Us and Them”;
  • “Literature in the Globalizing World: New Overlapping Territories of Literature and of Culture”;
  • “Literature in the Age of Multimedia”; and
  • “Writers and the Market.”

In addition, every morning, three keynote speeches are to be broadcast live on the popular South Korean Web portal Naver.

Among the other events are an evening session, “Evening of Literary Exchanges” in which Svetlana Alexievich and university students meet. A session with Hass and poet Ko Un at Dankook University and commentary from Somalian writer Nuruddin Farah at Kyung Hee University’s African Institute are also on the schedule.

The Cuban writer Omar Perez is listed as speaking at the Seoul Youth Center for Cultural Exchanges.

Activities of the forum are conducted in English and Korean, and writers are holding their own events with readers.


Yun Suh-young’s full report at The Korea Times is here.

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children's publishing and media. He's also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of "The Play's The Thing," a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.