Literary glitterati arrive with launch of the Singapore Writers Festival

American poet Robert Pinsky. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL
American poet Robert Pinsky. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL
Feminist, activist and author Naomi Wolf. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL
Feminist, activist and author Naomi Wolf. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL
Author Paul Theroux. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL
Author Paul Theroux. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL

Big-name writers such as travel writer Paul Theroux, political activist Naomi Wolf and fantasy writer Raymond E. Feist will be in town over the next 10 days as the Singapore Writers Festival returns.

The annual celebration of both the written and spoken word features major foreign writers as well as home-grown literary talent. The 10-day event, which runs until Nov 9, is packed with more than 250 events and almost 200 writers.

The official opening of the festival tonight at the Singapore Management University Campus Green will feature a poem-jazz performance by three-time United States Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, a reading of the specially-commissioned festival poem by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon, and a children's performance of nursery rhymes in Chinese dialect. The guest-of-honour is Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim.

New books will also launch at the festival, including a memoir of Singapore football star Quah Kim Song and the book 50 Things to Love About Singapore, edited by Straits Times senior writer Susan Long, which looks at Singapore's unique institutions, inventions, policy innovations and contributions to the world.

For a selection of festival highlights, go to www.straitstimes.com/singapore-writers-festival-2014.