This year's Singapore Writers Festival looks beyond a line-up of lectures and discussion panels to celebrating text as performance.
So along with former Man Booker nominee Deborah Levy talking about dreams and desires, or activist Goenawan Mohamad sharing his experiences as a writer in Indonesia, there are collaborations between writers and musicians that end in a concert, or piano and drama performances in a 12-hour showcase of music, visual arts, drama and other works inspired by text.
Here are some of the highlights of the festival which opens today and ends on Nov 8.
ASIAN SPECULATIVE FICTION: HAS OUR TIME ARRIVED?
Thai-American writer Somtow Sucharitkul changed his name to S.P. Somtow to sell his first novel, Vampire Junction (1984), while Chinese-American author Ken Liu's name dominates reviews of this year's fantasy, thanks to the success of his novel The Grace Of Kings. They share their thoughts on the rise of Asian writers in this genre.
Where: The Japan Foundation Play Den, The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane
When: Tomorrow, 2.30pm
Admission: $20 Festival Pass from Sistic (go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555)
WHEN MEANING IS MANAGED: THE FATE OF LITERATURE
Goenawan Mohamad is a noted Indonesian poet and journalist who wrote critically of the Suharto regime. In this session, conducted in English, he discusses the challenges of free expression in his country.
Where: Chamber, The Arts House
When: 4pm tomorrow
Admission: $15 from Sistic
WHAT DREAMS REVEAL ABOUT OUR SECRETS AND DESIRES
A noted writer of plays and fiction, Deborah Levy reads from her taut novel about madness and sanity, Swimming Home (2011, shortlisted for 2012 Man Booker Prize), and the equally chilling and fascinating short story collection Black Vodka (2013).
Where: Victoria Theatre, 9 Empress Place
When: Sunday, 4pm
Admission: $20 from Sistic
DIMENSIONS & DEMONS
Among the new experiments of this year's festival was to put writers and musicians together to create new music: Stephanie Ye with Ferry, Dave Chua with Weish and Daren Shiau with Riot !n Magenta. Co-presented with Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay.
Where: Esplanade Recital Studio
When: Nov 5, 8pm
Admission: $25 from Sistic
CRIME AND MISDEMEANOURS
Writers share their favourite readings, tales or anecdotes on the theme of "crime and misdemeanours". Featuring Singapore's Felix Cheong, British thriller writer Sophie Hannah, Hong Kong short story writer Jason Y. Ng, American poet and fiction writer Thaddeus Rutkowski and Norwegian author and Sherlock Holmes expert Nils Nordberg.
Where: British Council Gallery, The Arts House
When: Nov 7, 10am
CLOSING DEBATE: THIS HOUSE BELIEVES THAT SINGAPOREANS ARE NOT DREAMERS
The closing debate of the Singapore Writers Festival is usually a laugh riot as debaters defend or attack the theme with pointed wit.
This year's speakers include radio DJ Vernetta Lopez, YouTube star Hirzi Zulkiflie, poet Joshua Ip, writer-musician-actor Deborah Emmanuel, crime fiction writer Shamini Flint, drama lecturer Oniatta Effendi, humour writer Adrian Tan and poet-critic-graphic novelist Gwee Li Sui.
Where: Chamber, The Arts House
When: Nov 8, 7pm
•The Straits Times is the official media partner of the Singapore Writers Festival. For more stories on the festival, go to www.straitstimes.com/tags/singapore-writers- festival-2015