Kriti will be a four-day event celebrating South Asian and diaspora literature, with panel discussions, performances, readings, music and song, storytelling for kids, and much more! At our 2005 festival we had 30 visiting writers, editors and agents, and huge fun -- for more info on that festival, take a look at our archive here: http://www.desilit.org/kriti2005.html
Our Guest of Honor in 2007 will be award-winning author Anita Desai, noted Indian novelist, short-listed for the Booker Prize three times. (Her daughter, Kiran Desai, recently won the 2006 Booker Prize.) Just a few of Anita Desai's wonderful books include Fasting, Feasting; Baumgartner's Bombay; Clear Light of Day, and In Custody (which was made into a Merchant/Ivory film, starring Shashi Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, and Om Puri). More info on Anita Desai: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anita_Desai
If you're a writer, editor, agent, or academic and interested in serving as a panelist at the festival, please contact me directly. We're interested in any type of creative writing (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, screenwriting, playwriting, children's lit). We're not interested in straight journalism, sadly. We'd also love to hear from academics (grad students welcome too!) specializing in South Asian/diaspora literature who are interested giving a talk to a general audience. This is a great opportunity to promote yourself and your writing; all writers will give readings of their work, in addition to serving on panels. If you're a children's writer, please let us know whether you'd be available to do a storytelling session as well. Include a short bio (50-100 words) in your e-mail. If accepted, your registration for the festival will be complimentary, and if funds permit, we will reimburse your travel expenses up to $300. We will also be providing limited housing with local volunteers. (Any funds gathered go directly to festival production expenses and reimbursing panelists; all the organizers are volunteers.)
If you live in Chicago, we can definitely use your help in planning and running the festival! We need both folks who can come to monthly planning meetings in the next few months, and people who are available to help out at the festival weekend itself. No experience needed! Volunteers will receive complimentary registration -- our planning meetings are also a lot of fun. :-) We usually meet at my home in Bucktown (near North Ave. and Damen, convenient both to the Blue line and 90/94), and figure things out over a yummy meal. And even if you can't make every meeting, we welcome your input on our planning mailing list!
If interested in helping us out, please join our planning list here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/desilit-kriti/. The next planning meeting will be on Sunday, December 17th -- it'll be a brunch meeting, around 1-3 p.m.
And if you're just interested in attending and want to get occasional festival updates as planning progresses, be sure you're on our general DesiLit mailing list -- stop by our website and enter your e-mail address in the box provided: http://www.desilit.org/. We'll be accepting discounted pre-registrations starting in January.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to write me. Thanks!
NOTE: Kriti is co-sponsored by Roosevelt University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and will be held at their two campuses, in the Loop and West Loop, Chicago.