Festival of Hope 2 / 16 February 2021

Speaking Up from the Mediterranean

Festival of Hope 2

We are facing a difficult time, a time of literal and metaphorical borders, which are leading to a lack of trust between us. A time in which we need more empathy, we need more art and we need to speak up, Injizjamed is presenting four Maltese authors, who speak up because this is what makes them human. 

Immanuel Mifsud

Immanuel Mifsud is a poet and a writer born in Malta in 1967. He is the recipient of a number of awards: the Malta National Award for prose (2002, 2015), the Malta National Award for poetry (2014, 2016), and the European Union Prize for Literature (2011). Various works by Mifsud have been translated and published in a number of languages.

He holds a PhD from the University of Malta where he lectures in Maltese contemporary literature and theatre.

In 2020 Immanuel Mifsud's award winning poetry collection Fish was published in Serbia, Greece and Slovenia. His award winning novel Jutta Heim was published in Albanian and the EUPL winning book In the Name of the Father (and of the Son) was published in the UK by Parthian Books and in Croatian by Fraktura.

Priscilla Cassar

Priscilla Cassar (b. 1971) is a Maltese Speech Language Pathologist, Gerontologist, certified Cultural Geragogist and aspiring poet. She endeavours to bring literature and writing to older adults and across healthcare settings. 

Priscilla is a member of the local cultural organization Inizjamed and is also the initiator and organizer of literary eves for older adults (2017, 2018, 2019), as part of Inizjamed’s annual Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival.

Her poetry, prose, and translations have been published in a number of anthologies, projects and online, both locally as well as abroad. Last year she was one of the runners-up in the Adult Unpublished category of the Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition 2020.

Lara Calleja

Lara Calleja was born in her beloved village of Marsascala, where the salty odour of the sea can be smelt from every corner and the waves crashing against the rocks were the soundtrack to her life stories. Lara loves exploring new places, not just abroad, but even the tiny crannies of Maltese streets which sometimes lead to a majestic building and sometimes to an abandoned emotionally haunting site. She works in the tourism sector but has the arts, in particular books and writing, very close to her heart. She thinks that the Maltese language makes it very easy for people to express their thoughts precisely.

Adrian Grima

Adrian Grima (Malta, 1968) is an associate professor of Maltese literature at the University of Malta and a visiting lecturer at INALCO in Paris, and he has worked extensively on literary representations of the Mediterranean. His passion for the Mediterranean perhaps stems from the fact that his paternal great grandfather was an ethnic Maltese born in Corfu who moved to Malta at the end of the 19th century and travelled around the world as a cook in the British Navy. 

He has written and edited a number of academic works in Maltese, English and Italian, and has published poetry collections and short stories in Maltese for both adults and adolescents. His work has been translated into 16 languages. 

Adrian Grima co-founded Inizjamed in 1998 and was the artistic director of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival between 2007 and 2018.



Inizjamed is a voluntary non-governmental cultural organisation founded in 1998 in Malta that is committed towards the regeneration of culture and artistic expression in the Maltese Islands and actively promotes a greater awareness of the cultures of the Mediterranean. Inizjamed is a secular, non- partisan organisation that acknowledges that every generation must seek to create its own language and both respond to realities of its day and look beyond them. Inizjamed believes that cooperation and partnership are far more effective in the long-term than competition. Its flagship is the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival.