The authors, moderators, and panelists participating in the 2016 Bookworm Literary Festival in Suzhou.

Richard Blanco 2

March 13 

Poet Richard Blanco, born in Madrid, was raised in Miami with his Cuban-exile family. In 2003 he became just the fifth poet to read at a United States presidential inauguration — and the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and openly gay writer to do so — when he read “One Today” for President Barack Obama. His books include City of a Hundred Fires (1998), winner of the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize; Directions to the Beach of the Dead (2005), winner of the PEN/American Beyond Margins Award; Looking for the Gulf Motel (2012), winner of the Tom Gunn Award, the Maine Literary Award, and the Paterson Prize; One Today (2013); and Boston Strong (2013).

Xu Yunpeng

March 14


Xu Yunpeng was born and raised on the Loess Plateau, home to the Wild Children. He is a column writer, photographer and a traveler. He participated in the Photography Festival in Northwest China, and held his own photo exhibition in 2008.

He talks of his travels in the Weihe River and Yellow River regions by motorbike, which inspired his column Traveling across the lifeline of the Chinese Civilization. In 2015 he founded the folk publications Tian Yuan.

Philip Wilcox pic - by Chris Peken resized

March 15 

Philip Wilcox is the current Australian Poetry Slam National Champion, a competition that more than 1,000 Australian poets entered. He is also the two-time NSW Poetry Slam Champion. He hosts and co-organizes Three Poets Speak, a Sydney showcase of the finest spoken word artists from around Australia. He has featured in major events such as the Sydney Writers Festival, Wollongong Writers Festival, and Newtown Festival, where he performed for a crowd of more than 8,000. He recently headlined the Melbourne event Voices in the Attic. He is also a playwright, having co-written and directed Thursday, one of the most successful productions of the 2013 Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival.

Jon Bilbao 3

March 17

Jon Bilbao was born in Ribadesella, Spain in 1972. He studied mining engineering and English literature. His first novel El hermano de las moscas (2008) was a revision of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. In 2010 he published Padres, hijos y primates, which is available in English under the title Still the Same Man, which explores man’s deepest and darkest instincts. Shakespeare y la ballena blanca, published in 2013, is a reflection on the creative process that brings together William Shakespeare and Moby Dick in a historical tragedy. Bilbao’s short stories have been widely anthologized, and he has three short fiction collections.

Qiu Xiaolong resized

March 16, 17

Qiu Xiaolong’s books have sold over a million copies and have been published in twenty languages. He is the author of the award-winning Inspector Chen series of mystery novels, Death of a Red Heroine (2000), A Loyal Character Dancer (2002), When Red is Black (2004), A Case of Two Cities (2006), Red Mandarin Dress (2007), and The Mao Case (2009). He is also the author of two books of poetry translations, Treasury of Chinese Love Poems (2003) and Evoking T’ang (2007), and his own poetry collection, Lines Around China (2003). BBC4 is currently presenting a radio dramatization of his first three Inspector Chen books. His latest book Shanghai Redemption – which was hailed by Wall Street Journal as one of the best books of 2015 – is partly set in Suzhou and refers to the Bookworm Literary Festival. Born in Shanghai, he currently lives in St. Louis with his wife and daughter.

Tammy Ho-Lai Ming 1

March 17, 18

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is a poet, short story writer, translator, and founding editor of the literary journal Asian Cha, the first online literary journal based in Hong Kong. Her story “Let Her Go” won Third Prize in The Standard-RTHK Short Story Competition 2005, and her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times and the Forward Prize. She is the author of Hula Hooping, a collection of poetry, and the forthcoming short story collection Her Name Upon the Strand. She is currently an assistant professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, where she teaches fiction, poetry and poetics, and modern drama.

Joy Chen 2

March 18

Joy Chen is an internationally acclaimed Chinese American writer and media personality, and formerly the deputy mayor of Los Angeles. She is the author of the smash China bestseller Do Not Marry Before Age 30, which debunks conventional wisdom that single women are “leftover” by their late 20s, and helps them unlock their potential and realize their dreams. Chen partners with top media companies to create movies, television shows, and viral videos to delight and entertain modern Chinese audiences.

Hashy Lee

海氏: 原名李笠郡,英文名Hashy Lee,久居中国南京。80年代开始写作,诗歌创作为主。早年诗歌、小说等作品发表于《第三代诗人探索诗选》(1987年)、台湾文学网刊《橄榄树》、大陆民间网刊《南京评论》等。后期诗歌、随笔、摄影作品仅发布于自编网站《海氏发言》(、博客( )、微信公众号(hashylee)等。

Hashy Lee is a Nanjing-based writer. He started writing in the early 80s.Some of his early works were published on ‘Selected works of 3rd Gen Exploratory Poets’(1987). ‘The Olive Tree’ (a Taiwanese Web-based Magazine), and another web-magazine The Nanjing Revie, etc. His recent works, including poems, essays and photography works are only published on the website,the blog , and WeChat account Hashylee.

Jordi Punti 3

March 18, 19

Jordi Puntí was born in 1967 and lives in Barcelona. He writes in Catalan and has published two books of short stories: Pell d’armadillo (Armadillo Skin) (1998) and Animals tristos (Sad Animals) (2002). In 2010 he published his first novel, Maletes perdudes (Lost Luggage), which received the National Critics’ Award, El Llibreter Award (booksellers prize), and the prestigious Lletra d’Or, and has been translated into 16 languages. His most recent book is Els castellans (2011), a memoir about the daily life in a Catalan industrial town in the 1970s, focusing on the relationship between Catalan kids and the immigrants arrived from Spain.

Paris / Mart

March 18, 19

Owen Martell was born in 1976 and grew up in Pontneddfechan, South Wales. After studying at Aberystwyth and Oxford universities, he spent a number of years working as a reporter with the BBC. His first Welsh-language novel, Cadw dy ffydd, brawd (Strong and Prophetic), won the Arts Council of Wales’ Welsh Book of the Year award in 2001. His second novel, Dyn yr Eiliad (The Other Man), was shortlisted for the same prize in 2004. Dolenni Hud (Welsh Knot) is a collection of short stories in collaboration with photographer Simon Proffitt. His most recent novel, Intermission, is his first book originally written in English; it has been translated into French and German.

David Hill

March 19

David Hill is a multiple-award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction books for children and adults, including the Esther Glen Medal (NZ) for Fat-Four-Eyed and Useless and Right Where it Hurts. He won a Notable Children’s Book Award in the US for See Ya, Simon, which also was awarded the NES Times Educational Award in the UK and the Silver Feather Award in Germany. Coming Back won two awards in France, and most recently, My Brother’s War was honored several times. Hill has been writing full time since 1983, and his books have been translated into French, German, Danish, Dutch, Chinese, Slovenian, Japanese, and Korean.

Eimear McBride

March 20

Eimer McBride is a Liverpool-born Irish writer who shot to fame with her debut novel, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, which won the Goldsmiths Prize in 2013 and Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2014. The book, which took her nine years to get published, tells the intimate, powerful story of a young girl’s relationship to her cancer-stricken brother as they each navigate devastating childhoods. McBride currently lives in Norwich, where she is working on a second novel.

Sergio Del Molino thumbnail

March 20

Sergio del Molino (Madrid, 1979) is the author of the memoir The Violet Hour, a poignant account of the death of his son from a rare and aggressive form of infant leukemia. The book won the Premio Ojo Crítico de Narrativa 2013 and Premio Tigre Juan 2014. Del Molino has also published short stories, works of research, and a collection of nonfiction. He won the Premio de Literatura Joven del Gobierno de Aragón for fiction, and his first novel was chosen as one of the best ten books of 2012 by the Spanish Booksellers Association. He currently lives in Zaragoza, where he writes a Sunday column for Heraldo de Aragón.

Anna Smaill

March 20, 21

Anna Smaill was born in Auckland in 1979. A classically trained violinist, she changed her pursuit to creative writing while in college. Her first book, The Violinist in Spring, is a collection of poetry published that was listed as one of 2006’s best books by the New Zealand Listener. Her debut novel, The Chimes, was longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. She currently lives in Wellington, New Zealand with her husband and daughter, and supervises MA students in Creative Writing for the International Institute of Modern Letters.

Diego Arboleda resized

March 21

Diego Arboleda is a Spanish author whose latest book is Los descazadores de especies perdidas (“The Unhunters of Lost Species”). He was born in Stockholm in 1976 but grew up in Madrid, where he graduated in Hispanic Philology from the Autónoma University. He developed his passion for classical stories while working at one of Madrid’s premier bookshops. In 2008 he published his first work, “Tic-Tac.” In 2014 he won the National Children’s and Young People’s Literature Award for Prohibido leer a Lewis Carroll which was included on the prestigious White Ravens list compiled by the Internationale Jugendbibliothek in Munich.

Lao Jian

March 21


Lao Jian, a Suzhou native writer, reviewer, social observer and authentic bookworm, whose works include ‘The Bell-ringer’. As a worker in the media industry, he has been devoted to the popularization of reading and a down-to-earth life style. He is also profoundly interested in exploring the future of Chinese culture.

Zhu Wenying

March 22

朱文颖: 生于上海,中国“七十年代后出生”的代表性作家之一,近年介入艺术策展和批评领域。著有长篇小说《莉莉姨妈的细小南方》、《戴女士与蓝》、《高跟鞋》、《水姻缘》,中短篇作品《繁华》、《浮生》、《重瞳》、《花杀》、《哈瓦那》等,有小说随笔集多部。小说入选多种选刊选本,并有部分英文、法文、日文、俄文、韩文、德文意大利文译本。曾获国内多种文学奖项。部分作品被馆藏于法国国家图书馆,并多次入选夏威夷大学纯文学刊物MANOA“环太平洋地区最有潜力的青年作家作品专辑”。其作品在同辈作家中独树一帜,被中国评论界誉为“江南那古老绚烂精致纤细的文化气脉在她身上获得了新的延展。”现任苏州市作家协会副主席。

Zhu Wenying, born in Shanghai, has published many stories including “Aunt Lily’s Small Nambang”, “Madam Dai and Blue”, and “High Heels” Her works have been published in many journals and anthologies and some of them have been translated into English, French, Japanese, Russian, German and Korean. Her short story, “Ephemeral Life”, was published in MANOA, a literary journal published by the University of Hawaii Press, in its 2005 issue, featuring “Blood Ties: Writing Across Chinese Borders.” Her peers appreciate her “renewal of a refined sensibility characteristic of Southern China.” She is currently serving as the vice chairperson for the Suzhou Writers Association.

Mar 04, 2009 Xinran is a Chinese author. Her book is The Good women of China. FYI she has one painted fingernail .. not sure of significance ..if any. Toronto Star/Michael Stuparyk

March 24

Xue Xinran, who writes under the pen name Xinran, is a British-Chinese journalist, author, and advocate of women’s issues. Her first book, The Good Women of China, was an international bestseller upon publication in 2002. She followed up with Sky Burial, a true account of a Han woman’s journey and experiences in Tibet, and her latest book is Buy Me the Sky, an investigation of the impact of China’s one-child policy on those born after 1970. Between 1989 and 1997 Xinran was the popular host of a call-in radio program in China called “Words on the Night Breeze.” She is also founder of The Mother’s Bridge of Love, which reaches out to adopted Chinese children around the world. She was born in Beijing in 1958 and currently lives in the UK.

Nury Vittachi

March 25, 26

Nury Vittachi is a journalist and author best known for the comedy-crime novel series The Feng Shui Detective, which has been translated into multiple languages and published worldwide. In addition to writing fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books, he was a founding editor of the Asia Literary Review, co-founder of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, and key figure in the creation of the Man Asian Literary Prize. In 2008 he was chair of the judges of the inaugural Australia-Asia Literary Award. Vittachi currently lives in Hong Kong with his wife and three children.

Mark Greenwood resized

March 25, 26, 27

Mark Greenwood is an author with a passion for history. His award-winning books, such as The Donkey of Gallipoli and Jandamarra, examine myths and legends, and have been published and honored internationally. He has twice received the West Australian Premier’s Award and the West Australian Young Readers’ Book Award. Greenwood often teams with his wife, illustrator Frané Lessac, to produce books that promote understanding of multicultural issues, such as Drummer Boy of John John, Magic Boomerang, Outback Adventure, and Our Big Island. Greenwood’s other books include The Mayflower and Midnight and the recently released Boomerang and Bat.

Frane Lessac resized

March 25, 26, 27

Frane Lessac has published more than 40 children’s books throughout the world, many of them inspired by her love of travel. In 2010 she was presented the Muriel Barwell Award for Distinguished Service to Children’s Literature.

Lieve Joris

March 26, 27

Lieve Joris is one of Europe’s leading nonfiction writers, with award-winning books on Hungary, the Middle East, and Africa. In 1985 she set sail to the former Belgian colony of Congo, where her great-uncle had been a missionary. Congo became a recurring theme in her work, leading successively to Back to the Congo, The Leopard’s Dance, The Rebels’ Hour, and The High Plains. Her most recent book, On The Wings of the Dragon, is about her journeys between Africa and China, written after she submerged herself in the world of Africans and Chinese who ventured into each other’s territory. Joris was born in Belgium and currently lives in Amsterdam.

Su-Yee Lin photo

Su-Yee Lin is a writer from New York with degrees from Brown University and the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at UMass Amherst. She was a 2012 Fulbright Fellow in Harbin and Hangzhou where she researched Chinese folktales for a collection of magical realist short stories set in contemporary China. She was a 2014 fellow at The Center for Fiction in New York and has also received grants and residencies from Omi International Arts Center and Queens Council on the Arts. Her writing can be found in The Freeman, Electric Literature, Interfictions, Fairy Tale Review, The Common,, and elsewhere. She currently lives in Shanghai as an artist-in-residence at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel.

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