Pooja Nansi to helm Singapore Writers Festival 2023

Noted poet and literary mentor Pooja Nansi will continue to lead as Festival Director of the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) for 2023. 

Pooja Nansi at the opening of Singapore Writers Festival 2022.
Pooja Nansi at the opening of Singapore Writers Festival 2022. Photo courtesy: Tate Anzur

As one of Asia’s premier multilingual literary events, SWF is a much-anticipated event in the cultural calendar, presenting the world’s literary icons to Singaporeans while shining a spotlight on leading home grown and Southeast Asian creative talents. Over the years, the Festival has become an exciting meeting point for writers, academics and thinkers, reaching out to new and diverse audiences with panel discussions, workshops, lectures, and performances. 

This will be Pooja’s fifth year as Festival Director. Over the course of her tenure, she strengthened the outreach to varied audiences such as the youth and people with special needs, strengthened partnerships with public and private stakeholders, enhanced the multilingual character of SWF with strong multifaceted collaborations with mother tongue language literary groups, and presented the first fully digital festival in 2021. The 25th edition in 2022 saw record audience numbers and the first-ever outdoor Festival Village with programmes over three weekends instead of the usual two. 

Sim Wan Hui, Director of Programming and Producing at Arts House Limited (AHL) says, “With the success of the SWF 2022, AHL will continue to work closely with Pooja as well as engage the respective communities such as the youth, and Festival’s language-based advisors, in co-creating programmes that reflect our communities’ wide range of interests.”

Festival Director Pooja Nansi says, “It has been a privilege to serve as Festival Director for the last four years. The Singapore Writers Festival is beloved and has been pivotal and formative to my own personal growth as a writer and to the growth of our literary scene over the years. I look forward to working with NAC and AHL in 2023 on an SWF that continues to offer inclusive, engaging and accessible programming for local and global audiences.”

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Sector Development, NAC, Low Eng Teong, says, “As Festival Director for SWF from 2019 to 2022, Pooja has grown the Festival with diverse programmes that appeal to a wide range of audiences, especially the youth, as well as formed new partnerships with the literary communities and beyond. Her strengths and experience in the Festival direction and programming continue to be valued and we look forward to another exciting edition of SWF under Pooja’s artistic leadership.”

Organised by AHL and commissioned by NAC, the 26th edition of SWF will be held from 17 to 26 November 2023.