On the cover: “Mosta Bridge”, 2015 © Jesmond Vassallo
Wara Settembru. Anthology of contemporary Maltese literature
The Vilenica Anthologies, Slovene Writers’ Association, 2018.
Authors: Walid Nabhan, Simone Galea, Immanuel Mifsud, Simon Bartolo, Adrian Grima, Simone Inguanez, Loranne Vella, Alex Vella Gera, Abigail Ardelle Zammit, Ġużè Stagno, Claudia Gauci, Nadia Mifsud, Clare Azzopardi, John Aquilina, Antoine Cassar, Glen Calleja, Karl Schembri, Norbert Bugeja, Miriam Calleja, Leanne Ellul.
Editors: Immanuel Mifsud and Peter Semolič.
Translations: Breda Biščak, Miljana Cunta, Miriam Drev, Nada Grošelj, Boris Jukić, Ana Pepelnik, Andrej Pleterski, Vera Pejovič, Peter Semolič.
The Anthology has been published with the support from Slovenian Book Agency.
Prepared by Peter Semolič, Slovene co-editor of the Anthology
September is an important month for the Maltese people, since they celebrate two national holidays in that month, Victory Day and Independence Day. On Victory Day they celebrate the end of two sieges, that of 1565, when the Turkish fleet sieged Malta for months, and that of the Second World War, when the island was attacked by Nazi and other fascist air forces, and on Independence Day they celebrate Maltese independence from the British Empire, which was attained in 1964. The title of the anthology After September – Wara Settembru originates from the fact that the authors who found themselves in it were all born after 1964. This generation of authors is known, in their literary works, for moving away from themes and characteristics that were common for the previous generations. Such themes include national identity, which in Malta, due to its history, is never unambiguous; these writers also question prevalent topics, engaging for example with the notion of a Mediterranean that is changing its character due to the waves of African refugees that often end their journey at the bottom of the sea; yet they also redefine tried-and-true topics, for example, by reconsidering the understanding of the position of women in the Maltese society and culture, a position that remained explicitly traditional until very recently. The anthology is, incidentally, the first review of Maltese literature in which both genders are equally represented. The authors included in the anthology are those who put Maltese literature on the literary map of the world. We can find several world-renowned literary names, for example the recipients of The European Union Prize for Literature Immanuel Misfud and Walid Nabhan. Maltese literature is still rather unknown in Slovene the literary space, since we could count the literary translations from Malta on the fingers of one hand. That is also why the anthology After September – Wara Settembru is precious, even more so since it brings twenty strong, individual poetry and fiction voices that tell us that Malta is not just a “Rock” in the middle of the Mediterranean, as the Maltese like to ironically name their island, or a tourist destination with gorgeous beaches and prehistoric and historical monuments, but a land of vivid, vibrant, and exciting literature.
The anthology was edited by the Maltese poet and writer Immanuel Misfud and Slovene poet Peter Semolič, who also contributed the prefaces to the book; also represntend in the anthology and attending this year’s Vilenica are (in addition to Immanuel Misfud) Clare Azzopardi, Norbert Bugeja, and Loranne Vella.