Bookworm hosts first word fest

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The first Bookworm Festival of Words in Vietnam, featuring works of expat and local artists who use both the spoken and the unspoken word, will open on May 18 in Hanoi.

Sponsored by the Hanoi Cooking Center and the Hanoi Grapevine website, the month-long festival will be a series of readings, public discussions and exhibitions of works held two days a week Wednesday and Saturday.

The inaugural festival, ending July 6, will showcase the works of expat authors, bloggers, travel writers, poets, photographers, foodies, editors, songsters, artists and photographers.

The festival will start with introducing "The accidental writer" venturing into Vietnamese writing and culture with author Roman Szlam from Friends of Vietnam Heritage (FVH), a non-formal group of mainly expats living in Hanoi whose basic goal is the preservation and advancement of Vietnamese heritage and culture. 

On May 25, a presentation and discussion of "The exploration of Yunnan" authored by Jim Goodman will be held. Goodman is donating all the profits from the book's sales to Operation Smile.

From a non-profit Art Space, the Bookworm, a bookshop-cum-coffee shop, has now become a non-profit Festival Space with participating writers nominating proceeds to their favorite charity.

Bookworm was established in August 2001 on Hanoi's Ngo Van So Street by author Pam Scott as a book exchange for expat readers of English language books, but now it is owned and managed by young Vietnamese Hoang Van Truong. His Australian foster parents assist as literary advisors and occasional shop assistants.

Tickets for each event and season ticket are available at and at Bookworm, 44 Chau Long St., Hanoi for VND 50,000 (US$2.3) and VND 200,000 (US$9.5) respectively. Admission is free for students.

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