The June edition of Sharpened Word showcased another four talented writers. The event, held at the Old Anderson Club on Saturday, June 18, was attended by Ipoh’s literary crowd, numbering some 50, in all.
The first writer on the stage was Ipoh-born Melizarani T. Selva who grew up in Kuala Lumpur. Melizarani is a spoken-word poet, a journalist and the writer of bestseller, ‘Taboo’. She shared the depth of her writing skills and proved people wrong, one more time.
“During the process of ‘Taboo’, I got into a heated discussion with my team about our cover story. According to them, it’d be a hard to sell a book with an Indian lady as the cover. Well, I proved them wrong,” said Melizarani. ‘Taboo’ made it to MPH’s top 10 bestseller list and is currently available in major bookstores across Mumbai, Melbourne, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
Melizarani recited excerpts from her book, including ‘Macha That Got Away’ (a parody version of Katy Perry’s ‘The One That Got Away’) and passed the microphone to the second speaker, columnist Fa Abdul.
Known for her acerbic wit and, occasionally, foul-mouth, Fa is a passionate storyteller, producer, playwright, blogger and photographer. Being selected to represent Malaysia at the Asian Women Writers Festival this July in India, Fa spoke at length about herself.
She talked about being different and how it was okay to be so, as long as one was happy. It was about taking charge of one self.
The next speaker was European metal-punk guitarist, Marco Ferrarese who related his jaw-dropping life journey. The freelance travel-writer taught English in China, hung out with Kurt Cobain’s alleged murderer, lived in a van for three months and might or might not be related to the famous Venetian explorer, Marco Polo.
His book, ‘Nazi Goreng’ explored the dark side of the local drug trade and youths. It caught the attention of the authorities and was banned after it was translated into Bahasa Malaysia by DuBook Press.
“I’ve no idea why it’s banned? It wasn’t about Nazism and neither about encouraging it,” said Marco, as he recited a few lines from the book. His latest book, ‘Banana Punk Rawk Trails’ was published in 2015.
The final speaker was Nur Hanim Khairudin, an independent curator based in Ipoh. She has participated in numerous exhibitions, locally and internationally, and had received a few awards such as the Major Winner of the 1996 Youth Contemporaries. Through her company, Teratak Nuromar, Hanim has produced a music album called the ‘Space Gambus Experiment and Meor Folk’.
“I’d like to thank Pak Peter and his team for inviting me to this amazing sharing session. It’s a privilege to be part of Sharpened Word,” said Hanim who earlier this year became the co-producer for renowned Ipoh indie-rock band, ‘Muck’.
Readers who are interested to attend the next session of Sharpened Word can do so on Saturday, July 16 at the Old Andersonians’ Club.