Saturday June 4 saw Muhammad Haji Salleh – a Malaysian poet laureate, launch Northern Writers at Garden Villa, 5 Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, Ipoh. The Ipoh Book Club ‘girls’ supported the event by bringing finger food. Writer and academic Paul GnanaSelvan lent his support as did the members of The Kinta Heritage Group. The Space Gambus Experiment provided freshly innovative music for the occasion.
Yusuf Martin has brought this idea of ‘readings’ to Ipoh. Northern Writers continues a trend set by Ipoh girl Bernice Chauly back in 2005, when she began ‘Readings’ in Bangsar. Sharon Bakar continued when Bernice had to take a step backwards due to illness in her family. In the first of a monthly series, Yusuf enticed Perak born Muhammad Haji Salleh to read some of his renowned poems including The Forest’s Last Day – found in his collection Rowing Down Two Rivers. Ipoh boy Patrick Teoh regaled with snippets from his latest book – Teology, Bernice Chauly read from a forthcoming work and Graham McEune had his audience in fits of laughter reading from his book – Up Country – largely set in Perak.
Northern Writers present four different writers, from different aspects of writing and reading, on the first Saturday of every month. Northern Writers is a non-profit organisation, founded by Yusuf Martin, with the concept of bringing an understanding of arts and culture, entirely free, to areas north of Kuala Lumpur. Those writers who participate in Northern Writers do so free of charge and the entrance is free to all.