Westerly Centre

Guest writers

The Westerly Centre will be hosting these distinguished writers for the 2011 Asia-Pacific Symposium.

  1. Leila S. Chudori
  2. Isagani R. Cruz
  3. Jose Dalisay
  4. Alvin Pang
  5. A.J. Thomas
  6. Mohammad A. Quayam

Leila S. Chudori

Leila S. Chudori is considered one of Indonesia’s boldest story-tellers. Since 1989 she has worked as a journalist for the influential news magazine Tempo in Jakarta. She has published several collections of short stories, some of which have appeared in English, in anthologies and literary magazines in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Her latest publication is a novel 9 dari Nadira (Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia, 2009) that has been awarded the Penghargaan Sastra Badan Bahasa (Literary Award by the Indonesian Language Institution) this year. Presently, Leila is finishing her novel Pulang, a story based on Indonesian exiles in Paris after the bloody 1965 coup. She is also in the process of researching the prequel to 9 dari Nadira, a novel called Catatan Harian Kemala Suwandi.

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Isagani R. Cruz

Former Philippine Undersecretary of Education Isagani R. Cruz (Ph.D., University of Maryland) is the president of The Manila Times College. He is also consultant to the presidents of De La Salle University and Far Eastern University. He has written or edited more than fifty books. He writes plays, essays, biographies, and short stories in Filipino and English, for which he has won numerous national and international awards. Dr. Cruz belongs to the Hall of Fame of the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards in Literature and is one of the 2010 Outstanding Filipinos (TOFIL). He also writes for Philippine Star.

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Jose Dalisay

Jose Dalisay Jr., PhD, has published more than 20 books of fiction and nonfiction, winning many awards for his writing both in the Philippines and overseas. He has been a Fulbright, Hawthornden, British Council, David TK Wong, Rockefeller, and Civitella Ranieri fellow. He graduated from the University of the Philippines (AB English, cum laude), the University of Michigan (MFA), and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (PhD English). He teaches English at the University of the Philippines, where he also serves as Director of the Institute of Creative Writing. He has lectured on Philippine culture and politics in the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Singapore, Malaysia, and China, among other places. His second novel, Soledad's Sister, was shortlisted for the inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize in 2007, and he participated in the 2008 Sydney Writers Festival.

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Alvin Pang

Alvin Pang (Singapore) is a poet, writer, editor and anthologist who has been featured in major festivals and publications in Asia, Australia, Europe and America. A Fellow of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, his  publications include City of Rain (Ethos Books, 2003), Over There: Poems from Singapore and Australia (co-edited with John Kinsella, 2008) and Tumasik: Contemporary Writing from Singapore (Autumn Hill Books, USA). His writing has been translated into over a dozen languages.  He was named Singapore’s Young Artist of the Year for Literature in 2005 and received the Singapore Youth Award in 2007 for Arts and Culture. He is a founding director of The Literary Centre – a non-profit initiative promoting interdisciplinary capacity, multilingual communication, and positive social change. He is presently the managing Editor of an internationally circulated public policy journal and serves, among other public engagements, on the international editorial board for Axon, a peer-reviewed literary journal based in Australia.

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A.J. Thomas

A.J. Thomas is an Indian-English poet and fiction writer who has also translated extensively from Malayalam (the language of Kerala, the southernmost State in India) over the last two decades, with several books of poetry, fiction and drama to his credit. He regularly publishes poetry, short fiction, translations, book reviews and features on literary and cultural matters in journals, magazines and websites in India and abroad. He is presently the Guest Editor for Indian Literature, Sahitya akademi, New Delhi.


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Mohammad A. Quayam

Mohammad A. Quayum is Professor of English at the International Islamic University Malaysia and Adjunct Professor in the School of Humanities, Flinders University, Australia. He is the author, translator or editor of 23 books including Saul Bellow and American Transcendentalism (New York: Peter Lang, 2004), One Sky, Many Horizons: Studies in Malaysian Literature in English (Kuala Lumpur: Marshall Cavendish, 2007), Sharing Borders: Studies in Contemporary Singaporean-Malaysian Literature (Singapore National Library Board, 2009), Rabindranath Tagore: Selected Short Stories (New Delhi: Macmillan, 2011) and The Poet and His World: Critical Essays on Rabindranath Tagore (New Delhi: Orient Longman, 2011). He has also published numerous articles on postcolonial literatures and American literature in some of best literary journals around the world. Founding editor of Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, Quayum is also on advisory board of journals in Australia, Philippines, the UK and the USA.

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