27 Sep, 2020
A literary weekend, titled “Weekend with Gratiaen Winners” was held at Benthota Beach Hotel, partnered with John Keells Holdings. Seven Gratiaen prize winners participated over the course of five events.
Four Gratiaen prize winning poets conducted a site specific poetry reading at Lunuganga featuring the work of “A Traveler’s Tale”, a session on travel history, archeology and geographies of Sri Lanka by Andrew Fidel Fernando, A panel discussion with the well known cricketer Kumar Sangakkara and Gratiaen writers Shehan Karunatillaka, Andrew Fidel Fernando, Vivimarie on “Writing and Being Sri Lankan”, “Play Time” with Arun Welendawe Prematilleke comprising a performance of his short play Tea/Coffee, and readings from his Gratiaen Prize winning play The One Who Loves You So, and “Writing Women”, a conversation with Vivimarie Vanderpoorten and Prashani Rambukwella on their journey of writing as women.
The response from the audience was overwhelming as many noted that they became informed about the proficiency of Gratiaen writers and was highly impressed by the panel on Sri Lankan Identity titled “Writing and Being Sri Lankan”moderated by Trustee Harshana Rambukwella for the issues it raised and for how the writers responded.