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Famed Nature Writers inspire at Literature Forum

On May 11, the NTNU Humanities Festival and the Association for Taiwan Literature cohosted the “Toward World Literature” forum, featuring internationally renowned and award-winning nature writers Ming-Yi Wu from Taiwan and Richard Kerridge from the UK. Co-hosted by NTNU Professors Wen-Wei Shiu and Hannes Bergthaller, the literary exchange highlighted the craft of writing about nature and provided a platform for international dialogue.

Ming-Yi Wu opened the forum with a reading from his work The Sea Breeze Club, his latest novel published after a seven-year hiatus. The novel is the recipient of the Taipei International Book Exhibition Prize and the Golden Tripod Book of the Year Award, and has earned international accolades including the Salon d'Ouessant's International Island Literature Fiction Award in France, and a selection for the Berlin Film Festival.

Wu’s reading was followed by Kerridge reading from his unpublished short story 'The Cub.' Kerridge is the Coordinator of Graduate Studies and Research Management at the Bath Spa University. UK. His works frequently appear in BBC Wildlife. He won the BBC Wildlife Award for Nature Writing in 1990 and 1991, and the Roger Deakin Award from the Writers Guild in 2012.

During the Q&A session, Ming-Yi Wu shared that his childhood in Ximending, surrounded by urban landscapes, spurred his interest in the environment and ecology, leading him to write about nature. He explained that the inspiration and background for The Sea Breeze Club stem from his ecological concerns for Hualien and Taiwan.

Kerridge said he, too, grew up in an urban setting in London and only encountered nature writing when he took a literary writing course at university. He said close encounters with wild animals and nature inspire his writing and spark reflection on the fundamental essence of nature.

Each year, the NTNU Humanities Festival runs from March through June, with a series of activities including lectures, author readings, and live performances.