Details about this event

Location: Avenue K, Kuala Lumpur

Start Date: Sept. 4, 2016, 11 a.m.

End Date: Sept. 4, 2016, 4 a.m.

Upcoming Events

Migrant Poetry Competition 2016

Migrant Poetry Competition, Malaysia August 27, 2016

Introduction to the Migrant Poetry Competition, Malaysia

First held in 2015 as part of the Cooler Lumpur Festival, the Migrant Worker Poetry Competition has quickly established itself as one of the key events in the cultural calendar in Malaysia. In 2016, the contest will also seek entries from refugees in Malaysia as well and is therefore being renamed as the Migrant Poetry Competition, Malaysia. The objectives of the competition are to provide a platform for mutual understanding between Malaysians and migrants while celebrating the literary talent of migrant workers and refugees in Malaysia. The event also seeks to promote greater tolerance of multi-culturalism and give a voice to refugees and lower skilled foreign workers.

The competition is organized by a group of volunteers under the Migrant Worker Poetry Competition organizing committee led by Shivaji Das and Khairunnisa Kzaman. We are also supported by noted local writers Bernice Chauly, Anindita Dasgupta, Carol Leon, Looi Siew Teip and Sharon Bakar.

Different sections of Malaysian society have responded to the event enthusiastically as can be gauged by packed venue for the event and the reaction in social media. The contest has received widespread recognition in local media such as Timeout and The Malay Mail Online.

In 2016, the competition will reach out to refugees and a larger group of low skilled migrant workers to drive greater participation. This year, we are planning to organize it independently to provide greater focus. 

We have been conducting a similar event in Singapore that is supported by The Embassy of The United States of America in Singapore among other organizations. (

Call for Volunteers

We are now looking for volunteers to assist with the following:

  •  Drive participation through working directly with target groups and relevant NGOs

     Design marketing and promotional materials

  •  Manage online platforms

  •  Coordination during event day

  •  Translations (languages required: Bahasa Indonesia, Burmese, Bengali, Tagalog, etc.)

  •  Post event outreach

  •  Media coordination

    Total commitment expected from each volunteer: 1-2 hours per week for ~8 weeks from June to August

Event Line-Up

The competition is conducted in two stages: prelims and finals. Calls for submissions will be made in June. 10 entries will be selected from all the submissions and the winners are chosen from among these poems during the final which is held in August 27. The finals feature poetry recitals by the shortlisted workers followed by recitals of the translated versions of these poems in English. The event typically also features a cultural program by the workers. The judges for the contests have included noted local artists, writers and academics such as Sharon Bakar, Bernice Chauly, Carol Garcia, Anindita Dasgupta, and Liew Siew Teip . The final event will be open to the public and free.

Expected Program Line-Up

  1. 1)  Introduction and speeches by sponsors/ organizers/ supporters (15 min)

  2. 2)  Poetry recital (45 min) by shortlisted competitors in their mother tongue and in English

  3. 3)  Results and Awards 15 Min

  4. 4)  Interactions with Judges and competitors (15 min)

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Meet With Us
12, Jalan 6/11
46000 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
+603 7770 3671 / 3691
+6012 335 0512, +6012 339 5350