Launching another gem in its fêted series of curated luxury experiences, Bentota Beach – The Cinnamon Luxury Collection, in partnership with The Gratiaen Trust, will present ‘A Weekend with Gratiaen Winners’ on September 26 and 27. The unparalleled up close and personal literary experience will feature 11 of Sri Lanka’s most prominent literary celebrities, in the backdrop of the beautiful Bentota Beach Hotel, the legendary property that embodies art, design and luxury.
The award-winning authors at the event include Andrew Fidel Fernando, Arun Welendawe Prematilleke, Ruwanthie de Chickera, Shehan Karunatilaka, Vivimarie Vander Pooten, Lal Medawattegedera, Delon Weerasinghe, Jean Arasanayagam, Vihanga Perera, and Thiagaraja Arasanayagam.
Recognised the world over as the most coveted literary prize for Sri Lankan English writers, The Gratiaen Prize has brought to the limelight some of the island’s best creative talent, since its inception in 1993 by Founder Michael Ondaatje.
“We introduced a series of luxury experiences, carefully curated to cater to the vibrant tastes of today’s discerning traveller,” Dileep Mudadeniya, Vice President – John Keells Group, said.
“These experiential events, held on a monthly basis, will be showstoppers in their own right, be it literary, gastronomical, sports-related, musical, or artistic,” he said, adding that every event will be crafted to align with the sophisticated luxury and refined experience that Bentota Beach – The Cinnamon Luxury Collection, offers.
The event will unfold with a poetry reading by Gratiaen Prize winning poets Vivimarie Vander Pooten, Vihanga Perera, Jean Arasanayagam, Thiagaraja Arasanayagam, Sumathy Sivamohan, and Malinda Seneviratne, at a Bawa garden. Guests will be transported to a world of poetic fascination, enveloped by the graceful wilderness of the enchanting garden landscapes.
The rest of the weekend’s activities will include A Traveller’s Tale with Andrew Fidel Fernando – a picture- filled presentation of Andrew’s travels around the island, with a short reading from his book, Upon a Sleepless Isle.
A key highlight will be the panel discussion with Andrew Fidel Fernando, Shehan Karunatilake and Lal Medawattegedera. Moderated by Ruhanie Perera at the Hotel’s Banquet Foyer, the conversation will revolve around writing about cricket, politics, travel, and contemporary Sri Lanka.
Guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy a 45-minute performance of Arun Welendaw Prematilleke’s The One Who Loves You So, as well as engage in a conversation with Vivimarie Vander Pooten and Prashani Rambukwella.
The two Gratiaen Prize authors will share their experiences of being female writers.
The literary weekend will also be one of gastronomic exploration and fun-filled encounters. Make a date with poetry and prose, and explore the wonders of the literary world with some of Sri Lanka’s most celebrated authors.