As part of the 140th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahakavi Kumaran Asan, the Asan Memorial Association will hold a week-long literary festival titled ‘Sahitheeyam 2012' from May 5 to 11. The event will be held at the Kayikkara village, near the city, where the poet was born.

Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi will inaugurate the event. Cultural Affairs Minister K.C. Joseph will preside over the function. The inaugural function will be followed by the unveiling of Kumaran Asan's life-size statue by Mizoram Governor Vakkom Purushothaman. A. Sampath, MP, will inaugurate the ‘shilpamandapam'

Mr. Vayalar Ravi will also give away the Asan World Prize 2012 at the inaugural function. Renowned Puetro Rican poet Jack Agueros has been selected for this year's Asan World Prize. Mr. Agueros' children Natalia and Marcel Agueros would receive the award on behalf of the poet who was ailing from Alzheimer's disease, said Asan Memorial Association working president Cherunniyoor Jayaprakash at a press conference here on Wednesday.

“We are reinstating this award after a gap of more than 20 years. To our knowledge, it is the only international award for poetry from India. The award carries a cash prize of Rs.3 lakh, memento and citation,'' Mr. Jayaprakash said.

“Since the winner of this year's Asan World Prize cannot make it here, we have invited Latino poet Aracelis Girmay to deliver the Asan World Prize lecture, which will also be held on the inaugural day,'' he added.

The week-long programme will include seminars, cultural fest, documentary screening, literary conference and poetry sessions. Among the documentaries to be screened will be the one on Attingal mutiny titled ‘An unheard story - The first war of Indian independence' directed by Vinod V. Anand.

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan will inaugurate the valedictory function on October 11. The Asan Yuvakavi Award will be presented to poet K.K. Ramakant at the function.