Poetry Connections India-Wales

Ten poets from India and Wales will take part in a project focused on the theme of “independence”, and organized by Literature Across Frontiers and partners to mark the 70th anniversary of independent India. The poets will collaborate to create new work and translate each other into their respective languages during a series of residencies in both countries, alternating between the hustle and bustle of Indian metropolises and the peace and quiet of Welsh towns and rural locations. The project will literally reach from one end of each country to the other, from Trivandrum in South Kerala to Shillong in the North East, and from Bangor to Swansea.

The project will address the theme of “independence” in a series of creative encounters and exchanges that will have a ripple effect on the immediate environment in which the participating poets live and work. In artistic practice, independence means freedom to think, act and create beyond the confines of convention and economic necessity. But successful independence – of communities and individuals alike – also involves co-dependence, collaboration and understanding across divides and differences. At a time of global change which sees increasing friction between identities, we hope to open up a unique dialogue and formulate new narratives and ideas which both uncover and move beyond difficult histories.

The project will explore the ongoing literary relations between India and Wales as developed through Literature Across Frontiers’ work since 2009, harness its legacy, establish deeper collaborative relationships between poets from Wales and India, and facilitate new connections leading to future projects between the two countries. The poets will also work with other local writers and artists, and visit schools and colleges. The work produced during the residencies in 2017 will be showcased in a series of performances, readings and discussions in the 2018 winter literary festival season festival in India when a multilingual publication will be launched with work of the poets in Bengali, Kannada, Khasi, Malayalam, English and Welsh.

The project kicks off in May 2017 with performances by the Bangalore-based poet and translator Mamta Sagar at the Wales International Poetry Festival in Aberystwyth, Caernaforn and Bangor, and will continue with the first two residencies – in Swansea and Bala – followed by an event at the Hay Festival where the India-Wales project will stage a literary “Mela” with Welsh poets Nia Davies, Sian Melangell Dafydd, Mamta Sagar and Kerala poet Anita Thampi, alongside other projects, Parthian Books’ Village, City, Valley and Khamira, an Indo-Welsh music fusion band.

The residencies will run from May until the end of October to be followed by a tour of Indian festival in January / February 2018.

You can find updates on the project here and on the Events page.

Participating writers from India are:

Participating writers from Wales are:

The project is supported by the British Council Wales and Wales Arts International.