Ù Ơ – a digital residency for exchange between emerging Vietnamese and Welsh women / non binary poets and artists

Ù Ơ is a digital residency project, supported by the British Council, which will bring together emerging Vietnamese and Welsh women / non binary poets and artists in a series of digital workshops to exchange ideas and collaborate on production of new work that experiments with translations between cultures, languages and art forms.

The title Ù Ơ plays with the ‘first’ sounds – of lullabies or sounds parents make when speaking to small children – referring to origins of language. Rhyming with ‘thơ’ (poetry), the title denotes a way to refresh our understanding of poetry.

Through a series of facilitated workshops the participants will explore poetry from the viewpoint of women working in a literary landscape until recently dominated by male creators, and will be encouraged to respond to each other’s work with multilingual poems and audio-visual recordings. The residency will result in a week-long public livestream that will aim to create an interactive poetry gathering,

The co-curators Nhã Thuyên and Alexandra Büchler will facilitate the workshops and prepare the work for showcasing and publication. Poet Menna Elfyn will join the project as guest speaker.

Applications for participation are invited from early career women / non-binary poets and artists. We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds. Each selected poet/artist will receive a bursary of £400.


22 November: deadline for applications

27 November: announce selected participants

December/January: workshops

January: production

February: online showcasing

You can access the bilingual call here: Ù Ơ Vietnam-Wales Digital Residencies  Applications in English or Welsh containing a short biographical note and a motivation statement (no more than 2 pages) should be sent to: alexandra@lit-across-frontiers.org and nici@lit-across-frontiers.org

Literature Across Frontiers (LAF) has initiated and coordinated international literary and artistic cooperation projects for two decades, with many collaborative exchange residencies across Europe and beyond. We are experienced in cross-cultural work and have worked with partners in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau. This is our first collaboration with a partner in Vietnam.

Image: Nhã Thuyên