We are pleased to announce the names of the two Welsh authors selected to participate in Ulysses Shelter, the European project of exchange residencies in which Literature Across Frontiers is a partner.
Iraqi Welsh novelist and journalist Ruqaya Izzidien and writer, artist and translator Esyllt Angharad Lewis will spend time in Valetta, Malta, in 2023 hosted by the cultural organisation Inizjamed. They will be working on projects that respond to the location and engage with the local and artistic community as well as with the general public.
We received many strong applications and deciding on the award wasn’t easy. We hope to work with the authors of the many interesting proposals we received in the future.
During her residency, Ruqaya intends to write a short story set in Valletta during the Arab rule in Malta. Having long-held an interest in shared Maltese-Arab history and their cultural and linguistic proximity, this residency will provide her with a chance to learn more about Malta’s culture, meet local writers, share experiences and exchange knowledge on our respective communities and histories. She is also excited to share her own writing and experience with local audiences, building a bridge between them and stories from Wales.
Esyllt proposes to work on new writing around translation – expanding the research she started on her visual arts course which examines the status and nature of translation between artistic mediums. In choosing Valletta, a city described as an ‘open air museum, full of monuments’ she would like to think about how language exists in this space in relation to its historic architecture and how this affects the way we think about ‘what is (im)possible to do with language’.
Selected in the project by our EU-based sister organisation Culture Reset are poet and novelist Marek Torčík who will do a residency in Caernarfon, Wales, working on his second novel and connecting with the local literary scene. Poet Jan Škrob will travel to the Croatian island of Mljet where he will work on a new collection of poems exploring imagery and contemporary mythologies of sea and seafaring.
Ulysses Shelter is co-financed by the European Union.