UK-India Eco Poetry Project

Posted by Admin on 16 January 2024

Features, News

The project, coordinated by Literature Across Frontiers in partnership with the D C Kizhakemuri Foundation and the Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters, brings together five poets and performers from the UK – Juana Adcock, Adrian Fisher, Luna Montenegro, Zoe Skoulding and Iestyn Tyne – with the Malayalam poet Anitha Thampi. The poets and artists will collaborate on creation of new multilingual work addressing the topic of climate change and our relationship with nature from a perspective that will centre on the concept of climate justice and global inequalities exacerbated by the destruction of the environment.

The artists are travelling to Kerala to spend time in residence, participate in three festivals and interact with university and college students. During their residencies in Vagamon and Thiruvananthapuram, they will explore ways that enable renewed attention to environments and communities that encompasses difference across languages, cultures and species. The interface between translingual poetry and performance offers a field of creative interpretation that can facilitate new kinds of environmental listening, and a means of engagement with multilingual communities and dialogues between cultures.

Programme and artist profiles

11 – 14 January, Kozhikode, Kerala Literature Festival with poetry performances on the 12th and 13th, and panel on poetry translation on the 14th

15 – 28 January, Vagamon, the artists will be in residence in DC Residency.

29 – 30 January, Kochi, visit to St Teresa’s College for Women

30 – 31 January, Thrissur, International Literature Festival of Kerala with a panel discussion and reading on the 31st.

1 – 7 February, residency in Trivandrum and visit to the University of Kerala

8 – 11 February, Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters

The project is supported by the Four Nations International Fund, administered by Creative Scotland, Wales Arts International and Taith, Wales’ international learning exchange programme.

Juana Adcock is a Mexican-British poet, translator and editor based in Scotland. She is the author of collections Manca (Tierra Adentro, 2014), Vestigial (Stewed Rhubarb,2022), and Split (Blue Diode, 2019), which was a Poetry Book Society Choice and was included in the Guardian’s Best Poetry of 2019. She is co-editor of the anthology of poetry by Latin American women Temporary Archives (Arc Publications, 2022), and her translation of the Mexican indigenous Mè’phàà poet Hubert Matiúwàa’s The Dogs Dreamt (Flipped Eye, forthcoming 2023) received a PEN Translates award. She has also rendered in English Laura Wittner’s Translation of the Route (Poetry Translation Centre, forthcoming 2024) and Lola Ancira’s The Sadness of Shadows (MTO Press, forthcoming 2024). She has performed at international festivals in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Luna Montenegro and Adrian Fisher are poets and artists based in London where Luna moved from her native Chile. They collaborate in a fluid space of visual, physical, and sonic research, and their work investigates ideas of improvisation, participation, politics, poetics, locality and social transformation exploring the boundaries of human and non-human existence. Under the collective name ‘montenegrofisher’, they have made performances, texts, videos, visual and sound installations, images and curatorial projects worldwide, as they seek ideas that foster a more supportive and sustainable world for all beings to share and thrive in. Their work has been shown in the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) London, Southbank Centre, London, CCCB (Centro de Cultura Contemporánea) in Barcelona, Chile’s MAC (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Santiago, Bibliothèque Nationale de France and Venice Biennale, among many others. They have been selected for international art residencies in France, Mexico, Belgium, Italy, Norway, and Switzerland. Their collective and individual works have been published in poetry and art journals in Chile, Germany, Mexico, UK and USA.

Zoë Skoulding is a poet and literary critic interested in translation, sound and ecology. She is Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Bangor University and author of five poetry collections, including A Marginal Sea (Carcanet Press, 2022) and Footnotes to Water (2019), which won the Wales Book of the Year Poetry Award 2020, and other publications. She received the Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors in 2018 for her body of work in poetry, and is a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. Her critical work includes two monographs, Contemporary Women’s Poetry and Urban Space: Experimental Cities (2013), and Poetry & Listening: The Noise of Lyric (2020). She has initiated and developed several large-scale projects supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, such as Metropoetica, a collaborative project on translation, gender and city space. She was Editor of the international quarterly Poetry Wales 2008-2014 and co-founded the (North) Wales International Poetry Festival in 2012.

Anitha Thampi is a Malayalam poet whose work has been translated into many Indian and foreign languages. She has published five collections of poetry to significant critical acclaim: Muttamatikkumpol (While Sweeping the Front Yard, 2004), Azhakillaathavayellam (All That Are Bereft of Beauty, 2010), Alappuzha Vellam (Alappuzha Water, 2016), Dŵr Arall / A Different Water (2018) and Muringa Vazha Kariveppu (Moringa Plantain Curry Tree, 2023). Her translations into Malayalam include writings of Juan Ramón Jiménez, Carlo Collodi, Les Murray and Mourid Barghouti. She lives in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

Iestyn Tyne is a Welsh poet, editor, translator and musician. He has published three collections and two pamphlets of poetry in Welsh. His latest collection, Stafelloedd Amhenodol (Unspecified Spaces) was shortlisted in the 2022 Wales Book of the Year poetry category, and is published in translation by Broken Sleep Books (2023). His most recent pamphlet, Dysgu Nofio (Learning to Swim), is a sequence of poems on climate anxiety and the experience of becoming a parent for the first time. He has co-edited Welsh (Plural): Essays on the Future of Wales (Repeater Books, 2022), and co-authored Robyn, a YA novel in the Y Pump (The Five) series, which won several major awards and is forthcoming in English translation from Firefly Books in 2025. He was Poet in Residence from 2019-2023 at the the National Eisteddfod, the annual festival of Welsh-language culture, and is the only writer to have won the Crown (for prose) and the Chair (for poetry) at the National Urdd Eisteddfod, the Welsh-language festival for young people. He has travelled widely performing his work in Europe, South America and Africa.