Poetry and Culture Highlight of India Hay Festival

New Delhi, Nov 9 (IANS): Poetry, ecology, women's literature, children books, culture and a range of social issues addressed by the likes of Germaine Greer, Shashi Tharoor, Nayantara Sahgal and David Davidar will be on showcase at the Alchemist Hay Festival in Kerala Nov 17-19.

The festival, sponsored by the Alchemist Group owned by K.D. Singh, a Trinamool Congress MP, in collaboration with Teamwork Productions, will host 45 literary sessions over three days.

Reality literature will vie for space with sessions on poetry, children's literature, mythology, oral and visual literary traditions and gender issues.

"We are currently hosting a whole series of workshops with one of our partners, British Council, for cross-pollination between Tamil, Malayalam, Welsh and English poetry in the run-up to the festival. The poets have all been put in a house together - where they are working on their craft and exchanging ideas," Lyndy Cooke, executive director of the Hay Festival-Kerala, told IANS.

"Poets from Spain and Iceland poets will read from their works at the festival while story-tellers like Ed Vere, Cat Weatherill and Jan Blake will entertain children with stories from around the world," Cooke added.

The global poetry chain will be represented by poets like K. Satchidanandan, Robert Minhinnick, Twm Morys, Sian Melangell, Sampoorna Chatterji, Vishnu Khare, Simon Armitage and Arvind Krishna Mehrotra.

Mehrotra, one of India's leading poets, will read from his translations of Prakrit love poetry.

The new novel and the state of publishing will be brought under the scanner by publisher-writer David Davidar and novelists like Binoo John, Anosh Irani and Farrukh Dondy, along with a host of writers and members of the publishing fraternity from Europe and Australia.

A burning concern for environment and the society at large will find a voice in sessions like "The Suzlon Debate" anchored by BBC World anchor Nik Gowing, "The Triple Crash and Green New Deal" and "The New Superpowers" that will explore the impact of changing ecology and new socio-cultural orders on literature, popular arts and human lives.

"We wanted to bring diversity to this festival - in terms of participation, genres and language to include world, vernacular and regional literature," said Sanjoy Roy, managing director of Teamwork Production, the co-producer of the festival.


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