Sunday, February 17, 2008

Poetic Passions

Ahnaf in today's Starmag does a very good job of providing an overview of what's happening on the live literary scene in KL. Noting that:
Over the past two years, the idea of poets performing their work rather than just writing for themselves or simply reading it aloud has become increasingly popular ...
he interviews local performance poets Priya Kulasegaran and George Wielgus (left - and soon to appear at Readings@Seksan) as well as Bernice Chauly and Chris Mooney-Singh of WordForward who is bringing Poetry Slam to KL.

Priya talks about how audiences for Project OMG have been steadily growing through word of mouth and I think she's right when she says:
Younger people like us are getting involved ... After being fed the kind of music you’re supposed to listen to, and the kind of movies you’re supposed to watch, there’s a kind of reaction.
I'm glad that the piece also highlights the contribution of the British Council and the Wayang Kata events and workshops it organises and also the wonderful irony that the organisation that has done most to encourage a local literary scene is a foreign one.

Bernice Chauly talks about how live literature events have helped to create a much-needed sense of community among local writers, and also how our Malaysian authors doing so well on the world stage, have really done a lot to encourage local writers as well. Bernice says that when Tash Aw won the Whitbread first novel award in 2005:
It was like, ‘Oh wow, Malaysians? Writers? Really? So good, ah? Wow.’
Yeah, that good. Believe it!

Note: Links to the organisers of spoken words events are listed in a side-bar. The email given to contact me about Readings is wrong - please use if you want to get in touch.

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