It’s been a while. Since my last poetry book. (My last paper-poetry book that is, my e-poetry book The Scorpion came out in 2013). 5 years to be precise. So much has happened in between (Land of the Well, Dirty Love, my translation of the Selected Poems of Joy Goswami, Ela…) that it hasn’t felt like 5 years. Space Gulliver’s been with me through thick and thin, returning like the true visitant that she is. And now she’s found a permanent home. Her own book to live in. Just out from HarperCollins (bless you for publishing poetry!) – and my first reading in India is scheduled this Friday, in Bangalore.
I wrote this book while on residency at the University of Kent, Canterbury, 2012. So it was fitting that the first ever reading from it should have happened at the University of Kent in Canterbury on 27th May 2015. Poets and professors David Herd and Nancy Gaffield launched the book, Lyn Innes, Jan Montefiore were there, friends, faculty, fellow-poets, post-grad students and regulars at the UKC Reading Series came. It was very very special. Here are some pictures of that unforgettable evening.
Earlier that same week I had the privilege of reading at Ten for PEN organised by Sally Baker and Owen Sheers, at the Hay Festival. I shared a platform with Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales, whom I have met twice before, once in Bombay and once in Aberystwyth. It felt like a reunion and we read poems for each other! I included in my set a poem from Space Gulliver, then still unofficially lurking in the fringes, hiding in knapsacks and being read on buses by fellow poets. Here are some photos featuring Gillian, myself, Owen Sheers, Jonathan Edwards, Ranjit Hoskote (both of whom were part of the Walking Cities project with me, about which more later).