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'The poems in Rebel Sun knit together all of the various elements of experimentation, politics and community I’ve been immersed in over recent years, with a strong focus on (re)connecting with the natural world. I am as much a part of the north Wales landscape as any oak or wave or starling and Rebel Sun is acknowledgement of that.'
'Explaining the exact nature of a poem feels too didactic, but this collection is absolutely about taking a stand politically. I see the after-effects of colonialism as a patriarchal dish still being force-fed to the land and her people in Wales. But after a long winter, maybe spring is coming.'
Welsh writers Natalie Ann Holborow, Siôn Tomos Owen and Sophie McKeand will be joined by Indian writers Aniesha Brahma, Srijato Bandyopadhyay and Arunava Sinha. The writers have been brought together by Welsh publisher Parthian Books, Kolkata-based Bee Books, Literature Wales and Wales Arts Review, for their new project The Valley, The City, The Village.
The project is supported by India Wales, a new funding scheme by the British Council and Wales Arts International. The scheme supports artistic collaboration and exchange between creative professionals and arts organisations in Wales and India to build sustainable, creative relationships and networks between the two countries.
The Valley, The City, The Village brings together the six writers in a series of residencies and live performances, which will result in a trilingual publication of new writing in Bengali, English and Welsh to be published by Parthian in 2018. The project incorporates prose, poetry, art and reportage from Bengal and Wales. A special 48-page full colour magazine celebrating The Valley, The City, The Village will also be launched on 26 May, featuring contributions from all writers.
We are pleased to announce the dates for the UK book launch tour of Rebel Sun, the new poetry collection from award-winning poet and performer Sophie McKeand taking in a plethora of festivals, venues, workshops, readings and more across the summer and autumn. The official launch will be held at Hay Festival on 31 May 2017 as part of our #IndiaWales project The Valley, The City, The Village.
‘Rebel Sun is a compelling, shapeshifting exploration of land and myth, the deep roots of our history, our relationship to nature and to ourselves, merging visions of the past with narratives of the close-up and personal. To hear Sophie McKeand’s work aloud is to be captivated, stunned; on the page the poems are no less profound. This is mythological, musical poetry that not only crosses borders but seems to dismantle them entirely, collapsing time and space, transfiguring and prefiguring the world we live in.’ – Martha Sprackland.
In the holy city of Varanasi the waxing moon is a hammock and I am Alice, fallen down the rabbit-hole into an oddly strange-yet-familiar land where sacred bulls wade freely through tight alleys because they are a living representation of Nandi who serves the god Shiva. I wake in darkness at 5.30am to rolling bells and a woman chanting through loudspeakers. Men dressed in red robes weave fire torches before The Ganges as the sun rises in answer to their summons. We climb through this liminal space onto a rowing boat where the crease of oars counts time along the...