From the 12-14 November 2011, three Welsh poets Gillian Clarke, Menna Elfyn and Paul Henry - travelled to Kerala, India to take part in the first ever Hay Festival Kerala as part of India-Wales Writers Chain 2010-2012. The festival, held at Kanakakunnu Palace, was dedicated to literary readings from, and inspired by Wales, in which they explored the challenges and opportunities of writing poetry across different languages.
Hay Festivals and the British Council launched their global partnership at the Hay-on-Wye Festival this May and have been working together to bring the UK’s best authors and thinkers to an international audience - the global partnership will see festivals taking place in not only Kerala, but Beirut, Belfast, Wales, Zacatecas, Segovia, Nairobi, Maldives, and Cartagena.
The focus on Wales at Hay Festival Kerala was to celebrate the launch of India-Wales Writers Chain 2010-2012, a programme that aims to develop cultural connections between Wales and India through literature. This programme has been developed by the British Council in partnership with Wales Arts International; and is generously supported by the Welsh Assembly Government.
Paul Henry told us, “Although we’re visiting a different literary climate, it will be under the same currency of moonlight, by which, I mean... that spirit that you get when artists come together, where everybody is much more understanding of each other’s cultures and literature. This inevitably has an effect on the readership and can only be good globally.”