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Welsh voices at Hay Festival in Kerala, India

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Laura Chamberlain Laura Chamberlain | 15:35 UK time, Friday, 12 November 2010

This weekend some of Wales' most prominent poetic voices can be heard at a literary festival a little further afield, as India hosts the first Hay Festival Kerala.

National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke plus Menna Elfyn and Paul Henry will take part in the festival, which is being held at the Kanakakunnu Palace. The Hay Festival in Kerala is a joint initiative between Hay Festivals and the British Council.

Gillian Clarke. Photo: Poetry Live

Gillian Clarke. Photo: Poetry Live

Other prominent speakers at the festival are set to include Bob Geldof, Sebastian Faulks, Simon Schama and Rosie Boycott.

On Saturday afternoon, Clarke will explore the issues of poetry and bilingualism, and discuss her ideas with the poet and novelist CP Surendran. Elfyn and Henry will join poet K Satchidanandan for poetry readings in English, Welsh and Malayalam.

All three Welsh poets will join in a gala poetry event on Saturday evening with other literary guests such as Vikram Seth and Tishani Doshi, and on Sunday they will discuss how poetry works across languages, and the challenges of writing poetry in their native tongues.

Menna Elfyn. Photo: Madeleine Waller

Menna Elfyn. Photo: Madeleine Waller

In addition, on Monday 15 November Clarke, Elfyn and Henry will participate in an evening dedicated to literary readings from and inspired by Wales in Bangalore as part of the India-Wales Writers Chain 2010-1012, which is being launched at the Hay Festival in Kerala itself.

This programme aims to develop cultural connections between Wales and India through literature, and has been developed by the British Council in partnership with Wales Arts International, and is supported by the Welsh Assembly Government.

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