July 5, 2012

pakistani poetry in english: the vallum project

the cover of vallum
i haven't really talked about writing in any of my blog posts, so far, aside from including links to some of my articles.

i've been very lucky to have worked on several projects on pakistani poetry over the last few years, from editing to writing essays on pakistani poetry, conducting interviews of poets published in blue chip and newsline, and organising readings. most recently, i've worked on an editorial project with Blaine Marchand, an award winning Canadian poet who was posted in Islamabad for a few years. Blaine was keen to pitch the idea of an anthology of Pakistani poetry to a Canadian poetry journal, and suggested that we work on it together. the proposal was approved and we began work on it in 2010. Originally, we intended to include poetry translated from the vernacular as well as that written in English. but when we drafted a list of potential poets, we realised that just the latter would make a longer than book length collection.

the resulting anthology includes the work of 26 poets, some of whom live in Pakistan and some of whom belong to the diaspora. since funding for the journal comes partly from the Canadian Council for the Arts, it was necessary to represent several poets based in Canada. luckily for the project, perhaps not so lucky for Pakistan, several young poets have recently migrated to Canada, making our task much easier than we anticipated.

the journal went to print at the end of last year and is now available in Canada. the work has been enormously fulfilling, all the more because it was a pleasure to work with my co editor. i enclose the link to his essay on pakistani poetry in english, which is available online, and hope that readers will enjoy it.

Reading Pakistan by Blaine Marchand, Guest Editor (Exclusive Online-Only essay)

follow this link below to hear waqas khwaja reading his poem triptych (featured in vallum). waqas khwaja is also the translation editor of modern poetry of pakistan, an anthology of poetry in the vernacular. 

No comments: