Supported by the British Council Malaysia, the George Town Literary Festival (GTLF), in collaboration with The Poetry Society have brought together four exciting poets based in Malaysia and the United Kingdom, to exchange ideas, inspirations and collaborate on new poetry. 

About GTLF 2023 (23-26 November, Penang)

GTLF is Malaysia’s largest international literary festival. The festival believes in the power of expression and is committed to being one of the most urgent, vital and provocative literary festivals in the region. This year's theme will focus on 'Terra Incognita' to discover the terrain of literature today and rediscover the spoken and written word of the region.

Meet the UK and Malaysia poets

Cynthia Miller

Cynthia is a Malaysian-American poet based in Edinburgh. Her debut collection Honorifics won an Eric Gregory and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. She also co-founded the award-winning Verve Poetry Festival. Her poems appear in MIT Technology Review, The Rialto, Ambit, Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal, Butcher’s Dog, harana poetry, Under the Radar and The Best New British and Irish Poets. When not writing poetry, she is the Director of Innovation, web3 and Metaverse for Paris Hilton's global media company, 11:11 Media.

Qurratul 'Ain

Qurratul 'Ain writes essays and poems for newspapers and magazines. She is the author of a collection of prose, Dua Rahsia Berjabat (2020). Qurratul ‘Ain’s first poetry book, Momen (2020) was a finalist in the Kata-Pilar 2.0 Poetry Competition. She received a Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka's Hadiah Sastera Perdana Malaysia in the poetry category (2019/2020) and Selangor Literary Prize (2021). Her latest work is an art-poetry exhibition, Garis Puisi (A Poetic Stroke), an artist-poet collaboration, curated by Hom Art Trans, a Malaysian art gallery.

Nina Mingya Powles

Nina is a writer, zinemaker and librarian from Aotearoa New Zealand, of mixed Malaysian Chinese heritage. She is the author of several poetry pamphlets, zines and poetry books, most recently Magnolia 木蘭, Tiny Moons: A Year of Eating in Shanghai, and a collection of essays, Small Bodies of Water. She is a pamphlet selector for the Poetry Book Society, and writes an occasional e-newsletter about food and memory called Comfort Food. She lives in London. 

Kulleh Grasi

Kulleh is a poet, singer-songwriter and visual artist from Sarawak. His first full-length poetry collection, Tell Me, Kenyalang (Circumference Books, New York 2019), translated by Pauline Fan, was shortlisted for the 2020 National Translation Award in Poetry and longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award 2020 in America . Kulleh Grasi has been actively championing indigenous cultures on the global stage with his band Nading Rhapsody and featured at several international literary and music scenes since 2012.

British Council supported works at GTLF 2023

Dreaming, Thinking, Playing: Poetic Conversations

Date/time: 24 November, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Venue: Black Kettle Level 1
Speakers: Cynthia Miller, Nina Mingya Powles, Kulleh Grasi, Qurratul 'Ain
Summary: Join us for a privileged glimpse into the creative process of four exciting poets based in Malaysia and the United Kingdom, who have been working together to exchange ideas and inspirations. Listen in on the ways their shared conversations have moved their poetry into undiscovered territories, and hear them reveal for the first time brand new poetry written for the event. A British Council collaboration with The Poetry Society and GTLF.

Explore the UK and Malaysia poetic collaboration further. 


See also

External links