Continuing our conversations in advance of the Ventures tour, we hear from Cheran who begins his tour in Hebden Bridge on 6th October, followed immediately by Birmingham Literature Festival on 7th October.
What is it you're looking forward to about your tour? and what do you hope to gain from the experience?
I know poetry doesn't make a revolution! However, previous experiences of reading my poetry to a variety of audience in Tamil and English has convinced me that poetry can sensitize people marvellously if read/recited in an appropriate context. I have never had a chance to rea my poems to the UK audience and I am looking forward to the experience and response. I am also a bit curious to see the reaction of the UK audience to my Tamil rendering after reading the English translation.
What do you enjoy about reading to an audience?
The instant emotional and creative bond that emerges while reading and after reading!
What is important about in a time of burning for you?
Most of the poems in this collection speak about, in the language of poetry, a genocide foretold. As a poet the crucial challenge and an emotional hurdle was to find a way to creatively rise up to what I call an apocalypse. I wanted to set the record straight that poetry after apocalypse is not only possible but necessary.
What is it about the book that will benefit from reading live?
I think listening to my Tamil poem after my English one would certainly be a unique experience. Usually I perform my poetry in Tamil. I remember most of my poems so I can simply perform them. But in English I will read them. There are two different cultural and poetic baggages that accompany my readings and that may be a quite different experience. I have often noticed that my readings have always attracted people toward my books.
What do you hope your audience will gain from the experience?
We cannot afford to forget blood on the faces of people that are far away.