Poet Mark Waldron was here in Chandigarh on Friday as part of the collaboration between the British Council and Poetry Book Society that is celebrating the new voices in British poetry through an international showcase of the Next Generation Poets 2014.
The partnership will bring 20 of the most exciting new poets, who had their first poetry collection published in the last ten years, working in United Kingdom through a series of events throughout the year.
Mark, one of the Next Generation Poets 2014, was at the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11 and department of English, Panjab University, for a poetry reading session organised by British Council.
Mark, who travelled to Jaipur, Chennai and Pune before coming to Chandigarh, said he had featured India in two of his untitled poems he was working on during his trip here. Talking about his poetry, he said, “One thing that I’ve discovered is that sometimes what I want to communicate is often not what people will take out of that piece. I’ve learnt that what people take out is normally much more interesting than what I was trying to say. But then, sometimes I do have something I want to communicate and the best feeling in the world is when someone comes up and says this is what you’re trying to say, isn’t it?”
When asked whether he made a conscious effort to make his poetry interesting, Mark said, “I would not say I make a conscious effort but I would confess that most poetry is quite boring (chuckles). But again, if you don’t cut through, nobody is going to notice you and six months later you will be out of your job.”
Terming his experience in the city ‘fantastic’, he said, “I was worried because when I came here I thought my poems are written in a cold country and maybe they’ll just melt in India. But it seemed like the audiences have been really attentive and they really had very good, challenging questions. It was great.”
The poet also expressed his wish to visit the Secretariat building and the Government Museum and Art Gallery in Sector 10 before leaving for UK on Saturday.
The poetry book society
Founded by TS Eliot and his friends in 1953, the PBS is a unique poetry organisation which provides an international membership of poetry readers with its Selectors’ choice of the best new poetry books. The PBS runs and awards the TS Eliot Prize with its writing competition and reading group schemes. In 2014-15, the PBS ran Next Generation Poets 2014, a major promotion and follow-up to New Generation Poets in 1994 and Next Generation Poets in 2004.