Kit-Kats (2 Poems)
Mad Swirl is an on-line creative outlet that features an ever-changing swirl of art,poetry and prose from all parts of the globe, including St George and Ever Still Ever Then, two new poems by J H Martin, which you can read here.
Posted in News & Updates, Poetry, tagged Bangkok, Beijing, Burma, Cambodia, England, Ever Still Ever Then, J H Martin, Kit-Kats, London, Mad Swirl, Phnom Penh, Poem, Poems, Poetry, St George, Thailand, Yangon on April 22, 2017|
Posted in Golden Shadows, News & Updates, tagged Asia, Asian literature, Aung San Suu Kyi, Books, Burma, Burman, Burmese, Burmese literature, Burmese writers, Cha, Chandrahas Choudhury, Chin, James Byrne, Kachin, Literature, Lucas Stewart, Ludu U Hla, Mr White, Myanmar, Nick Danziger, non-fiction, Penguin, Rangoon, Shan, The Caged Ones, The Diplomat, The Dissident Blog, The Irrawaddy, The People Elsewhere, Travel, U Khin Maung Saw, U On Pe, Yangon on April 5, 2017|
Unbound Journeys with the Storytellers of Myanmar
In a five year journey all across Myanmar, Lucas Stewart travels from Yangon in the south to the northern limits of Kachin State in search of the literary luminaries of the country’s recent past. He bonds with censored and jailed writers, poets, publishers and booksellers, recording their stories of heritage and resilience. In his conversations with students at an Aung San Suu Kyi rally or sharing stories with a Kayah farmer in his village house, the long-suppressed literatures and languages of minorities such as the Chin, Kachin, Shan and others shine through. The People Elsewhere is a vivid tableau of time and place, and an ode to the ethnic richness of Myanmar.
…This book isn’t a memoir but a weaving of two stories. On the one hand it is a simple journey through the writers of a country that is undergoing a transformation many thought would never come; this is a story set in the ‘now’, where change can be seen and touched. The other story is much more complicated: it tells of a country in which the ‘now’ is not as important as the ‘before’, where history and the lessons learnt from it, cannot be easily set aside or forgotten…
‘Lucas Stewart’s book is an exquisite map of the many literatures of Myanmar, of the human impulse to express oneself through story and song… In scenes alternately warming and harrowing, it braids travel, history and literary criticism in a most ingenious way to give us an unforgettable portrait of a country long forgotten by the world.’
‘The People Elsewhere is a vigorous and compelling travel parable … In a vivid and tenacious tour through some of the country’s militarily-sealed borderlands, Lucas Stewart explores with great generosity and kinship how previously banned or censored languages are still being preserved in some of remotest and educationally-marginalised areas in the world.’
James Byrne, Co-editor of Bones Will Crow: 15 Contemporary Burmese Poets
‘Lucas Stewart’s journey across Myanmar offers a fascinating insight and a rare glimpse of life through its storytellers … Anyone wanting to discover Myanmar’s rich cultural heritage and how these endearing, diverse and remarkable peoples did more than just survive will find this an important and essential read.’
Set in the Yunnan countryside in China, Chris Taylor’s debut novel Harvest Season has drawn favourable comparisons with The Beach, by Alex Garland.
“More than a decade after first discovering an idyllic ancient walled town deep in the mountains of southwest China, Matt, a former guidebook writer, returns to find his modern-day vision of Shangrila threatened by a brash outsider intent on putting the town on the party circuit. Matt falls for the newcomer’s fiery girlfriend, and becomes entangled in a power struggle that pits the drug-addled Westerners against increasingly hostile locals. Harvest Season is a dark exploration of the disrupting effect of outsiders on China, and the violent repercussions.” – Earnshaw Books
“The point of Harvest Season is to take the reader on a journey through the shattering of the very illusions that make clichés of the characters in the first place. These are people in a purgatory of inaction and forgetting, indulging themselves in self-congratulatory abandon. There are inevitably consequences and the consequences involve a shattering of illusion.” – Chris Taylor
Having spent a considerable amount of time in the region and having mixed with characters not dissimilar to those in the book, Harvest Season rings true in our ears and comes highly recommended.
China’s Hermit Tradition and Zen Beginnings
Author and translator Bill Porter will be giving a talk in the Bookworm Bookshop in Chengdu at 19:30, Saturday Oct 16.
Under the pen name of Red Pine he has translated many Buddhist texts and sutras, including the Heart Sutra, the Diamond Sutra and the Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma, among others. He has also translated Buddhist poetry by Cold Mountain and Stonehouse.
His 2 works, Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits (1993) & Zen Baggage: A Pilgrimage to China (2008), are “part travelogue, part history, part sociology, part religious study,” “a record of extraordinary journeys to an unknown China,” and come highly recommended to all those interested in Buddhism, China and Zen.
Road to Heaven, which was republished last year by Counterpoint, was in part the inspiration for Edward Burger’s 2007 documentary Amongst White Clouds.