Showing posts with label Migration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Migration. Show all posts

Monday, 28 September 2020

Taking Down Borders: An interview with poet Zakir Hossain Khokan

Since the launch of the Migrant Worker Poetry Competition in 2014, Singapore’s migrant writing community has grown exponentially, with migrant-led initiatives like ‘One Bag, One Book’ slowly joining the mainstream of a burgeoning poetry scene. Events like the Global Migrant Festival and the Migrant Literary Festival have enlivened the literary calendar, while in 2018, Stranger to Myself – a collection of poetry and prose by Bangladesh-born MD Sharif Uddin – won the top prize at the Singapore Book Awards.

Capturing the spirit of these developments was the release of Call and Response: A Migrant/Local Poetry Anthology in 2018. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed the situation of Singapore’s migrant community under the spotlight, publisher Math Paper Press has commissioned a second release of this landmark anthology, with a portion of the proceeds going to HealthServe, a migrant advocacy NGO.

In this interview, we speak to one of the anthology’s co-editors, Zakir Hossain Khokan, about how the pandemic has affected the community, and his hopes for the book: