Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chay time

For the last three years, Pakistani poet Kyla Pasha has been a highlight of the performance nights of Delhi’s Nigah Queer Fest. She was back in Delhi last fortnight to release her first book, High Noon and The Body, an irreverent, finely-wrought collection. Pasha is also a journalist, an assistant professor of liberal arts at Beaconhouse National University in Lahore and the founding editor of Chay magazine. But she managed to find the time to tell Naintara Maya Oberoi about politics, cities and how to swear politely.

There’s a predominance of urban imagery in your poems. Would you say you had an urban voice?
I’m a city kid, so it’s hard not to. I have a love and fascination for cities – my dad’s an architect, and I have this sense that there is this kind of poetry in space and in structures. I also have no other context to write from. I suppose if I lived on a farm for ten years, a lot of cows and manure would be in my poetry. It’s where you are. Jane Austen said, “Write where you are.

Where you’re located isn’t always obvious in your poems. How does place figure in your work? 
Place is very important, Pakistan is occasionally important. I wouldn’t want to say I’m a Pakistani poet and then have to write Pakistan, Pakistan, Pakistan in everything. I’m Pakistani, I was born here, that’s my passport, but I do other things besides “be Pakistani”.

Full report here Timeout Mumbai

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