Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. Translated by Pauline Fan. TELL ME, KENYALANG is a collection of poems by Kulleh Grasi, a writer and musician from Sarawak, a Malaysian state on the island of Borneo. This groundbreaking book is one of a handful of contemporary works of poetry written in Malay to be translated into English and the first in decades to include Malaysian indigenous languages. Translator Pauline Fan brings the work into a thrilling, living English. Kulleh Grasi's poems are entirely new and yet intimate. They are entwined with myth and nature and yet are fully post-modern. They are outside the context of American poetry and also deeply inside the questions and experiences American poets are grappling with today: questions of identity in relation to nation and language and sexuality. Grasi, both a known poet and rock star in Malaysia, writes new rivers and islands into the landscape of identity. Grasi says: "I was reading all kinds of Malay literature. None of it spoke from the experience of Borneo's indigenous people, so I started keeping journals, writing about the lives of indigenous communities that I observed with my own eyes. This was the true beginning of my poetry." TELL ME, KENYALANG will change the way people think of contemporary poetry throughout the world and about the role of indigenous languages in global literature and in translation. The book is a powerhouse.
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Pauline Fan is a writer and literary translator from Malaysia. She has translated works by Bertolt Brecht, Franz Kafka, Paul Celan, and Charles Simic into Malay, and poetry by Georg Trakl, Else Lasker-Schüler, Joachim Sartorius, and Zahid M. Naser into English. Pauline is Co-Director of the George Town Literary Festival 2019 and serves as creative director of the Malaysian cultural organization, Pusaka.Author City: KUALA LUMPUR MAL
Kulleh Grasi is the pen name of Royston John Kulleh. He is a poet, singer-songwriter, and cultural activist of Iban descent from Kapit, Sarawak. He is a founding member of Nading Rhapsody, an avant-garde Borneo band which draws from the oral traditions of Sarawak. He writes in Malay, Iban, and several other indigenous languages of trans-national Borneo.Author City: BORNEO MAL