PETALING JAYA: From verdant rainforests to white sandy beaches, sophisticated cities to rustic fishing villages, there is no shortage of beautiful locations in Malaysia.
One publication house aims to celebrate this country’s diverse settings by compiling poems that centre on local places and spaces.
Maya Press is calling for poetry in English, published or unpublished, for an anthology to be edited by professor Malachi Edwin Vethamani and published in the first half of next year.
The 67-year-old is a teacher, writer, critic and bibliographer whose credits include “Malchin Testament: Malaysian Poems”, “Rambutan Kisses”, and “Ronggeng-Ronggeng: Malaysian Short Stories”.
“We experience Malaysian places and spaces in our own unique ways,” he told FMT Lifestyle recently.
“I hope to receive poems that express how people have connected with Malaysia at different levels and in various dimensions – such as nostalgia and reminiscence, celebrations, home and identity, environmental concerns, or even futuristic.”
This project, he explained, is part of his continued efforts to promote the publication of English-language Malaysian writing, especially poetry. Both local and international poets age 18 and older are welcome to send their submissions.
All works should be in English – although words from local languages can be used – and should be no longer than 40 lines. Successful contributors will receive two complimentary copies of the book.
“Poets are welcome to submit writings in any form – free-verse, sonnets, pantun, haiku, or others. The poetic quality of the writing is what should emerge through the devices,” Malachi added.
He pointed out that this new book is unique as it will present “responses to contemporary spaces and historical places” with an “inclusive dimension” provided by the international voices, making it of interest to both local and foreign lovers of poetry.
Send your submissions to [email protected] before Dec 1. For more information, do contact them via email as well.