35-year-old Pooja Nansi, a creative writing teacher at Nanyang Technological University and author of poetry collections Love Is An Empty Barstool (2013) and Stiletto Scars (2007) was named Youth Poet Ambassador (YPA) for 2017-2018.
Nansi, an educator who has been active in the literary scene for over a decade, sees her new role as an extension of her passions.
“The YPA role will enable me to reach out to a wider group of people and hopefully allow them to experience how poetry can be a relevant force in their lives.
The YPA programme was initiated by the National Arts Council to deepen the role that literary arts can play in shaping Singapore’s society.
“Poetry, like music, dance, or theatre, provides a constructive outlet for young people to give voice to their concerns and empowers them to create conversations and reclaim narratives,” Nansi says.
As a YPA, she will be provided an honorarium and an $18,000 budget for professional development and public programming. At this point, there are plans for a Reading Poetry workshop and Poetry Murals.
Says Ms May Tan, Acting Director, Literary Arts, NAC: “We look forward to Pooja’s exciting plans to help give a poetic voice to the community and reflecting on contemporary issues youth care about.”
The YPA programme is managed by the Poetry Festival (Singapore).