Green Literature Festival is delighted to announce ‘Literature Across Borders’, a special literary exchange we have curated to make green books travel across borders and find new readers. In the first edition of the exchange, students of the MA Writing for Young People Programme at Bath Spa University in the UK and the MA English Programme at Ashoka University in India trade notes on green books published for young readers in both countries.
The books, representing some of the finest writers in both countries, have been organised into four thematically-related pairs [see below] that examine ideas of nature as a refuge, escapades involving elephants, the ‘wildness’ of domestic animals and transformative acts of youthful courage.
As part of the exchange, the books from India have made their way to students in the UK and the books from the UK have made their way to students in India. The students will be critically engaging with the literature, finding commonalities and divergences and discussing the role of such writing in the age of the Anthropocene, a geological period in which human activities are wreaking havoc upon the planet.
Meaningful cultural intermingling can open a doorway to a more nuanced, empathetic view of the world and each other, and help people look beyond dominant narratives and stereotypes. Our hope is to use books as a means of stirring conversations that ponder the place of writing for young people in a world beset by the anxieties of climate change and contribute to the discourse of youth activism that has come to redefine the global environmental movement [Also see: Reading Can Open Doors to Nature: A Panel Discussion with Fridays for Future]
The exchange will run from March to July 2023. During this time, there will be four dialogues with students at the universities that will appear as interviews on our page. We will also be running reviews and readings on our social media handles and organising interactions with the authors. All students participating in the exchange will receive a certificate for their work.
We would like to thank the universities, especially Alexia Casale, the Course Leader for the MA at Bath Spa University and Alexander Phillips, an Assistant Professor of English at Ashoka University, the students and the Royal Commonwealth Society of Bath and District for enthusiastically supporting the pilot edition of this cultural exchange.