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Of all the Languages I Speak, I Own None - UNDERTOW / Sing Lit Station

Richard Hoggart Building, Room 137

Two of the PTC’s UNDERTOW Nigeria poets, Arimoku Obaigbena and Pẹ̀lúmi Obasaju will be in conversation with Aaryan Khan and nor, both emerging poets from Singapore, connected via live link. Through readings, video and conversation, the two groups will explore their relationships with language and poetry from two different postcolonial perspectives.

In London the conversation will be mediated by the Nigerian-British poet, playwright and producer Tolu Agbelusi, while in Singapore the poets will be speaking with Laura Jane Lee, a Hong Kong-born, Singapore-based poet and essayist.

In the context of the 525 plus native languages spoken in Nigeria, and the four official languages of Singapore, the writers will also explore what it means to be a young poet writing and living in a perpetual state of translation.

This event celebrates the culmination of the Poetry Translation Centre's latest UNDERTOW programme, working with poets aged 16-26 from Nigeria and its diaspora to explore their diverse languages and relationships to them.

This live event will be in a hybrid format, with live audiences at Goldsmiths, London and SingLit Station, Singapore, plus on online viewership joining in from around the world.

You can book a free ticket to join in person or online.

More about the Poetry Translation Centre & UNDERTOW

The Poetry Translation Centre gives contemporary poems from Africa, Asia and Latin America a new life in the English language, working with diaspora communities for whom poetry is of great importance.

UNDERTOW is the Poetry Translation Centre’s Youth programme that focuses on working with people from mixed heritage and diaspora backgrounds to unlock the creative potential of polylingualism. In its second year, UNDERTOW is focused on Nigerian and Nigerian diaspora poets in the UK.

More about Sing Lit Station

Sing Lit Station is a platform where readers and writers can meet. Their core mission is to serve the local literary community of writers and readers in Singapore: by creating a space for writers to grow their artistic and professional lives; and inviting readers to explore our literary culture.

More about the poets

Aaryan Khan / Singapore

Aaryan is a Bengali poet in Singapore who works with distance and realism is his poetry. Poetry is an important part of navigating his queer and Bengali identity in Singapore. He writes about identity, grief and connections using hyperrealism. Currently he does not have any works published but is looking forward to doing so.

nor / Singapore

nor’s artistic practice hopes to situate belonging and community within speculative timelines. Their works span the disciplines of photography, film, video, performance, text and spoken word poetry to engage with ideas of belonging and identity through frameworks of gender performance, ethnographic portraits and transnational histories.

Arimoku Obaigbena / UNDERTOW

Arimoku is a poet and photographer who’s a multifaceted storyteller. He sees the world as a breathing anthology and Arimoku mirrors society in his work in an attempt to reveal, call out or uplift its outcast tales. He was a finalist of the Lagos / London poetry competition.

You can find him on Instagram @ari.moku

Pẹ̀lúmi Obasaju / UNDERTOW

Pẹ̀lúmi Obasaju is a Nigerian-British scientist and storyteller. An experienced performer, she has been commissioned for several projects including an AR candle with New York based Spoken Flames. Her work has appeared in Magma 86: FOOD.

Follow her on Instagram @beautyandprocess & Twitter @pel_ums



Tolu Agbelusi is a Nigerian British, poet, playwright, performer, educator and lawyer whose work addresses the unperformed self, womanhood and the art of living. Her debut poetry collection Locating Strongwoman (Jacaranda Books) was published in October 2020. A Callaloo Fellow, Agbelusi’s work was shortlisted for the 2018 White Review Poetry Prize and she was a 2017 BBC Slam Finalist.

Laura Jane Lee is a Hong Kong-born, Singapore-based poet and essayist. She is a winner of the Sir Roger Newdigate Prize and was shortlisted for the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. Her work has been featured in The Straits Times, Tatler Asia, Poetry London, Ambit, QLRS, and at the 52nd Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam.

This event is made possible through the support of Arts Council England, Sing Lit Station and Goldsmiths’ Writers Centre.

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