Camera & Quill
Anita Thomas* and Neil Daswani*
* Indicates that the speaker will be participating at the Festival via Zoom
Neil Daswani, a recently retired banker is a naturalised Singaporean of Indian origin. He used to write poetry during his youth and after a ‘lunga pausa’ he returned to this calling, as he took advantage of saved commuting time at the bookends of his work day.
The year 2020 was a milestone year for him. He authored and published three separate volumes of poetry: Why Now? his debut volume followed by Seen & Felt and Redshift. His poetry covers a myriad of themes ranging from nature and mythology, poems about the corporate world to love – both lost and found, as well as bursts of self-deprecatory humour.
Redshift was showcased at the Singapore Writer’s festival during November 2020 as a new publication. This video reading book launch can be accessed on the following hyperlink: https://youtu.be/ulmbOCFsS8k
Why Now? originally published in Singapore in May 2020 during the circuit breaker was subsequently recognised by the Singapore Book Publishers Association in May 2021. The launch video can be accessed via this hyperlink: https://youtu.be/ij8H4tIWw38
Why Now? was selected by the Jaipur Literary Festival (JLF) in February 2021 for the JLF Writers Shorts and Neil recited from his book. This can be accessed via this hyperlink: https://youtu.be/ij8H4tIWw38.
His book Seen & Felt, a collaborative ekphrastic volume of poetry in tandem with five of South Korea’s leading contemporary artists was showcased and sponsored by the Arts Council Korea in September 2020, for a two-week exhibition of poetry and paintings.
Neil’s fourth book, published in January 2021 was a collaborative (poetry and photography) volume titled Camera & Quill with Anita Thomas. Each photograph was an invitation to free the poetry imprisoned within the frame. Their stories needed to be told. The poetry and photographs from this collaboration featured in the JLF Writers Shorts in February 2021 and was subsequently screened at JLF Colorado in October 2021. The accompanying video clip can be viewed via this hyperlink: https://youtu.be/dMUK8OzdnNU.
During 2021, Neil has completed two new volumes of poetry, On the Other Hand and All the Shades of Truth which he intends to publish in early 2022.