Lighthouse and Anchorage: Vahni Capildeo connects Edinburgh and Norwich Cities of Literature

Ali Bowden
Director, Edinburgh
City of Literature Trust

16 April 2021

As part of the Imagining the City project, run by Norwich City of Literature, Vahni Capildeo undertook a virtual writing residency during February 2021.

Their work looked at ways of connecting Edinburgh - where Vahni is based - to Norwich. It included a journal of daily walks, which can be read here. Vahni's journal comprises of notes, fragments of poetry and reflections which sprang up from strolling along the north Edinburgh coastline, with Norwich and its history in mind.

Vahni was one of five writers from other UNESCO Cities of Literature to take part in the project, joining Liz Breslin of Dunedin, Lynn Buckle from Dublin, Valur Gunnarsson from Reykjavik and Marcin Wilk who joined from Krakow.

Each writer has been exploring their own practice, and how it can connect their home city to Norwich in a time when travel isn't possible. An event on 20 April, Meet the World: Coastlines and Waterways, will offer a chance to see how the project has allowed the writers to use waterways and coastlands as inspiration..

Vahni's award-winning work has been underpinned by their background in medieval studies, lexicography, translation theory and culture for development. Their work includes Skin Can Hold and Measures of Expatriation, which won the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2016.