Malta and Leeuwarden share strong agricultural ties,exchanging potato crops and seeds twice a year. From these seeds, Maltese farmers grow potatoes which are then shipped back to Leeuwarden. Poetry in Potato Bags makes use of this relationship by exchanging poetry along with the agricultural produce.
Eight Maltese and eight Dutch poets will be commissioned to write a poem per year between the years of 2015 and 2018. Every March, the Maltese poems will be packaged and sent with the potatoes to the Netherlands. Anyone buying a bag of potatoes in the Netherlands will find a Maltese poem (translated into English and Dutch) packaged along with their potatoes. The Dutch poets repeat this process every October by sending their poetry back to Malta with the seeds; over four year, a conversation will be formed between the poets from both regions.
Another aspect of the project is educational. In collaboration with Appoġġ, children are introduced to the realm of poetry and the world of agriculture, where they learn about local potato farming processes. Through workshops with local poets Emmanuel Attard Cassar and Rita Saliba, children are introduced to basic rhyming and poetry skills.
Poetry in Potato Bags is a Valletta 2018 collaboration with Potatoes Go Wild, Inizjamed, Appoġġ, and, of course, Leeuwarden 2018.