Poetry can play a key role in today's conflict riddled world believe 'Chair Poetry Evenings' founders
Kolkata, Nov 28 (IBNS): Kolkata recently was the venue of an international poetry festival called ‘Chair Poetry Evenings’, which was attended by poets from across the world.
Poet and litterateur Sankha Ghosh and actor Victor Banerjee, both veterans in their own fields, inaugurated the event.
Introducing the event, Sonnet Mondal, one of the co-founders, said that as the world becomes progressively mired in socio-political, radical, cultural, and ethnic skirmishes, poetry can act as a restorative and a potent means of diffusing the conflicting values and experiences.
As the thought that every poet has his or her own favorite chair struck him, festival co-founder Tushar Dhawal Singh said he had found the name for the event.
Dutch Foundation for Literature, Flanders, Belgium and Slovenian Book Agency were among the sponsors who supported the festival.
Vladimir Martinovski from Macedonia, Miriam Van Hee from Belgium, Les Wicks from Australia, Barabara Pogacnik from Slovenia, Aruban Alfred Schaffer from Netherlands, John W Sexton from Ireland, Yekta from France, and Rajesh Joshi, Arun Kamal, Mangalesh Debral, K.Satchidanandan, Nitoo Das, Subodh Sarkar and Binayak Bandopadhyay from India participated in the festival.
At the inaugural function, a two minute silence was observed to pay respect to poets Vishnu Khare, Fahmida Riaz and Meena Alexander, who passed away recently.
The festival was not merely a gathering of poets but wove the spirit of Kolkata into it.
The participants were not only taken on a heritage walk but one of the sessions was also held at the Calcutta Heritage Bungalow.
Another session was held at the premises of Sasha, an organisation that is working with artisans and craft communities and promotes fair trade practices.
But it was the grand finale that thrilled the international poets -- a boat cruise along the banks of the Hooghly in Kolkata.
Visiting French poet Yekta summed up the experience, “Social media lacks physical dimensions of human relationships that are fulfilled in wonderful festivals like these. The river cruise was a very evocative experience that cannot be fathomed at once. I am still trying to join the dots.”
(Reporting by Tirna Chatterjee)
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