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Making poetry relevant through a convergence of local, national and international reflections

Making poetry relevant through a convergence of local, national and international reflections

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 29 Nov 2018, 07:29 pm

Kolkata, Nov 28 (IBNS): Tushar Dhawal Singh and Sonnet Mondal, poet-founders of The Chair Literary Trust declared that a ‘Poet in Residence' program is scheduled to be held in Kolkata from December to January.

The Trust said that under the program, two to three selected poets from across the globe will be offered a stay for a month in the city with a scholarship to cover up their expenses.

The poets will be working on their latest manuscripts and will be offered an opportunity to present public readings in the city.

It was from Singh’s residence with a view of the Arabian Sea that the idea to have a poet’s chair was born.

The chair once made, literally turned into a throne of creativity that not only for Singh but others too.

A chance meeting with poet Mondal in May 2017 set them thinking of making poetry relevant through a convergence of local, national and international reflections.

The idea finally took shape in February 2018, with the formation of Chair Literary Trust. 

The Trust recently organised an international poetry festival in Kolkata called 'Chair Poetry Evenings' attended by poets from abroad and India.

One of the interesting activities from the inaugural day included the 14 attending poets reading their own compositions in their own languages, reflecting the multi-cultural and multi-lingual flavor of the meet.

Another key achievement of the program was the Poetry on Cruise.

Almost all poets on board used the theme of water to recite their compositions with the gentle rippling water beneath being a constant reminder.

Poets on board enjoyed the sights of Vidyasagar Setu against the kaleidoscopic colors of the setting sun; the engineering marvel of the iconic Howrah Bridge; the secret serenity of ordinary life along the banks and the beauty of the playful shadows of the glowing lamp at Belur Math and Dakshineswar Temple.

Fresh from the three day experience, visiting French poet Yekta said, “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.”

Echoing his thoughts, Vladimir Martinovski said, “This three day festival will echo for three years. It was fantastically arranged and such festivals are a great investment for new friendships with honest exchanges. Being on the Ganges is indeed spiritual and ending the fest with a river cruise was a great idea as water and poetry are linked.”

To sum up their joint vision, the festival poet directors said, "The Chair Poetry Evenings present poets from around the globe with an eye to tell stories through those voices which have enabled poetry to come thus far over time. We do not have a general audience but this platform stands for those for whom poetry is the best medium of articulation in extreme situations; for whom the pen is a weapon to confront and defeat lifelong dilemmas and confusions. We present poets as the knights of language, for whom poetry is the blade and thoughts, the shield. For us poetry is ice in deserts and fire in frost."

(Reporting by Surupa Chatterjee)