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SHIKHA MALAVIYA

What happens when six talented writers journey 2000 Km across India by train? Check out THE BOOKWALLAH  to find out.  As part of a pre-event sponsored by The Bangalore Literary Festival, THE BOOKWALLAH brings to namma Bengaluru three Indian writers-poet Sudeep Sen, literary critic and novelist Chandrahas Choudhury and poet & writer Annie Zaidi, along with Australian novelists Michelle De Kretser, Kirsty Murray and journalist/media personality Benjamin Law.

These writers bring with them a unique travelling library, housed in handmade Kangaroo leather trunks that convert into bookcases, aiming to forge connections and glean/share stories.

The first day’s events, at the Bangalore International Centre, Domlur, were a marriage of poetry and prose, with Chandrahas Choudhury illustrating “Ten Ways the Novel Can Change Your Life” with beautiful excerpts from the novels of Chekov, Mo Yan, Orhan Pamuk and more. Next, poet Sudeep Sen, in his lilting voice, read from his newly launched…

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Literary Festival Fever

Jaipur Literary Festival

Yes Folks, it’s that time of year again. Literary festivals are popping up like wild mushrooms all over India and the next few months offer a cornucopia of events for the literary inclined. The Kovalam Literary Festival (KLF) kicked off the season last week, with an event in Delhi and a weekend litfest in Kovalam, Kerala. Poet, writer and Booker Nominee Jeet Thayil was the star attraction at the Delhi event, in conversation with Aleph Books founder and writer David Davidar. Close on the heels of KLF are Literature Live in Bombay (OCT 31-NOV 4), The Poetry with Prakriti Festival in Chennai (slated to be in early December), The Bangalore Literature Festival (DEC 7-9), The Goa Arts and Literature festival (DEC 13-17), Mumbai Fully Booked, a Times of India initiative (slated for December), The Hyderabad Literary Festival (JAN 18-20, 2013) and the grandest of them all, The Jaipur Literature Festival (JAN 24-28, 2013). Those who can’t make it for any of the above or who haven’t quite got their fill, can get a taste of more literary action at Mumbai’s most popular arts event, The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (FEB 2-10, 2012).

Stay tuned to TGIPP regarding poetry related updates for these festivals.

Latest Showcase of English Poetry by Indians

Sudeep Sen, poet and editor of the Harper Collins Book of English Poetry by Indians, has been an ardent promoter of the work coming out of the Indian subcontinent. He’s been closely involved in the realization of other anthologies in the past, viz., World Literature Today Writing from Modern India (2010), The Literary Review Indian Poetry (2009) and Midnight’s Grandchildren: Post-Independence English Poetry from India (2004). His own poems have appeared in several Indian as well as international publications. His work has also been widely translated in several languages. A Pushcart Prize nominee for his work in Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems by HarperCollins, he is also on the editorial boards of various renowned journals and magazines.

Speaking to mainstream daily, The Times of India, Sudeep Sen shared:

‘The point and power of poetry is absolute. It is urgent, inescapable and transcendental. Beautiful writing through pretty phraseology is only a very small fraction of the entire art form. There is much more beyond this narrow notion of aesthetics. Unlike prose, which tends largely to be prosaic, poetry is something we humans resort to in our most intimate and precious moments — birth, death, love, rejection, grief, happiness, prayer and so on’.

The interview makes for a fine read and is a strong representation for the quality of English poetry coming out of India. Read more here.

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Mark your calendars for Saturday, 29th September 2012. The global 100 Thousand Poets for Change initiative has a local chapter in Bangalore. Come over to Atta Galatta in Koramangala and enjoy poetry readings by the city’s most active poets. If you like poetry and have a heart for social causes, you are welcome to join us even if you may only be passing through Bangalore. Like our Facebook page for all the details of this event or note the updates here.

SHIKHA MALAVIYA

Folks in Bangalore,

Mark your calendars for SEPTEMBER 29, for an evening of poetry, music and awareness. I am so very excited to be involved in this event. 100 Thousand Poets for Change (www.100tpc.org) is spearheaded by an American poet, Michael Rothenberg, to bring writers, musicians and artists together, all on one day, in different parts of the world, to raise awareness on issues that affect our society and greater world. To learn more about the Bangalore event, visit the FB page: https://www.facebook.com/100TPCBangalore

I have always been a believer in the power of words to create/promote social change. Mahatma Gandhi, through words and action, was able to arouse a whole nation to fight for their freedom. Martin Luther King through his famous speech, I have a Dream, was able to inspire African Americans to fight for their civil rights. And singers like John Lennon, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, through their…

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Global Poetry System-GPS

Just discovered this wonderful poetry resource on youtube called Global Poetry System, a project by Southbank Centre, UK, whose lofty goal is to explore and map the poetry of the world.  Within the span of a few minutes, poets read their work or share their relationship with poetry in terms of place, etc. They have 321 videos. Can’t wait to watch all of them. Some of our very own Indian poets are there: Jeet Thayil, Tabish Khair and Karthika Nair, among others. Enjoy!