The (Great) Indian Poetry Project is abuzz with the energy and enthusiasm of young blood. Our interns, Rhea, Shreya and Radhika, have been exploring Modern Indian Poetry with a fine eye and writing beautiful poems inspired by poets all over the world. Indian poets whose work they have resonated with are Tishani Doshi, Anjum Hasan, Nissim Ezekiel, Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Arundhathi Subramaniam, among others. Our interns are also helping build our poetry archive by writing profiles of Modern Indian poets and reviewing books that have touched them. Check out what they have been reading:
All good things take time. As many of you know, the (Great) Indian poetry project is very ambitious in scope, with a big online component. With hundreds of modern Indian poets come thousands of poems, and through those poems, a powerful, multi-hued history of Modern India and its people. We are painstakingly collecting all the information of these wonderful poets and promise you an online archive like no other. We thank all of you for your support and patience so far. From June onwards, we will be introducing profiles, reviews, and interviews.
Another component of The (Great) Indian Poetry Project is a specialized press that will introduce new poetic voices through the publication of their first books. With two other talented poets, Minal Hajratwala and Ellen Kombiyil, we have formed The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective and our first offering will be out later this summer.
We are also collaborating with another poet, on a project that would display poetry in public places, aptly called Poetry in Public India.
Stay tuned for all things poetry.
India’s diplomats seem to be wielding the pen for more poetic causes. Amarendra Khatua, India’s newly appointed ambassador to Argentina, adds another book of poems, Love Abracadabra, to the list of Indian diplomats who are writing and publishing books. Khatua, who has bee promoting poetry from his native state Odisha, for more than forty years, has a long list of publications: 14 in Odiya, two in Hindi, one in Telugu and three in English. Khatua shares the title of Indian diplomat/poet with ambassador to the U.S. Nirupama Rao and emerging poet Abhay Kumar, First Secretary, Embassy of India, Kathmandu, who have both published books of poems inspired by their travels outside of India.
Diplomats writing poetry is certainly not a new trend, with Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), the nobel prize winning poet from Chile, serving as a diplomat for much of his adult life. Neruda’s words reverberate around the world, even today, with its explosive metaphors and honest exploration of one’s relationship with the greater world.
Let’s hope India’s diplomat-poets can create the same effect.