Example poetry

Bengaluru Poetry Festival 2022: Celebrating the Word

The Bengaluru Poetry Festival returns for its sixth edition this weekend after a two-year break

The Bengaluru Poetry Festival returns for its sixth edition this weekend after a two-year break

The Bengaluru Poetry Festival (BPF) returns to the city this weekend after a two-year hiatus. Hosted by Atta Galatta, the two-day event will see up to 70 poets and artists participate in various sessions and interactive workshops.

Subodh Sankar, founder of Atta Galatta and one of the organizers of BPF, says that one of the striking features of the festival is its inclusion of poetry in multiple languages. “We have readings from poets in different languages. We don’t confine ourselves to one theme because that ends up creating boundaries where there’s no need for them,” he says, adding, “It’s a celebration of Indian poetry and a chance to bring those voice to a live audience.

For Bengaluru-based poet Mani Rao, the joy of being part of BPF is a celebration in itself. “The BPF is one of those events where there are no overlapping sessions; everyone can take advantage of each module without having to rush halfway just to attend another. Here, there will be two intense days of poetry sessions. Today there are so many people who write poetry in different styles and through their work one can get an idea of ​​their point of view. Spoken word has really taken off in India,” says Mani, who looks forward to meeting the poets she read at the festival as well as other members of the poet community.

Previous editions of the Bengaluru Poetry Festival

Previous editions of the Bengaluru Poetry Festival | Photo credit: special arrangement

Although the festival itself is not themed, some of the event sessions follow a specific thread. For example, this edition of the festival will see a panel of poets who write strong political poetry, reflecting the times we find ourselves in, says Subodh.

One of the panellists is Manipuri activist Irom Sharmila who will read not only his own work but also that of Telangana activist Varavara Rao, in an act of solidarity. “Varavara Rao has been arrested 20 times without any conviction by successive governments. I will read six of her poems at the festival,” says Irom, who will also read an excerpt from her “Waiting,” which she wrote in prison. “I believe festivals like these are important because they provide a platform to express our views on the ills of society.”

Some of the interactive sessions at BPF this year include translating poetry as well as publishing it, apart from craft workshops ghazals and write multilingual poetry. “There are also a few sessions for children, mainly to get them interested in poetry. Outside of nursery rhymes, there isn’t much poetry written specifically for children, so we’ve designed activities with poetic elements to engage them. For example, a play in one of the children’s sessions uses limericks as a way to introduce a type of poetry to a young audience,” says Subodh.

Previous editions of the Bengaluru Poetry Festival

Previous editions of the Bengaluru Poetry Festival | Photo credit: special arrangement

Bangalore-based new children’s author Lavanya Kapahi attended the event and said, “My book many colors of us is not just a story in verse form, but also about diversity and inclusion. It takes readers on a colorful journey through India as I thought our country was the best example for introducing the idea of ​​diversity to children.

The sixth edition of BPF will begin with an invocation and interpretation by a choir of 34 visually impaired children and their teacher from the Jyoti Seva Sadan Trust and will end with a performance by Jeet Thayil, poet, novelist and musician with his group Hollis Coats, Disco Puppet (Shoumik Biswas) and Sangeeta Agnes Hose.

The sixth edition of the Bengaluru Poetry Festival will take place on August 27-28 at Leela Palace, Old Airport Road, Bengaluru. Free admission. For more details visit https://www.bengalurupoetryfestival.org/


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