Poetry publishers at Gurugram lit fest

Town of concrete and glass, normally thought of to be the enterprise capital of North India, obtained a singular style of poetry through the first version of the DLF Gurugram Poetry Competition held on 20-21 August 2022. The 2-day occasion was organised in affiliation with two unbiased poetry publishers primarily based in Delhi — Hawakal Publishers and Purple River. The occasion was curated by the well-known poet and founding father of Poetry Couture, Madhu Raghavendra.

Apart from the launch of current poetry volumes printed by Hawakal and Purple River, the occasion additionally noticed each established and younger poets from throughout India attend and browse their works. Among the many names that graced the event had been Rakhshanda Jalil, Sukrita Paul Kumar, Nabina Das, Paresh Tiwari, Inder Salim, Abhimanyu Kumar, Amit Ranjan, Rati Agnihotri, Manish Sinha, Uttaran Das Gupta, Maaz Bin Bilal, Amlanjyoti Goswami, Ankush Banerjee, Shamayita Sen, Nabanita Sengupta, Rajorshi Patranabis, Kiran Bhat, Kinshuk Gupta, amongst others. 

The pageant additionally featured promising new voices reminiscent of Gourob Chakraborty (winner of the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar in Bengali in 2021), Sudipta Maji, Sabari Roy, Rimi Dey, Munshi Md Younus, Prasenjit Dasgupta, Aparna Singh, Sudeshna Chakravorty, and others. 

Raghavendra, himself a preferred poet, whose poem, ‘Artist’, written through the pandemic grew to become a worldwide session, stated the concept behind the pageant was not simply to convey poetry to the forefront of cultural dialog (one thing he has been doing for the final 10 years via his organisation Poetry Couture), but in addition to focus on the work being carried out by the unbiased publishers.

“Normally, in a literary pageant, the main target is normally on fiction and non-fiction, and that too on books printed by established publishers. Poetry, particularly poetry by youthful poets, is normally sidelined. With this pageant, we not solely needed to focus on the good works being carried out by the Indian poets, but in addition needed to focus on the works carried out by the unbiased presses in publishing poetry, which is normally thought of a loss-making enterprise.”

That is why, he stated, the pageant determined to collaborate with the 2 unbiased publishers. 

“The concept was to present a platform to the unbiased publishers to showcase their works, which regularly fail to discover a place in mainstream dialog,” Raghavendra stated. 

During the last couple of years, each Hawakal and Purple River have given a platform to a spread of various voices to share their poetry with the world. 

Beside publishing a few of the rising poets within the Indian poetry scene within the final 5 years, Hawakal additionally publishes the annual Yearbook of Indian Poetry, edited by Sukrita Paul Kumar and Vinita Agarwal, which compiles the most effective poems printed in India within the given yr. Not too long ago, Hawakal additionally got here out with the anthology, The Properly-Earned, a poetic response to the seventy fifth anniversary of Indian Independence. Each the titles had been highlighted through the pageant. 

In the meantime, Purple River, whose titles are recognized for his or her distinctive topics and strange method to design, has printed a few of the greatest younger poets writing in India at present, whose works have gone on to win awards and accolades. Not too long ago, Purple River printed the huge anthology, Witness: The Purple River E-book of Dissent, edited by Nabina Das, which options 250 poets writing about their concepts of dissent. 

The poet and translator Nabina Das, who has not too long ago translated 50 Bangladesh Girls Poets in English (Come up out of the Lock), attended the occasion to introduce the ebook. This was adopted by a studying for the anthology. 

The occasion additionally noticed launches of a number of new Purple River titles — Now a Poem, Now a Forest by Paresh Tiwari; The Knot of Juggernaut by Amit Ranjan; I’d Like a Little bit of the Moon by Rati Agnihotri; Talking in Tongues by Kiran Bhat and The Grand Museum of the Earth by Manish Sinha. 

Raghavendra stated from the subsequent yr onwards (the occasion guarantees to be an annual fixture within the metropolis’s cultural calendar), he want to collaborate with extra unbiased publishers, particularly these working in area of interest segments, reminiscent of girls’s writing, Dalit writing, indigenous writing and so forth. 

For Raghavendra, who was not too long ago invited to the Worldwide Writing Programme on the College of Iowa, poetry translation is one other matter he desires to concentrate on. In direction of this objective, there was a devoted session with outstanding translator Rakhshanda Jalil. In a riveting dialog with Raghavendra, Jalil shared her experiences of translating poets reminiscent of Shahryar and Gulzar, and the intricacies and nuances of translation. 

Bitan Chakraborty, founder, Hawakal Publishers, who attended the occasion and moderated a number of periods, stated, “It’s inspiring to have a multilingual poetry pageant in Gurgaon. Hawakal is proud to be a associate of this magnificent enterprise. Encouraging contemporary voices will get a brand new dimension with the DLF Gurugram Poetry Competition.”

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