3-day International Poetry Festival comes to end

At the event, ‘The Chair Literary’ trust also declared a ‘Poet in residence program’  which will be hosted in Kolkata from December to January.

Kolkata got a feast of poetry in the recently concluded Chair Poetry Evenings, organised by Chair Literary Trust from November 23-25. What was conceived sitting in a room in Mumbai overlooking the Arabian sea in 2017 finally culminated in a wonderful creative confluence near the Bay of Bengal as Kolkata was witness to a platter of poetic reading sessions of acclaimed poets in The International Poetry Festival – Chair Poetry Evenings organised by the Chair Literary Trust which opened on on November 23 at Rotary Sadan.

The inaugural day on NOvember 23 saw eminent poet Sankha Ghosh and actor Victor Banerjee opening the event welcoming 14 acclaimed local, national and international poets. Speaking to the audience , Victor Banerjee stated, "I seriously applaud the efforts of Directors , Chair Literary Trust, Tushar Dhawal Singh and Sonnet Mondal for organising something like this in these days and age of of ramps and stage shows ." Addressing the visiting poets the actor welcomed them to Calcutta-a city which he said, "I will always give you the applause you need and deserve. Kolkata bleeds for art and poetry and Bengal breathes poetry and culture."

The international festival curated by the trust looks to start off the tradition of holding such a convergence of poets each year in an effort to share human reflections, conditions, thoughts and struggles through the medium of poetry by inviting each year poets from different corners of the globe. The Chair Literary trust also declared a 'Poet in residence program' to be hosted in Kolkata from December to January. Two to three selected poets from across the globe would be offered a stay for a month in the city with a scholarship to cover up their expenses in the city. The poets would be working on their latest manuscript and will be offered an opportunity to present public readings in the city.

"As the planet becomes progressively anxious with socio-political, radical, cultural, ethno national skirmishes, we consider the role of Poetry as a restorative and a potent mean of diffusing values and experiences – all the more pertinent", added festival co-director Sonnet Mondal.

All the 14 attending poets during the inaugural day recited their own compositions choosing to do so in their native tongue followed by English recitations of their poems. The poets in attendance were Vladimir Martinovski (Macedonia), Miriam Van hee (Belgium), Les Wicks (Australia), Barbara Pogacnik (Slovenia), Alfred Schaffer (Netherlands), Yekta (France), Rajesh Joshi (India), Arun Kamal (India), Mangalesh Dabral (India), K. Satchidanandan (India), Nitoo Das (India), Subodh Sarkar (India) and Binayak Bandyopadhyay (India). John W Sexton (Ireland) could not attend but his poetry was read.

Well known poet Subodh Sarkar congratulated Chair Poetry Literary trust for this great initiative and said that unlike other festivals this was unique in itself as the poet organisers themselves chose to stay away from their own personal readings and leave it open for the others to be on stage.

"The festival was highly successful and was bigger than our imagination and all the participating poets not only had a fulfilling experience of the city but they also added that these three days felt like three years of togetherness. They commented that they felt like a family and the festival was warm, family like yet extremely professionally executed. On behalf of Chair Literary Trust we would do more wonders related to poetry in future and our future plan is also to have a Chair Poetry House in Kolkata that would archive poets and poetry from across the world", stated Poet and Founder Chair Poetry Evenings, Sonnet Mondal at the closing session of the festival.

"We plan to increase social awareness through the medium of poetry. Our aim was fulfilled and the festival was a greater success than we imagined and we would take this success further and work on it so that Kolkata emerges as a pilgrimage for poets through Chair Poetry Evenings'," stated Tushar Dhawal Singh, Poet and Founder Chair Poetry Evenings.

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