The sixth edition of Bengaluru Poetry Festival sees the likes of Arunoday Singh and Deepti Naval in attendance

Bengaluru Poetry Festival brings a weekend of live performances, panel discussions, workshops, readings and artistes 

author_img Srushti Kulkarni Published :  26th August 2022 10:29 PM   |   Published :   |  26th August 2022 10:29 PM

A scene from the festival

The Bengaluru Poetry Festival is back after a two-year hiatus, and this time, it promises to be bigger and better. Scheduled to be held at The Leela Palace, the sixth edition of the festival is expected to host over 5,000 poetry enthusiasts.

Organised by the not-for-profit Bengaluru Poetry Festival trust, the event will see 400 plus poets, musicians, lyricists and performers in attendance. The stage is set for a weekend of live performances, panel discussions, workshops, readings and artistes bringing regional and ethnic notes to the poetry obsessives of Bengaluru. Although the event caters to adult audiences, there will be several activities for children too.

Some notable events to look forward to at the two-day-festival include sessions such as Reflections (Deepti Naval and Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri), Speak Out (Irom Sharmila, Uday Prakash and more), O Me! O Life! (Ashwani Kumar, Aswin Vijayan and more) and Sufi Soul (Arunoday Singh).

The poets in attendace give us an insight to the event:

Irom Sharmila

Which was the first poem you ever wrote and what prompted you to write it?
Unbind Me. A metaphorical poem reflecting how I could not travel freely to the more remote areas in my state because I am a woman.

What can we expect from you at the festival?
My first presentation will showcase five different Indian languages that will allow people to experience the patchwork quilt of India through the sounds and feelings expressed by the poets. For the second presentation, I will read poems of Varavara Rao.

Mani Rao

You have authored 10 books. Is there a new one in the pipeline?
Two, in fact. One is a bilingual chapbook called Love Me In A Hurry. The other is my lyrical translation of the well-known Sanskrit hymn Saundarya Lahari .

What do you have in store for fans at the festival?
First, we are launching Love Me In A Hurry and on Sunday, I will be in conversation with Priya Sarukkai Chabbria about her book Sing of Life.

Ashwani Kumar

Name some writers you enjoyed reading as a child.
I don’t recollect reading anything as a child. I spent much of childhood in the wilderness. While my father would read cheap translations of Tolstoy, Lorca and Ibn Battuta, I did not properly speak or write anything until I was 10. I only mimicked green parrots and played with pygmy elephants in the Saranda forests at the Odisha-Bengal-Bihar tri-junction!

What do you have lined up for the festival?
You can expect poems of mischievous irreverence with a fierce anarchy in the words of poet and critic K Satchidanandan. There are also intoxicating experiences of ‘grammar atrocities’ from my ‘Aunty Maria.’

Arunoday Singh

Who inspired the poet in you?
My most amazing mother and her vast artistic skills, my school teachers, and the muse of my pubescent years — all came together one year and before I knew it, I was scribbling away.

What message would you like to share on this platform filled with numerous aspiring poets?

The only advice I have is the one I followed. Keep writing, keep improving, keep at it without wondering if you will ever be published. The only thing under your control is the quality of your words and your dedication to them. I would still be writing everyday if I never got published.

Entry free. August 27 & 28. At Leela Palace Bengaluru, Old Airport Road