Themes such as race, climate change, and women's bodies will be explored at the fifth edition of Bengaluru Poetry Festival

Featured poets include the award-winning American feminist poet Annie Finch, Wellington-based Gregory Kan, Swiss performance poet Roland Jurczok and California-based Venus Jones

Ayesha Tabassum Published :  30th July 2020 04:31 PM   |   Published :   |  30th July 2020 04:31 PM
Venus_Jones,_Rajiv_Mohabir_and_Annie_Finch1

Venus Jones, Rajiv Mohabir and Annie Finch

The Bengaluru Poetry Festival will let your imagination take flight with its fifth edition. Why do we say this? Just imagine sitting in a pleasant corner of your home, and listening to verses from across the globe. This will soon come true when this year's Bengaluru Poetry Festival (BPF) streams on its official website.

With almost every event going digital, BPF isn’t far behind. What makes it special is the curated list of
poets. Some of the featured names this year are the award-winning American feminist poet Annie Finch, Wellington-based Gregory Kan, Swiss performance poet Roland Jurczok and California-based Venus Jones (who came to prominence during the #BlackLivesMatter movement). “We had big plans because this is the fifth year of BPF. But because of the pandemic, we were contemplating cancelling the festival. However, one of our core team members, Shinie Antony, insisted on hosting it because the world needs poetry now more than ever,” says Subodh Shankar, co-founder, of the festival.

This was just the push that the core team needed and with a history of four successful editions behind them, putting together this digital edition wasn’t too much of a challenge. Going virtual meant the team got the leeway to invite poets from different continents to be part of the fest. “Indian ethos that are poetically expressed are at the heart of this festival. So we have Indian voices featured from all over the world in addition to global poets. Rajiv Mohabir, a Guyanese poet of Indian descent, a loud voice in the LGBTQIA space is one of the guests. MeeraDasgupta, the United States Youth Poet Laureate 2020, is another name to look out for. Paris-based poet, choreographer and performer, Karthika Nair will present a performance piece with American poet Marilyn Hacker,” shares Subodh. Other themes such as women’s bodies and abortion, race, poetry and resistance, and climate change will be explored.

However, these sessions will not be live. Instead, the one-day festival is pre-recorded. “Ever since the first lockdown began in March, people have been hosting webinars and live sessions on Instagram and Zoom. Honestly, we saw fatigue set in and didn’t want that to happen with BPF so all our sessions are recorded by the poets and will be uploaded on the official website,” sums up Subodh.

August 9. Details: bengalurupoetryfestival.org

ayeshatabassum@newindianexpress.com
@aishatax

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