July 18 2015
A group of poets with origins in India come together to share their love of this form of writing and one of them argues it can be accessible and have meaning to the way you live life…
By Mona Dash
WITH FILMS, music, dance and such visual forms of entertainment, I often feel that literature and the written word takes a backseat.
More so, the art of writing and reading poetry. Performance poetry has its fans, but when we talk about the more traditional forms of poetry readings, the audience wanting to attend can be very small.
But this doesn’t of course deter poetry lovers and poets, and London remains a home to many such events; open mic or planned readings.
In November 2014, we launched two poetry anthologies from India.
Six of the poets published in these anthologies collaborated for a poetry reading in the Nehru Centre, London.
It turned out to be a very cold and wet day, and by evening, along with the rain came a lot of apologies from friends who had promised to attend!
It was a successful evening despite this, and we had a brilliant hour and half of poetry; those who did attend felt that poetry is not this esoteric, high-brow stuff to which they cannot relate.
It is for the poetry lovers who attend, for the poets who shared their work and above all for the cause of poetry, which can in its subtle way influence Life, that I wanted to organise another poetry reading in the elegant Nehru Centre.
The Nehru Centre is the cultural arm of the Indian High Commission, established in 1992 and housed in a 18th century building on South Audley street.
One of the themes we wanted to explore was the use of myths in Literature.
India is a nation abounding in myths and it is no wonder that Indian writers, from Sarojini Naidu to Arundhati Roy, have been inspired by myths and legends.
Myths not only just signify belief systems, they can serve as allegories of transition, metaphors of exile and personifications of change.
Once again, five poets of Indian origin, but living in Britain for the past couple of decades, are getting together to read their latest work in ‘Myth Makers’. Through poetry, we find new interpretations for myths, re-invent them on a personal level and use them as a bridge across nations and cultures.
Biographical notes on the writers in ‘Myth-Makers’
Mona Dash works in Telecoms and has recently gained a Masters in Creative Writing, with distinction. ‘Dawn Drops’ is her first book of poetry and her novel ‘Untamed Heart’ is due for publication later this year.
Debjani Chatterjee, MBE, is a poet, editor, translator, children’s writer, Royal Literary Fellow & Patron of Survivors Poetry. She has written or edited 60+ books. Debjani is launching ‘Do You Hear the Storm Sing?’ (Core Publications UK).
Shanta Acharya studied in Oxford and Harvard before working in the City. The author of nine books, her publications include poetry, literary studies and finance.
Usha Kishore was born in Kerala, and is now resident now resident on the Isle of Man. She is an award-winning poet and a translator from the Sanskrit, published internationally. Usha is also launching ‘Night Sky Between The Stars’ (Cyberwit India)
Kavita Jindal is the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection ‘Raincheck Renewed’ (Chameleon Press) and prize winning fiction. Her work has been published globally.
- ‘Myth Makers’, an evening of poetry, followed by discussions, Tuesday, July 21, 6pm-8.30pm at the Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF.