Kolkata's International Poetry Festival, Chair Poetry Evenings, is back for its sixth edition and will be held from November 24 to 26. Like previous years, a wide spectrum of poets, writers, and philosophers will come together for this three-day festival, allowing poetry enthusiasts and city dwellers to hear some of the finest poets from around the globe.
One of the biggest and most well curated poetry events of the world, Chair Poetry Evenings over the course of six years has featured from poets from more than 22 different languages and countries including Booker Prize winner Ben Okri, Pulitzer Prize winners Forrest Gander and Vijay Sheshadri, Ruth Padel, Nikola Madzirov, Ashok Vajpeyi, and Sahitya Akademi award winners Managalesh Dabral, K. Satchidanandan, and Rajesh Joshi, to mention a few.
Mani Rao, Robin Ngangom, Sarabjeet Garcha, Dipika Mukherjee, Mandakranta Sen, Udayan Vajpeyi, Shubhabrata Banerjee, and Swami Antar Nirav are among the Indian poets who will perform at the festival.
The event will begin in the auditorium of the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad, go on to the Alliance Française du Bengale, Samilton Hotel Could Tavern, and conclude with the grand tradition of 'Poetry on the Cruise' along the Hooghly River.
Folk and Sufi musical rendition of 'Multiverse' will be performed at the festival's inauguration by Urmi Choudhury, Soumya Shankar Roy, and Prajna Dutta.
Also making its premiere this year is Chair Poetry Books, a publishing subsidiary of the Chair Literary Trust. Chair Poetry Books is set to release two poetry collections on November 25: 'Echo of a Stone' by Estonian poet Mathura, also known as Margus Lattik, and 'All We Have' by Sarabjeet Garcha.
"Poetry and art appreciation continue to be crucial for humanity, particularly in a world where much of the world is facing war, wars, demonization of democratic rights, and restrictions on basic liberties," said poet and festival director Sonnet Mondal. "Our objective is to infuse poetry, importance, and flavour into the myriad literary and creative events of Kolkata, India's cultural capital. We wish to provide courageous voices in the face of everything that threatens humanity through this festival. With the assistance of our core festival team members, particularly Amit Das, Anindita Bose, and Namrota Purakayastha, I hope that this year's festival will be able to meet your expectations and provide poems and concepts that people will be able to remember for a long time."
Tushar Dhawal Singh, Hindi poet and the Festival director, stated, "In my opinion, poetry and creative ideas are a 'push back'; against all these forces that are working against humanity in these troubled times of war and terrorism, radicalised and fanatical mindsets, weaponisation of ideologies, and greed. Chair Poetry Evenings celebrates the many colours and shades of life, creativity, and humanity. We are thrilled to share the humane voices of those who have been victimised by harsh ideals and influences.'’
This year’s festival has been supported by The Dutch Foundation for Literature, Flanders Literature, Belgium, Luxembourg Cultural Institute, Alliance française, Samilton Hotel, and Vivada Cruises, among others.