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Join an online/offline community of poets, poetry lovers in Mumbai

Can poems be as entertaining as stand-up comedy? Is it really meant for everyone? Explore the world of rhyme and metre via the blog Words Tell Stories

art and culture Updated: Jul 23, 2016 07:57 IST
Kanika Sharma
Spoken Word

Words Tell Stories hosts open-mic poetry events such as this one at a Mumbai pub. They also have a comprehensive listings section.(

Poetry was like coming home. I wrote about young love, longing and loss. I wrote about women, children and people who didn’t have a voice. I wrote about rebellion, I wrote about desire. Perhaps...this is who I became through poetry.”

That’s what 30-year-old urban transport professional, Zainab Kakal hopes to share with the poetry-loving community in the city, through a recently revamped blog.

Read: Performance poetry has entered the unlikeliest of places in Mumbai

Words Tell Stories (WTS), given a facelift in May, aims to be a repository for poets and poetry-lovers in Mumbai. While the year-old website primarily had a monthly poetry calendar earlier, it now focuses on the poetry community in Mumbai, first-hand experiences of spoken-word poets and the audience, posts on trends in poetry and verses from the city’s bards.

Always daunted by poetry and don’t know what to make of it? Poets on explain why they write the poetry in the first place. (

“As performance poetry enters wedding events, flea markets and art galleries, many want to experiment but don’t know where to look,” says freelance writer and founder of the blog Rochelle d’silva, 32, a performance poet herself. “Several writers end up imitating American slam poetry. I hope the city’s community can engage in a conversation through the blog.”

Posts on the nuances of John Lennon’s writing and experiences of a poet hooked to YouTube are currently popular. D’silva soon plans to publish posts on the poetic influence of hip-hop, Instagram poetry, a primer on ghazals, and poetry podcasts you can tune in to.

Read: A poet wonders what use is poetry in the world

“Poetry is democratic, and not as high-brow as we imagine. It can be as entertaining as stand-up comedy, and Words Tell Stories is a great place to discuss its effect,” says subscriber Preeti Vangani, 30, a marketing executive.

WHAT: A one-stop poetry resource for Mumbaiites