Wednesday saw 18 poets perform in three sets and four languages — English, Marathi, Gujarati and Bengali — during the Hope Street Poets reading at the David Sassoon Library gardens.
The event was organised as part of the HDFC Home Loans literature section of the HT Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, and it gets its name, incidentally, from the erstwhile name of the street on which the library is located.
The session featured English poet and author Sampurna Chattarji, Gujarati poet Prabodh Parikh, English poet Sumana Roy from Siliguri in West Bengal, English poet Michael Crieghton from Delhi and Subhro Bandopadhyay, a Bengali poet from Delhi, among others.
“This event has been an annual feature for five years. We bring together a varying cast to represent different poetry traditions. The multilingual aspect is a reflection of the polyglot nature of Mumbai,” said curator Ranjit Hoskote, who also recited poems at the event.
One of the highlights was Sumana Roy’s ‘Spit feast’, a poem where the sound of spitting was incorporated into the words; and ‘Go to Pakistan’, a reference to the slogan hurled at people who speak their mind, eat beef or oppose a certain kind of politics.
“I found the session very enriching,” said Steffi Almeda, 20, a Literature student from Sophia College who lives in Vasai. “I loved the fact that the poems were varied and recited in several languages. As a literature student, it is very inspiring to meet and listen to such poets.”