For the love of literature: Bengal to organise poetry festivals in open spaces

“We are proud to be called a poetry-loving state, where people assemble to discuss and listen to poetry,” said minister of state for cultural affairs, Indranil Sen.

art and culture Updated: Mar 05, 2018 12:15 IST
Press Trust of India, Kolkata
Bengal,Kolkata,Poetry
At the ongoing Kobita Utsav, poetry reading sessions, elocutions, discussions on poems will be held in five venues across Kolkata.(Shutterstock)

The West Bengal government has plans to organise poetry festival in the open to facilitate better poet-reader interaction, a state minister has said. Minister of state for Cultural Affairs Indranil Sen said this at the three-day ‘Kobita Utsav’ (poetry festival), which began here yesterday. “We are proud to be called a poetry-loving state, where people assemble to discuss and listen to poetry,” Sen said at the festival, organised by the West Bengal Kobita Academy.

Asserting that the ‘Kobita Utsav’, which entered its second year, was the only one of its kind in the country, Sen said poetry reading sessions, elocutions, discussions on poems will be held in five venues of the city during the ongoing festival. Inaugurating the festival, noted litterateur Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay said, “If there can be such a large turnout of people at the ‘Kobita Utsab’ who share a common love for poetry, why cannot the festival be held separately in an open space?”

Responding to the suggestion, Sen said in his address that the government will “certainly think” about organising the festival outside the four walls of an auditorium in future. The minister said, next year’s ‘Kobita Utsab’ would be on a larger scale than this year. The government, he said, has initiated poem-related events in all 341 blocks of the state.

Veteran poet and Sahitya Akademi winner Nirendranath Chakraborty, elocutionist Gouri Ghosh, Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay, popular writer Nabanita Dev Sen were felicitated for their contributions in their respective fields at the festival. “This time we are giving recognition to six contemporary poets, four of whom are from the younger generation. We are bringing poets from the districts to the Kobita Utsav,” the minister said. Poet Joy Goswami said, by giving awards named after great poets like Jibanananda Das and Subhas Mukhopadhyay at the ‘Kobita Utsav’ the organisers were serving a cause by making the younger generation recall the works of the famous poets.

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First Published: Mar 05, 2018 12:14 IST