2022 edition Chair Poetry Evenings, Kolkata’s International Poetry Festival - Songoti

2022 edition Chair Poetry Evenings, Kolkata’s International Poetry Festival

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 It first started on a cool evening in November 2018 and has been shaping up ever since. Like every year we get to witness some of the greatest poetry from around the world — Sholeh Wolpé (Iran/U.S.A.), Erik Lindner (the Netherlands), Sandeep Parmar (U.K.), Endre Ruset (Norway), Jesús Sepúlveda (Chile), Anne Vegter (the Netherlands), Iryna Vikyrchak (Ukraine), Jennifer Jean (U.S.A.), and Preti Taneja (U.K.), to name a few.

We also get to hear eminent Indian poets like Padmasri Mamang Dai, Ranajit Das, Neelesh Raghuwanshi, Kumar Ambuj, Shikhandin, Badrinarayan, Sutapa Sengupta, Kynpham Singh Nongkynrih, and Hindol Bhattacharjee. The festival will go on for three days in different historical landmarks of Kolkata and will have an iconic wrap-up with ‘Poetry on the Cruise’ on river Hooghly. ‘Kartooz’, the very popular folk and Sufi band will perform in the opening ceremony on the first day of the festival whose band members include Rishi Chakraborty, Prajna Dutta, Shiladitya Chakraborty, Saikat Dutta, Ranojoy Singh, and Ushnish Acharya.

The event is hosted by the Chair Literary Trust with the kind cooperation of the Dutch Foundation for Literature, Flanders, Belgium, NORLA – Norwegian Literature Abroad, and the Ministry of External Affairs, Norway, to name a few. Respected participants that Chair Poetry Evenings has associated with in the past are Booker Prize-winning writer Ben Okri, Pulitzer Prize winners Forrest Gander and Vijay Sheshdri, Ruth Patel, Nikola Madzirov, Ashok Vajpeyi, and Sahitya Akademi Award-winning poets Managalesh Dabral, K Satchidanandan, Rajesh Joshi among others. Chair Poetry Evenings has presented poetry across the globe, with more than twenty countries and languages in the course of five years.

Sonnet Mondal, poet and the director of the festival says, “Kolkata, the cultural capital of India, has been consistently hosting various literature and art events, and our endeavor is to add the flavor and importance of poetry to them. Poetry has always set the base fire of national and international discourses, and through this festival, we wish to present voices that remain obstinate in the face of anything that comes against humanity. I hope this year’s festival, with the efforts of our core festival team members, especially Satyaki Mukherjee, Anindita Bose, Amit Das, and Namrota Purakayastha, will be able to present poems and thoughts that one can take along and keep with them in times to come.”

Revered Hindi poet and festival director Tushar Dhawal Singh remarked that poetry “tends to permeate the minds of its readers with more fertile ideas of living and expressing. Chair Poetry Evenings celebrates life, creation, and humanity in diverse ways. We look forward to presenting the humane voice of people who are being tormented by inhuman ideas and forces.”

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