“Poetry itself is a language, which transcends language barriers”

The Week Hay Festival concluded at the Kanakakunnu Palace here on Sunday evening after three days of thought-sharing among novelists, poets and other creative writers on the subtle topic of creativity.

More than 3,000 book lovers visited the festival, organised for the first time in India by the U.K.-based Hay Festival and Teamwork Productions, an entertainment company. Nearly 50 authors from different parts of the globe talked about their craft and their perception of poetry, fiction writing and, generally, creativity at the sessions.

One of the sessions on the final day featured English/Welsh poets Gillian Clark, Menna Elfin and Paul Henry in conversation with Malayalam poet K. Satchithanandan and English poet from Tamil Nadu Vivek Narayan. What is the language of imagination for the individual poet and why do some poets choose writing in a language that is not their mother tongue? They discussed the challenges and also the possibilities of poetic expression in writing across languages and agreed that “poetry itself is a language, which transcends language barriers.”

In another session, Tishani Doshi, Gillian Clark, Menna Elfyn, Paul Henry, K. Satchithanandan, Vivek Narayan and C.P. Surendran presented six-minute readings of their poems in English and Malayalam. In yet another session, journalist writer Rosie Boycott explored the likelihood of a global food crisis consequent to the climate change. Upinder Singh, Manu Joseph, Bama Faustina, Sister Jesme, Pavan Varma, Nik Gowing, Meghnad Desai and Anita Sethi are some of the other writers who participated in the other talk sessions.

The festival's producer Sanjoy K. Roy said the organisers were planning to make this an annual event in Thiruvananthapuram.

“Audience participation was fabulous. We are overwhelmed,” he said. Peter Florence, founder director of the Hay Festival (which had for over 20 years been organising such festivals in the United Kingdom), said the festival now had an Indian identity also.

Irish folk-rock singer Bob Geldof gave a concert before a large audience at the Nishagandhi Amphitheatre in the palace grounds in the evening.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 2:01:52 PM |

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