Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Poetry Chapbook Contest 2018!

Rhythm Divine Poets Poetry Chapbook Contest Guidelines 2018

1. The poetry chapbook contest is being organized by Rhythm Divine Poets, a Kolkata-based poets group co-founded by three poets (Dr. Amit Shankar Saha, Sufia Khatoon and Anindita Bose) for the promotion of poetry.
2. The length of the chapbook should be between 24-30 pages of poems.
3. The language should be English.
4. There is no theme.
5. There is no submission fee.
6. There is no restriction of nationality to enter the contest.
7. Entry is limited to one manuscript per poet. No simultaneous submission allowed.
8. Only poets who have no full-length book published in print (singly or co-authored) and not more than one chapbook published in print (singly or co-authored) are eligible for entry.
9. The manuscript should be formatted in Times New Roman with 12 size font and should have a content page.
10. The manuscript should be in MS Word document bearing the title of the chapbook and the name of the poet.
11. Manuscript should be submitted by email to with the subject line “Submission – Chapbook 2018 – (Name of the Poet)”
12. The email should have: (a) a short bio of the poet, (b) a declaration that the entire manuscript is an original work and the poet bears the copyright to it, (c) a declaration that the manuscript has not been published as a whole in any format before, (d) if individual poems have been published in any journals/ magazines/ periodicals/ anthologies (print or online) then those details should be provided separately, (e) full contact details of the poet, (f) any disclosures that may be relevant.
13. The winner will be provided 20 printed copies of the chapbook published by Hawakal Publishers, our publishing partner. More copies can be bought from Rhythm Divine Poets. Postage to be borne by foreign/ outstation poets. Rhythm Divine Poets will make the chapbook copies available at their events for prospective buyers.
14. Poets who are longlisted/ shortlisted will be provided certificates if sought.
15. The launch event of the chapbooks will be held in Kolkata.
16. The last date of submission of manuscript is 30th June, 2018.
17. This year our judging partner is Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library (IPPL) who will appoint judges for various stages (longlisting, shortlisting, finale) of the competition. Rhythm Divine Poets will be responsible for monitoring the technical aspects of judging and resolving contentious issues that may arise. Secrecy will be maintained regarding which judge is judging which part of the contest.
18. No participating poet will contact any judge regarding this matter. Each manuscript will be provided a unique number and sent to IPPL judges without any identification mark of the poet.
19. After submission of your manuscript please be sure that you receive an acknowledgement email from Rhythm Divine Poets within a week. If you do not receive it then do email us. 
20. Keep checking Rhythm Divine Poets blog ( and/ or Facebook page ( for periodic updates. 
21. Rhythm Divine Poets will try to maintain the expected timeline of the contest subject to contingencies.
22. By entering the contest the participating poet grants Rhythm divine Poets the exclusive right to publish the submitted manuscript. 
23. The decision of the organizers will be final and binding and no disputes will be entertained.
24. Any violation of the guidelines will disqualify the participating poet. 
25. Rhythm Divine Poets will maintain strict ethical standards in conducting this contest and will expect the same from the participating poets.

About our judging partner:

Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library (IPPL), Kolkata draws on the model of The Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh, Scotland. Conceptualized as a unique national resource centre for poetry, the Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library boasts of a pan Indian outlook and aspires to become a veritable home of creative minds—to bring people and poems together nationally and forge lasting ties with the international writing community, thus building a worldwide audience for Indian poetry, and an audience for international poetry in India. A firm believer in the power of the pen, the Society also seeks to find avenues of exchange between poetry and other forms of visual & performing arts so as to heighten the impact of the arts on contemporary life and society and make poetry and the arts the means of societal uplift and aid as well. The advisory board of IPPL includes eminent poet Prof. Shankho Ghosh (Gyanpith awardee and Sahitya Akademi winner twice), Prof. Bashabi Fraser, Mr. Amalesh Dasgupta, Mr. Goutam De, Mr. Pankaj Roy, amongst others. IPPL is governed by Prof. Sanjukta Dasgupta (academician and poet with five collections of poems) as President, Dr. Sharmila Ray (academician and poet with eight collections of poems) as Vice-President, Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi (academician and poet with six collections of poems) as Secretary, Ms. Ananya Chatterjee (techie and poet with three collections of poems) as Treasurer, Dr. Sutapa Chaudhuri (academician and poet with three collections of poems) as Assistant Secretary, and others. 

Previous Winners:

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Poetry Chapbook Contest Final Result!

About the judges:

Dr. Sanjukta Dasgupta, Professor and Former Head, Department of English and Former Dean, Faculty of Arts, Calcutta University is a poet, critic and translator. She is the recipient of numerous national and international grants and fellowships like Fulbright postdoctoral fellowship and Fulbright Scholar in Residence grant, Australia India Council fellowship, Gender Studies fellowship grant, University of British Columbia, etc. She was also the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Writers Prize jury panel (2003-2005) and visited Melbourne and Malta in 2004-2005. She has been granted the Charles Wallace Trust UK Translator Fellowship 2016, to work on her project on translations of selected texts of Tagore and his daughter Madhurilata at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. She has given poetry readings in India, Europe and the US. Apart from her books on literary studies, media and gender studies, translations and Tagore studies, her articles, poems, short stories and translations have been published in journals of distinction in India and abroad. Her published volumes of poems are Snapshots, Dilemma, First Language, More Light and Lakshmi Unbound.
Dr. Sharmila Ray is a poet and non-fiction essayist, anthologized and featured in India and abroad. Her poems, short stories and non-fictional essays have appeared in various national and international magazines and journals. She teaches in City College, Kolkata under Calcutta University where she is an Associate Professor of History. She was on the English Board of Sahitya Akademi. She was the editor of The Journal (Poetry Society India) and looked after a column Moving Hand Writes, Times of India, Kolkata. She writes in English and has authored eight books of poetry; Earth Me and You, A Day with Rini, Down Salt Water, Living Other Lives, It’s Fantasy, It’s Reality, With Salt and Brine, Windows, and Scrawls And Scribbles. She has given poetry readings at various festivals in India. She had been invited to International Struga Poetry Evenings, in Macedonia where she represented India, International Poets Meet in Kerala to share stage with Ben Okri, and in VAK –the first poetry biennial held in New Delhi. Currently she is working on a manuscript of non-fictional essays.
Mr. Kushal Poddar practices civil law by profession and poetry by passion. Widely published in several countries; prestigious anthologies include Men In The Company of Women, Penn International MK, Van Gogh’s Ear; been featured amongst the poets for the month December by Tupelo Press, Vine Leaves Literary Journal's Best of 2014 and in various radio programmes in Canada and USA; and collaborated with photographers for an exhibition in Venice and with performers for several audio publications. He presently lives in Kolkata and writes poetry, fiction and scripts for short films when not engaged by his profession at Calcutta High Court. His publications include books of poems published in USA and Australia: The Circus Came to My Island, A Place for Your Ghost Animals, Understanding Your Neighbourhood, Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems (co-authored), and Scratches Within.

Friday, 20 October 2017

100 Thousand Poets Blog update!

Visit the 100 Thousand Poets for Change blog archived by Standford University for glimpses of our event "A Poetic Rendezvous" held at Alliance Francaise du Bengale.

Monday, 14 August 2017

NABINA DAS - Featured Poet

No Country, No Names

The young girl in a sari was
Off to the library, her hands
Clasping books, she didn’t see
The truck crawl up behind her
Stuffed with soldiers wearing
Leafy helmets, false implants in
The heart of that shell-shocked
Macadamized Bengal town

Her face a sorry storybook
Quite a few pages torn
When they found her by
A garbage dump, stared at
By the ancient panhandler
The poor bastard refused arrest
Shouted abuses, got suitably
Thrashed by the police

A young man had whispered
The night before: show your palm
The red henna peacock from
The evening’s merry festivities
And she read him a poem
About crocodiles in snare
Until they fell asleep in
Each other’s arms, dreaming

There was a river, grass and
Flowers shrouding its banks
Its depth unknown, but easy
For the rebels who could swim
The same night Yahya Khan
Made quick plans to strike
Universities where students
Danced to songs of Tagore

That was a night when nervous
Sirens screamed on and on, his
Would-be bride was picked up
And thrown. Folding up
Maps that fooled, didn’t show
A country of hearts, he left
A peacock mourned for her
And him. No country yet for them.

(Published in Into the Migrant City, Kolkata: Writers Workshop India, 2014)

Nabina Das is a Hyderabad-based poet and writer who has authored four books. She is a Commonwealth Writers correspondent 2016, a Charles Wallace fellowship winner 2012 and a Sangam House fiction fellowship winner 2012.

Friday, 4 August 2017

ANDREW BELLON - Featured Poet (Tribute)

(Love Evolves) Love evolves; colors my troublous quarks. I lie in the shadows of our tangled light as under sleeping trees. Silence has a place here as the continuance of a holy text. We are dazzled matter; the silence spins in the shadows. Waves, particles, hieroglyphs, whatever we are, we are part of the gliding night's adornments; of the night that holds like memory airy relicts of the known and rising light of my emptiness filling. Long have I discarded my physics books and indulged in poetry until I came across an Andrew Bellon untitled poem that spoke of the physics of love and I found all the quarks and gluons and quanta and all other hypothetical fundamental particles striking back at the interface of my consciousness where hieroglyphs form and theories evolve. Love evolves too coloring the agitation of the elements of matter that make my being. Or was it Andrew’s being? Something jumps orbit and enters my shell. There is something uncanny in the imagery of someone lying in the shadows of “tangled light/ as under sleeping trees.” It is the poet but it could very well be me. Everything is so elementary here that there is a smooth flow of nascent identification. When the Babel of sound ceases it is the same silence that remains with everyone like “the continuance of a holy text” – any holy text. The trope of physics continues in the second stanza when the poet says, “We are dazzled matter.” Perhaps it is the dazzling that brings the stupefying silence that “spins in the shadows.” The speculations – “Waves, particles, hieroglyphs” – from the intangible to the hypothetical to the decipherable become “gliding night’s adornments.” The night, slipping by and yet not eliding from its grip all that has survived from primitive periods, fills like the impalpable air of memory the poet’s emptiness. The “rising light” and “emptiness filling” almost depict a convection current as if the Brownian motion of the “troublous quarks” in the first stanza has attained a cosmic pattern in the second stanza as love evolved. The trajectory of the poem traces a curve that brings within its loop the spinning subatomic particles as well as the spinning cosmos. This is love in its everlasting, primeval, pure state. Who will not identify with it in this poem? This is not only the poet’s poem; this is the reader’s too. (A New Earth) With heavily hanging leaves and open-handed fronds, the little path through your flower garden hides, in its unexpected turns, a new earth. It's there sounding in bird song, making a restless peace for itself in the living air. Shall we enter and grace that radiance with human arms? Let's wait at the inward door to those fields of light. To find our way we must first be lost. Whatever empties there refills. The moment of discovery has in its essence both the element of euphoria and a contradictory element of relaxation. Especially if the place discovered has been hidden by “heavily hanging leaves,” “open-handed fronds” and a shrouded garden path of “unexpected turns” then that moment of discovery is a moment of paradox. This “new earth” is a place where the bird song has a “restless peace.” It is this sound that makes the air living. It is thereby a discovery of life. It is also a moment of hesitation where you question yourself as if you have apprehended your own self as an intruder – “Shall we enter…?” The new earth is no longer a space it is a moment in time, a “radiance,” the incorporeal that you have qualms at touching with “human arms.” So you decide to wait. Now vice-versa, time yields to place and waiting begets “the inward door/ to those fields of light.” The conundrum of first getting lost in order to find the way and experience that moment of discovery where paradoxes meet, where contradictions emanate from each other and yet co-exist, and where relationships unearth new meanings, this new earth is perhaps self-realization. In this new earth whatever empties gets refilled, whatever is lost is found, whatever is not understood understood. Perhaps it is love for love too reconciles opposites and hence it is also grace, radiance, and a hint of perpetuity, infinity, and eternity. Andrew Bellon’s poem gives us a glimpse of something that is inside us and yet is elusive. It needs to be discovered and waited upon at that “inward door” to experience the “fields of light” that the soul bestows on us.

- Amit Shankar Saha

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

2017 - 3

Rhythm Divine Poets conducted a poetry workshop at The Future Foundation School on 20th July 2017. The guest poet at the event was Sonnet Mondal.

Rhythm Divine Poets were in collaboration with Kaafiya for the city-based "Kaafiya Milao" session for the city Kolkata. The winners of the week-long session were Nikita Parik, Yitzak Gate and Moinak Dutta for their poems on Kolkata.

Rhythm Divine Poets were the creative partner of Soul Sutra, organized by Rotaract Club of Central Calcutta at Doodle Room on 1st July 2017. The event saw special performance by the group as well as judging the Prose and Poetry slams.

Rhythm Divine Poets hosted Mumbai-based performance artist Vibha Rani at Wabi Sabi on 17th June for a session of Poetry and Performance. Glimpses from the event.