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.









Event - Kolkata - 29th July 2017


Thursday, 20 July 2017

PHILIP NIKOLAYEV - Featured Poet

CALCUTTA FLOWERS The bard addressing with his weightless quill the human will in its futility observes the florist with bunched and garlanded conflorescences who supplies his goods to dozens of local cults and is quite the worshipful man himself. The sorry samsara-swathed dusty sun reemerges among the clouds and the micromonsoon wrung out of a nowhere pit by Indra's unknowable hand is over. Magic is the name of oblivion and the reed pen and flowers now are merely methods of forgetting even the unforgivable. For the continuous self must forget itself in time where everything reduces to its opposite in the end and the end is merely the other side of a fixed beginning. Here the marigolds in their January loveliness and buckets on the sidewalk seem to know their fate. They silently belong to a caste; they are on the wrong, the chantless end of sacrifice. But here, here in their flimsy present they seem reconciled to their route of migration. The sidewalk enshrines many-handed anonymity. This marigold was a poet long ago.

(Published in Dusk Raga, Writers Workshop, Kolkata, 1998)

Bio:
Philip Nikolayev is a Russo-American poet living in Boston. He is editor of FULCRUM, a serial anthology of poetry and criticism. His poetry collections include Monkey Time (2003) and Letters from Aldenderry (2006). A collection of his Indian poems, Dusk Raga, was published by the Writers Workshop in Kolkata in 1998. New volumes are forthcoming from MadHat and Poetrywala.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

AMPAT KOSHY - Featured Poet

The Real Meaning of Reincarnation

The day I was born my father and mother loved each other The day I was born was the day I was born The day I was born was the day I met Jesus The day I was born was the day I was married The days on which I was born were the days on which my daughters and son were born The day I was born was the day my son was discovered as having autism The day I was born was the day on which I fell in love The day I died was when my sister died The days on which I died were when my father and mother died The day I died was when I realized that original sin is not a myth The day I died was when I realized my daughters were girls in a world that is against women The day I died was when i realized my son being autistic would not ensure better treatment for him from many in the world but worse The day I died was the day I learned that it also meant worse treatment even from some who knew it to me and my wife and daughters and surprisingly enough they were not my enemies but usually said they were my friends The day I died was the day i realized I loved those who did not love me back enough and was loved by those I did not love back enough The day I died was the day I realized the story about Eve and Adam was not a myth The day I died was the day I lost my innocence in understanding that love is not enough The day I died was the day on which I realized I had failed more than anyone else on earth The day I died was the day I realized that it was love that was a myth, and (wo)man, not God. Between being born and dying is the silence of the lamb the wordlessness of my son is the space between the words on the printed page is the gap between the teeth the one between the lips the gash or wound between a woman's legs the pause between the spoken words Between being born and dying is the purity of the truth that each man and woman should be crucified I, being the chief of sinners but only one was Between being born and dying is the period of living waxing and waning to reach fullness and then fading into nothing sinner or saint man or woman into ashes or dust.

Bio
Dr Koshy A. V. is an Assistant Professor at the Department of English at the College for Arts and Humanities for Men, Jazan University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has written, co-written or co-edited sixteen books of criticism, fiction and poetry to his credit with authors like A.V. Varghese, Gorakhnath Gangane, Angel Meredith, Dr Madhumita Ghosh, Dr Zeenath Ibrahim, Dr Rukhaya MK and Dr Bina Biswas and one of them 'A Treatise on Poetry for Beginners' was reprinted as 'Art of Poetry.' He is a Pushcart Poetry Prize nominee (2012) and twice Highly Commended Poet in Destiny Poets UK ICOP (2013, 2014) and he was thrice featured in Camel Saloon’s The Hump for best poem/editor’s pick and once for best poem in Destiny Poets UK Website. Even as a child he won the Shankar's international award for writing. He is a reputed critic and expert on Samuel Beckett besides being a fiction writer and theoretician.. He has edited or co-edited many books including A Man Outside History by Naseer Ahmed Nasir and Inklinks: An Anthology by Poets Corner and also novels for Lifi. He co-edited Inklinks:An Anthology and Umbilical Chords: An Anthology on Parents Remembered. He instituted the Reuel International Literary Prize in 2014 and runs an autism NPO with his wife Anna Gabriel. He administers with the help of other many literary groups and pages on Facebook. His poems have been studied in a research paper by Dr Zeenath Ibrahim and Kiriti Sengupta in My Dazzling Bards and also translated into Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, German, Portugese, Spanish and Malayalam. He won World Bank’s Urgent Evoke and participated in European Union’s Edgeryders. He has been interviewed extensively. He has other degrees, diplomas and certificates to his credit besides his doctorate on Beckett. His latest books are Allusions to Simplicity , Scream and other Urbane Legends and Silhouette 1 and 2 and other short fiction edited with Reena Prasad and Michele Baron with whom he also co-edited the Significant Anthology.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

MICHAEL ROTHENBERG - Featured Poet

SERENITY SPRING

One day the story changed
And those people who want to help out

They’re incompetent. All of them!
Breeding little dogs to carry around

In a purse. A conspiracy of blue jays
Indecipherable spider webs

Surveillance in every corner of the forest
You can only imagine

What the clouds say
Suspicious signals from the sun

A revolt of hurricanes!

                        *

“What have we done to the earth?”

            For years Industry told us
            About “Better living through chemistry”

            And now that we don’t like what Industry
            does we pretend they never said it

Listen to squirrel chatter
Militant moles message underground

Agitate the atmosphere
Until there’s nothing left of hope

                    (Only holes and shelled nuts)

            Fracking, fracking, fracking, cracking

The Great American Optimism!
Corporate Venture Cyclops!


                        *


            There is no peace
            The Buddha

            Buried
            Buried and unearthed
           

            Buried and unearthed
            Ashes to ashes

            Vanity to vanity

                                    Greetings Serenity!

                        *

I spoke to myself on the deck last night
We reconciled beneath the stars

Waltzed to a raccoon love song
While all the fools in paradise watched

Today the silent sun grows
And burns and burns

I remember pink towels on the garden chair
My mother’s cool gardenia hand

On my fevered head. A difficult breath
Still hidden in the leaves . . .

                        *

There are two worlds I know
The one I run from and the one I hold on to

For dear life. I don’t own either
Beware of the purple doppelganger!

Serenity loiters in fern hollow . . .
So I watch the red geraniums grow

And help them along the best I can
Sweet Serenity Spring.


First published in Wake Up and Dream (MadHat Press, 2017)

Bio:
Michael Rothenberg is editor of BigBridge.org and co-founder of 100 Thousand Poets for Change. His most recent books of poetry include Drawing The Shade (Dos Madres Press, 2016) and Wake Up and Dream (MadHat Press, 2017). A bi-lingual edition of Indefinite Detention: A Dog Story is due out from Varasek Ediciones, Madrid, Spain in Fall 2017.  He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

RIJUREKH CHAKRAVARTY - Featured Poet

LETHE 

Memories are blank!
Dreams crisscross to be fulfilled with perplexity.
Infinity doesn’t care to put a mark on the pages.
When the craft of language, learned, is wasted,
Such nights come back
Amidst the sound of the crickets,
In the imagery of a palpable moon,
In the passionate urge for art,  
And the birds, I see, switch nests
Carrying dreams on their wings -
The dreams that would be wiped out
By the first rays of daylight.
That’s the rule of Lethe,
You know, Dorian,
Don’t you?
And if someday,
In a gloom as profound as sin,
I fail to recall even the oblivion,
Tell me, Achilles,
Should I be grateful to you?
Should I?

Translation: Dipankar Mukhopadhyay

TO BE PUBLISHED SHORTLY IN THE PEN INDIA JOURNAL

Bio

Born and brought up in Kolkata, Rijurekh Chakravarty started his writing career with Bengali poems in his college days. His first poem was published in the DESH magazine when he has 19. His first book of poem got published in the year 1992. Till now he has six books of poems under his belt. He has been awarded with as many as five literary prizes and honours. He has also penned three novels in Bengali, one of which, published during the Kolkata International Book Fair this year, is a crime thriller. Another novel by him, written 22 years back, is going to be published in book form in August this year.

Monday, 19 June 2017

GOUTAM GARY DATTA - Featured Poet

The Serpent Crawls Down

The serpent crawls down ninety pyramid steps
as the equinox light pierces
through the temple window to kiss its head.
East, south, north darken
as its vertebrae creep on hot west stones
while a thousand cheering voices
resonate Mayan walls in Chichen Itza.
What are they celebrating?
Is it the lost?
Or the tourism through the dug outs & the remnants?
Where have the Mayans gone? Who could tell?
As we walk pass the stoned pyramid, hollow ball field,
hanging hoops, listening to colorful stories from guides
to the next resort, tequila bars, swimming pools.
We break bread; bathe in the bright Mayan sun of Cancun,
talk, complain about foods, and put on sun tan lotion.
We forget, we sleep, dream the ruins
as the serpent crawls across the scorching fields.

First published in Rattapallax Magazine, NYC.

Bio:
Goutam Datta is the author of five books of poems; He writes in both English and Bengali . He is the co-editor of African American poetry Anthology Ami Amar Mritur Por Sadhinota Chai Na (I Do Not Want My Freedom When I Am Dead ) with Sunil Gangopadhyay. His works are included in "A Mingling of Waters", an anthology of Bengali and American authors and Rattapallax magazine. Goutam won Jassimuddin Poetry Award(India) in 2005 for Borofay Holood Fool. Sudhindranath Award in 2008, Vashangar Award in 2017. At present, Goutam is working on a webzine Uralpool to create a continuous literary exchange between India & the USA.


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

KUSHAL PODDAR - Featured Poet

Houses Without Rooms

Tonight the wife 
living on a handcart 
outside your house
will writhe under
her drunken husband
and will swear-

Never more!

and will love him ever more,
and their daughter will know-
tomorrow she will have
a new doll her father 
can never afford.

Tonight I strolled

all the way to your house.
It remains painted white.
Back on my bed I ride
a handcart of sleep
with you and our Cain and Abel.
I promise I shall buy
a toy earth for each of them,
if you let me fix the heaven again.

Bio:
Kushal Poddar is presently living at Kolkata and writing poetry. He authored chapbook ‘The Circus Came To My Island’ (Spare Change Press), full length books “A Place For Your Ghost Animals” (Ripple Effect Publishing) and Knowing The Neighborhood  (Black Rune Press, Australia), Scratches Within (Amazon), "Kleptomaniac's Book of Unoriginal Poems" (BRP, Australia).

Monday, 5 June 2017

SHARMILA RAY - Featured Poet

Valentine’s Day


So much for Valentine’s day
and for all the red roses and red cakes, bunnies and cards…
Laden with fragrance, fluttering glances and anonymous agonies,
love rides on the wind, draped in a shawl of cobweb –clouds, descending
on the city, interweaving with coffee, almond biscotti and stale air conditioning.

In a dimly lit suburb she dreams, making her way through midnight diaries
extending her today to tomorrow and syncing her yesterday with the present.

In malls lovers loll in beer, burger and hallucinating smoke, each a small god
 holding love tight in an hour-glass.

On the fifth floor of a housing complex under a shaded lamp, a scholar writes
a discourse on love beginning with in other words…

Precisely at that moment love snatches a line of Emily Bronte to anoint-
Cold in the earth- and the deep snow piled above thee

Between daybreak and end of the day
Love slides immaculately into many sheaths.
Perhaps, love is trivia
perhaps, love is lost in the labyrinth of language.


Bio:

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 and Head of the Department 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 (Granthalaya, Kolkata 1996), A Day With Rini (Poetry And Art 1998), Down Salt Water (Poets Foundation, Kolkata 1999), Living Other Lives (Minerva Press, New Delhi, Mumbai, London 2004), It’s Fantasy, It’s Reality (Punaschya, Kolkata 2010), With Salt And Brine (Yeti Publishers, Calicut 2013), Windows (Blank Rune Press, Australia 2016), Scrawls And Scribbles (Hawakal Publishers, Kolkata, 2016). She conducted poetry workshops organized by British Council, Poetry Society of India, Sahitya Akademi. She had been invited to International Struga Poetry Evenings, in Macedonia where she represented India and International poets meet in Kerala to share stage with Ben Okri. She was the only poet writing in English from West Bengal to participate in VAK –the first poetry biennial held in New Delhi. She has been reading her poems in various parts of the country. Her poems have been translated into Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Manipuri, Slovene, Hebrew and Spanish.  Currently she is working on a manuscript of non-fictional essays.