The 2016 Kritya poetry festival is scheduled to be held on the 18th, 19th and 20th of February 2016. Kritya is once again welcoming poets of note from all over the world to her homeland Kerala to partake in this festival. There is a difference this time, though. We have decided on a floating venue for Kritya 2016; Kritya is going out to the people rather than asking them to come to her.
We believe that poetry is most relevant in the present day and we must reach people who have little if no access to the arts and poetry. Poetry is a compelling medium to disseminate valuable ideals, discuss social issues and effectively paint the world around us in all its beauty, ugliness and complexities. Poetry is the elixir that heals the deep-lying wounds of the mind. Poetry is the single most powerful medium to spread the message of peace in this strife-torn world. With its wonderful capability of speaking volumes through few but powerful expressions, there is no better tool of communication than poetry.
Just as the most beautiful flowers bloom in the sludge and swamp, the most beautiful and artistic minds may lie confined in places where often the brilliant rays of poetry fail to reach. We hope to take poetry to them. Then again, going out to the community will enable us to make the spirit of poetry accessible to people who may not otherwise even remotely consider reading poems.
Yes, poetry must extend its arms to people in hospitals, old age homes, prisons and detention centers, and juvenile homes among others. Poetry must make its way unwaveringly to various community events such as book fairs, exhibitions, sales and so on, and make its footstep heard. Kritya intends to keep this spirit alive and reach out to people through poetry readings and performances, providing them with a unique experience of appreciating poetry. Then there are remote villages and rural locations that are waiting to take in fresh wisps of poetry, holding their breath in anticipation of lyrics and music that may come their way. Kritya is now going to these places to imbibe new experiences, to be one with the folks living those experiences.
Modern day poets do not wish to be recluses, discussing their poems only with fellow poets and admirers or confining themselves to the legendary ivory tower. Poets across the world now prefer to frequent even unusual places, in an attempt to let a larger section of the public experience the strength and possibilities of the poetic medium. Kritya will get together with people who wish to appreciate poetry, read and write poetry, and discuss poetry.
It’s time we went forth to meet the people who love us, whom we love. Words are our power; let us allow our poems to seek and find the right audience who want to listen to them.