An International poetry festival-
Kritya International Poetry festival was held on the 18th, 19th and 20th of February 2016 at Trivandrum. the festival was postpond from November 2015 to the given date because of not cooperation by Kolakatta host, who wanted to organized festival earlier in Kolakatta, Internationally recognized poets from different parts of the world, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Romania, Ireland, Italy, Estonia, and Turkey, attended the three days programme.
Tenth international poets arrived in Trivandrum on 17th Feb. 2016. We had a small get together in the evening at Hotel Trivandrum. The festival commenced on the 18th of February 2016 at a most unique location: the Mahakavi Kumaran Asan Smarakam at Thonnakkal. It is the home of the great revolutionary poet, philosopher and social reformer Kumaran Asan. The visit to the Asan Smarakam was a unique experience for the poets, and brought them close to the psyche of the Mahakavi by entering his home environment. It allowed them to offer tributes to the great master of poetry.
The programs at Mahakavi Kumaran Asan Smarakam began with a Kavyarchana in which national and international poets paid tribute to the Mahakavi. Also traditional kerala music players were there to receive the poets. Mahakavi Kumaran Asan celebrations were designed as an International Poets’ Meeting with the guest poets presenting poems in their own languages. Malayalam translations of the poems were read simultaneously by poetry readers, Manoj and Vishnupriya. The participating poets were the following: Agus R Sarjono – Indonesia, Angelina Bong – Malasia, Gaston Bellemare- Canada, Afrizal Malna- Indonesia, Pornpen Hantrakool – Thailand, Kate Newmann- Ireland, Margus Lattik, -Estonia, Myra Jara- Peru, Yesim Agaoglu – Turkey.
The most important thing was that almost 1000 students from different schools were present as audience. We can assume that they might have not understood everything fully, but poets managed to put a few seeds of poetry in the young minds.
The traditional Kerala Sadhya was an attraction for the poets and they enjoyed Kerala meals a lot.
After this marvelous experience the poets were ready to go to Alliance Francaise, Trivandrum where they took part in a ‘Poetry across Borders’ session,
Everything took place in a quiet and calm atmosphere. The poets could enjoy poetry in more than a mere technical way.
Afterwards they were hosted for dinner by Alliance Francaise.
2nd day of the festival included touching the young hearts and mind. The poetry reading took place at Government Women’s College, Trivandrum.
It was a heart touching experience, since poetry was read along with Malayalam Translation, and after the international poets had read their poems, quite a number of students and teachers came forward to read their own poetry. Agus R Sarjono from Indonesia invited girls to sing with him. Suddenly the house was filled with joy and sound. When Mathura sang his poem, the girls of college welcomed it with a loud roar of approval.
Kritya Festival wanted to take poetry to the mind of young people, and in this we succeeded.
The afternoon journey was most important as we were going to a famous hospital KIMS for poetry therapy.
We were welcomed with a beautiful lunch and beautiful smiles.
Later we went to the wards comprising of three groups. There the poets tried to talk about pain, sorrow and music of life and poetry. We have given them the translations of poems, which the poets had recited. Some of them came forward to talk. They understood that poets also have pain and suffer. For instance, Afrizal Malna from Indonesia talked about his own sufferings and told them that some time pain is important, so that we can give respect to happiness. He presented rain songs in his own way that is without words but only actions.
He explained how his poetry helped him in his suffering days.
Angelina Bong from Malasia sang as well a song of hope.
We had different experiences in every ward. Afterwards Mathura remembered his childhood, when he had lost his one arm due to cancer. He remembered his mother, who had been suffering with him.
We saw a 24 years old young boy coughing painfully, and the mother standing quietly near to him. We saw a father asking, what will happen to my daughter…
We were sad, but we could give hope via poetry.
This session was wonderful, while being at same time most painful. However, we achieved our aim.
We thanks to authority of KIMS
We returned to the veli boat club in order to take a rest and to come back to this world.
In the evening we were singing with the waves, that is on the Shankhamukham beach. A drummer gave us the rhythm, while the flute man created the background music. We all make a common poem, and after a coffee, we left for the hotel, in order to rest.
We concluded our festival on the third day, the 20th of February 2016 at the Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan. The entire program started with Whisper Poetry.
At this time, when we are surrounded by noises, hence we needed to invoke the power of words.
We must learn to give attention to noise. We started with a love poem by Atharvaveda and ended with an action poem by Afrizal.
Like every year, I was disappointed by the small audience although it was a holiday. The teachers and students who registered via email were not there.
I could organize other readings in some school or college, but I wanted to give space to local poets. There was a group of young English writers, who did read poetry along with international poets.
We had Mahusudan Nair, who always brings magic to such poetry readings. We had intelligent poets like Savithri Rajeevan, and two other important senior poets, namely Nila ji and Thampi ji.
One of my questions annoyed the young poets. I had asked why don’t they write as well in Malayalam. For some this question was too difficult to answer and instead of trying to understand my intention, they got caught up in their own anger.
Any way, anger is also good for the poetry.
Finally, we had a very important session of discussion about poetry therapy and our experiences and future plans for such kinds of reading.
We concluded with a famous folk art form called Padayani. It was presented by Kerala Folklore Akademi from Kannur.
During the Kritya Poetry Festival 2015-16 we had invited a good number of international poets for participation in the Poetry festival. The some of the achievements of the programme can be listed as follows:
- There was a cultural exchange between the poets of different countries representing different cultural background
- Indian poetry was presented to various poets from different countries having different cultural background, in a way bridging the cultural gap.
- Indian poetry of different Indian languages was showcased for these foreign poets.
- The rich heritage of Indian and Malayalam poetry was presented to international poets.
- Indian audience including students was exposed to international poetry from different countries/cultures.
- By providing Malayalam translation of the poems being read by different poets, Malayalam literature has been enriched to some extent.
- The poets from different countries were exposed to Indian culture by arranging cultural programme with local flavour.
- School students and college students got interaction with international poets.
- The most important aspect was interaction with patient, and poetry therapy
The poets from different countries were exposed to Indian culture by arranging their visit to some of the local places rich in cultural heritage
Afrizal Malna was born in Jakarta, 1957. He studied in Driyarkara School of Philosophy, Jakarta (not finished). His poetry anthology, Museum Penghancur Dokumen, was awarded Khatulistiwa Literary Award category of poetry, 2013. His dedication in writing art and theater criticisms have also been awarded by the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Education in 2014. His newly published novel, Kepada Apakah, were nominated by Khatulistiwa Literary Award, category of prose (2014). His poetry anthology Anxiety Myths (translation by Andy Fuller, 2013) was appointed as 75 World Notable Translation 2014 in World Literature Today; During a year of residency supported by DAAD in Berlin, a collection of poems was published in German, druckmaschine drittmensch (translation by Urilke Draesner, Katrin Bandel, Sophie Mahakam Anggawi: DAAD, Berlin 2015). He wrote a newly published book called Berlin Proposal (Bandung, 2014) which was inspired by his one year residency in Berlin.
Recent Activities: Guest of Berliner Kuenstlerprogramm des DAAD (one year residency in Berlin 2014-2015), Poetry On The Road, International Poetry festival Bremen (May 2014), Berlin International Literature Festival (September 2014), Maasricht International Poetry Night (October-November, 2014) and Southeast Asia Literature Festival litprom Frankfurt, (January 2015).
Angelina is a Malaysian poet, writer and visual artist with a background in Fashion. She represented her country at the 3rd Delphic Games 2009 in the Lingual Arts category (Poetry Recital) competition held in Jeju Island, South Korea. Her recited poem was published in the 2009 Poem Festival Book.
Since then, her poetry and storytelling have ventured both locally and abroad. Some notable international performances were for a musical play in conjunction with International Women’s Day 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa; International Storytelling Festival 2014, Pretoria, South Africa; Maun International Arts Festival 2014, Botswana; Perth Poetry Festival 2015, Australia and Loose Muse, London’s Premiere Women’s Writer’s Night Oct 2015, UK.
She has been published in Po-me Poetry and Po-me Poetry II 2008 collections, Risen Scepter, World Arts Convention 2014 coffee table booklet, Many Stories Matter literary e-journal, Image Curve, Fibrotoday, Living with Fibro, Pursesuit, OurDailyPoetry, MISSIOCOM and Word of Mouth Chapter 1 booklet.
Angelina hopes to encourage people to celebrate diversity through her writing and arts. Working on her first novel and a collection of poems, she chirps on Twitter and Instagram by her penname @swakgel.
Agus R. Sarjono
Agus R. Sarjono (born 27 July 1962 in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia) is an Indonesian poet and author. In 1988, he graduated from Department of Indonesian Literature of IKIP Bandung, and then finished his postgraduate program in Universitas Indonesia at the faculty of literature and cultural studies in 2002.
He writes poems, short stories, essays, critics, and drama, which have been published in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and several journals in Germany, France, Netherlands, England, and the United States. His poems are included in more than twenty anthologies.
He works as a lecturer in the Theatre Department of STSI Bandung, as an editor of the literary magazine, Horison, and as the Program Director of The Jakarta Arts Council for the period of 2002–2006. He was a writer-in-residence at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) in Leiden from February through October 2001, courtesy of Poets of All Nations Foundation. From December 2002 to March 2003 he stayed in Langenbroich, Germany, as a guest writer of The Heinrich-Böll-Foundation
President & Founder of the International Poetry Festival(Festival International de la Poésie)
Gaston Bellemare co-founded the Écrits des Forges, was the poetry publishing house’s treasurer from 1971 to 1983 before presiding over it from 1983 to 2008. The publisher had over 1,200 book titles on catalogue and jointly published 500 titles with 50 different publishing houses in 17 countries. An average of 50 titles came out each year.
Having chaired the Association Nationale des Éditeurs de Livres (National Association of Publishers) from 2004 to 2008, and again from 2010 to 2012, he has now been named publisher emeritus. He is also the president of Copibec (2008-2009, 2010-2011, 2012-2013), of the Festival International de la Poésie (since 1985), of Hector de Saint-Denys-Garneau Foundation (since 2004-2013), member of the board of directors of the Fondation des Parlementaires (Parlementary Foundation), of the Commission de Droit de Prêt Public (Public Lending Right Commission) and of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (Quebec’s National Archives and Library), and he sits on numerous cultural juries.
He also created 10 poetry prizes including the Festival International de la Poésie’s Grand Prix Quebecor, dreamed up the Promenade de la Poésie (300 poems posted on the city’s walls) and co-founded the Promenade Internationale de la Poésie with Maryse Baribeau (100 poems from 100 authors from 42 countries in French and 21 other languages).
Kate Newmann was born in Ireland and attended Friends’ School, Lisburn, a Quaker school. After working for a year in the Museum of Cretan Ethnology, Greece, she began her degree course in English at King’s College, Cambridge. During that period she was a member of the Cypriot Society, the Indian Society and was a reader in King’s College Chapel. After graduating with a BA Hons in English in 1988 she moved to the island of Rhodes, Greece, where she taught English as a Foreign Language. When she returned to Ireland she enrolled at the University of Ulster in Coleraine and completed an MA in English. In 1991 she was appointed Junior Fellow at the Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast, and later became the editor in its publications department. In 1993 she compiled and published the Dictionary of Ulster Biography. In 1995 she resigned from Queen’s and moved to County Donegal where, along with Joan Newmann, she established the Summer Palace Press. In 2001 she published her first poetry collection, The Blind Woman in the Blue House. She has been writer-in-residence in hospitals and in the community, and has completed various collaborative projects such as the Wexford Community Opera, where school children under her tuition provided the libretto. As well as teaching creative writing with both children and adults throughout Ireland for the Arts Councils, she has published a further three collections of poetry. The last of these, Grim (Arlen House, January 2015), deals with the Holocaust. She has been widely anthologised and has read and been translated in Colombia, Mexico, Russia and Italy.
Margus Lattik, better known by his pen-name Mathura, is an Estonian poet and translator, recipient of the Gustav Suits Poetry Award (2014) and the first place winner at the International Bhakti Writers Competition (2012) in the U.S. He has published eight collections of poems and a travelogue, much of his writing is closely connected to nature. His list of translations include classic Indian texts like „Bhagavad-gita”, Bhartrihari’s „Vairagya-sataka” or Chanakya’s maxims from „Niti-sastra”, but also poetry of Mirabai and Kunwar Narain. He has also translated contemporary Western authors like Derek Walcott, Dylan Thomas, Ben Okri, Witi Ihimaera et al. His own work has been translated into a dozen languages, including a book-length selection in English („Presence and other poems”, 2010) and another in Spanish („Mil sueños”, 2011). He is a member of the Estonian Writers Union.
Myra Jara was born in Lima in 1987 and lives in Rome. She studied Humanities in PUCP (Perú), JUB (Germany) and La Sapienza (Italy); and practiced Contemporary Dance in Lima and New York. She was part of the staff of the International Poetry Festival of Lima for two years (2012 and 2013). Poems of her have been published in several literary magazines, including Le Parole e Le Cose (Italy), Nuovi Argomenti (Italy), La Otra (México), Vallejo&Co (Perú) and NyTid (Finland). She has been invited to read in poetry festivals in Italy and Colombia. In August 2015 she published herfirstbook of poems “La destrucción es blanca” (The destruction is white), by Lustra Editores. Some poems of her have been translated to English by Robin Myers.
PornpenHantrakool, born 1947 in the old quarter of Bangkok near Chao Phya River, Thailand, has been a Professor at Tenri University in Japan and an Associate Professor at Silpakorn University of Thailand. For a long time she has taught history. In the career, she has had some works published, both in Thai and in English. Also she has been a guest lecturer and researcher in many universities, including Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, and India. She now writes and translates poetry. From time to time she has been invited to participate in international poetry and literary festivals in certain countries – Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India, Kenya, and Colombia.
Having done some academic works on Vietnamese history, historiography, and literature, in 2012 she was granted an honorable certificate with a decoration from the Vietnamese Writer Association for her pioneering contribution to Vietnamese Studies, particulary in literature.
Some of her poems have been published in magazines and anthologies. She has had two books published on poetry : “Springs and Autumns Speeding Through Time” is her first bilingual book of poetry written in Thai and in English, and “hidden face flower” composed by Mai VănPhấn, is her second bilingual book of poetry translated from Vietnamese“hoagiấumặt” into English and Thai.
Born in Istanbul. Studied University of Istanbul, Department of Archeology and Art History. Master of arts degree at the University of Istanbul, Faculty of Communications, Departmant of Radio-TV-Cinema.
Poems have been published in literary journals since the age of 18. Has seven poetry books published in Turkey and also two poetry books published in Azerbaijan and poems translated into many different languages such as English, German, Spanish, Russian, etc. Very recently ( 2016 January ) her new poetry book “dressed in time ” published in New York, USA.
She is the President of Turkey PEN Club Women Writers Committee since April 2014 and also the Second President and Board Member of BESAM (Creators of Scientific and Literary Works Association). Biographies are in some literature and art encyclopedias ,her poems and essays in some anthologies.
Participitated numerous national and international literature and poetry festivals like ‘‘Poetica I International Poetry Festival” organised by Cologne University in Germany in 2015, “10th Sarajevo Poetry Festival” in 2011 and “49th Struga International Poetry Festival” ,Skopje, Macedonia in 2010.
Her poems published in “Akzente Literature Magazine” eleven pages in 2014 August issue in Munich. She has been nominated for Coburger Rückert-Preis 2016 in Germany.
Has been continuing contemporary art activities combining different disciplines since 1996. She participated in exhibitions, bienniales, art fairs,etc. in such countries like Austria, Germany, Norway, Italy, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Korea, etc. Has five solo shows presented internationally. Since 2012 she is a Honour Member of Azerbaijan Artists Union and Azerbaijan PEN Writers’ Club.