Bengaluru Poetry Festival 2016

Bengaluru Poetry Festival

Subodh and Lakshmi, the founders of Atta Galatta – The Bookstore and Events Space, realized that while poetry as a form of self-expression was gaining immense popularity, and Indian poets and poetry were increasingly being recognized the world over, there were limited opportunities available for poets within the existing literary festival platforms.

The Bengaluru Poetry Festival was conceptualized as a celebration of all things poetry.

From classical to modern, from hymn to haiku, from ballad to ode, poetry is what makes language dance. The rhyme, the rhythm, all merge into the perfect pitch, so we think and ache, and remain human.

An inherent love for poetry brought the core team together – to plan this festival in a spirit of gratitude and joy, as a salute to poets and the magical, magical world of their compositions.
(Description taken from the festival website)

I happened to participate in few of the events. Let me give you a brief description of my impressions of this festival of the few things I have participated in .

Day 1

It was very exciting day, as I was attending a specific event for poetry for the very first time. After formal inauguration, everyone was mesmerized by the talk by Javed Akhtar in the session ‘Poetry his art his heritage’. I do not need to speak about him, as everyone kind of knows about him.

The other events, I have attended towards the different them of poetry were ‘The Evolving Language of Hindi Poets’, ‘In Pursuit of a Private Language’, ‘Voices from the East- A Poetic Sojourn’. I happened to hear some of very unknown to me but well known poets like Akhil Katyal, Savita Bhargava, and Sudhir Rajan Singh.
Equally impressive was the session by Vibha Rani. She performed her poems on surviving cancer and other challenges in life. The musical performance by Raj Shekhar in the session ‘Majnu ka Tila’ was very entertaining.
For the first time, most of us witnessed a politician was also a poet.I am talking about Varun Gandhi, who for the first time recited poems from his book ‘stillness’.

The eagerly awaited launching of the book, ‘Po’try’ held in the evening. This book contains 157 selected poems from the writers of Bengaluru. It was especially launched for the Bengaluru Poetry Festival. I am so glad to see my work inside this book.


The last program of the evening was a performance by Padma Bhushan winner ‘Teejan Bai’. I read about her during my school days, and it was so exciting to see her performance. She and her group took us to the journey of Mahabhrata and through musical journey conveyed lot of historical messages.

Day 2

During the second day, I participated in the session ‘40 under 40’. It has collection of poems written by different poets across the country, all under the age of 40. Other sessions include ‘Who is reading Poetry’, which talked about the audience of any poetry and the publishers view point. It is true that publishing just a poetry is not financially viable option to many, but poetry is also one of the most powerful form of artistic expression. ‘Words without borders’ explore the essence of translation and difficulties associated in conveying similar message in multiple languages. ‘Cities & Mirrors’ was the poem recitation by Anjum Hassan from his published work ‘Bangalore Diaries’.

But, undeniably, everyone eagerly awaited and enjoyed the session by writer, lyricist, composer, and actor Piyush Mishra. He performed some of his own songs as well as recited poems from his books on demand of the audience.

Concluding thoughts

We have seen literature festival being organized here and there, but a festival dedicated to poetry was very enjoyable experience. It was also personal ones, as I do write poetry on the regular basis. Hope to participate in more such events in future.

Links for more information

Official website of Bengaluru Poetry Festival
Facebook page


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