7th Edition Of The Bengaluru Poetry Festival Is Here

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Bengaluru: Bengaluru Poetry Festival (BPF), the city’s first festival dedicated to poetry, is back. Over 5000 poetry lovers have attended each of the 5 physical editions of the two-day festival from 2016 to 2019 and in 2022.

This year, building on the surprise hit of our first six years we plan on winning more of your love. We have put together a melodious schedule once more and hope to see each one of you back again. All the usuals will be here, along with some highly unusuals: poets across all languages, word palettes from all over the world and exclusive performances in verse and song. Poets new and old, lyricists, singers, performers, musicians… prepare yourself for all rhyme and reason.

The 7th edition of Bengaluru Poetry Festival is scheduled to be held on the 5th and 6th of August 2023 at Grand Mercure Bengaluru, Gopalan Mall, Old Madras Road. The festival has once again attracted a number of internationally recognized poets and artistes who have confirmed their participation and the stage is set for another weekend of incredible poetry performances for literary connoisseurs of Bangalore.

The previous editions of the BPF have seen performances, readings, discussions and debates by eminent poets and performers such as Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, Deepti Naval, Rekha Bhardwaj, Jeet Thayil,  Shabhana Azmi, Jayanta Mahapatra, Usha Uthup, Kavita Seth, Dr. Chandrashekhar Kambar, Mamang Dai, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Sadhguru, Perumal Murugan, TM Krishna and many others.

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.

So they, along with a core team of poets and poetry lovers, conceptualized BPF as a celebration of all things poetry. The festival aims to provide a space for verse to be engaged with — by poets, readers, performers and the audience — across forms, formats and languages. The festival will include poetry performances, talks on poetry and opportunities to learn through workshops and interactive sessions.

Below is the festival line up.

Shinie Antony – Festival Director

Shinie Antony has written short story collections The Orphanage for Words, Barefoot and Pregnant and novels When Mira Went Forth and Multiplied and A Kingdom for his Love. She has compiled the anthology Why We Don’t Talk. Co-founder of the Bangalore Literature Festival, she won the Commonwealth Short Story Asia region prize in 2003 for her story A Dog’s Death. Her novel, The Girl Who Couldn’t Love, was out in 2017.

Akhila Krishnamurthy

Akhila Krishnamurthy is a freelance journalist and the founder of Aalaap, a boutique arts management company based in Chennai. Akhila founded Aalaap after a 15-year career in journalism where she worked across leading publications in India, including The Times of India where she was the Editor of all the supplements. As a freelance writer, Akhila has contributed essays and features across The Hindu, the India Today Group, Outlook, Tehelka, Open, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar.

Amruta Dongray

Armed with a Master’s degree in Sociology from the Bombay University, Amruta Dongray worked in the tourism industry for eight years. She considers herself an ‘accidental poet’. She started writing poetry in 2010. Her first book PASTPRESENT saw its release in 2013. Her second book is Three Halves was launched in 2018.

Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury

Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury is a poet and writer with three books to her credit – Where Even the Present is Ancient: Benaras (poetry) and Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen: Bengali Cinema’s First Couple (nonfiction), the latter shortlisted for the Crossword Award, nonfiction category in 2013. Her latest book The Hungrialists  was launched earlier this year. She is also the fiction and poetry editor of The Bengaluru Review, a literary magazine from Bengaluru.

Prashant Sankaran

Prashant Sankaran stepped off the hectic corporate treadmill after 25 years on it to mentor small entrepreneurs and serve on the advisory boards of a few not-for-profit and for-profit organisations. Currently he is the Executive Director at Interweave Consulting, a firm focused on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion solutions. He also dabbles in photography, performing arts and filmmaking.

He is the author of Home, a fusion between poetry and graphic novel and a children’s book Tutu Plays Hide and Seek. His works combining photography and haikus have been exhibited at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore and the Bangalore International Centre.

Shikha Saklani Malaviya

Shikha Saklani Malaviya is a poet and writer, born in the U.K. and raised in Minnesota and India. The author of Geography of Tongues, she is also the co-founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, a literary press. She calls both the San Francisco Bay area and Bengaluru home. Her latest book, “Anandibai Joshee – A Life In Poems” was released  in 2023.

Sourav Roy

Sourav is a Hindi poet, translator and educator. Born and brought up in Jharkhand, he pursued a bachelor’s degree in engineering from MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore; and worked as a programmer at an MNC. This was followed by a three-year year stint as a journalist and editor at a reputed media company. Since then, he has worked as a visiting faculty at Azim Premji University and NIFT Bengaluru. He is also the founding editor of Bengaluru Review magazine, and currently works as a educator at Head Start Educational Academy.

His published books include Yayavar (Collection of poems), Karnakavita (Editor: Anthology of Hindi-Urdu poetry from Bengaluru), Soho Mein Marx (Translator: Three Plays by Howard Zinn), and Os Ki Prithvi (Translation of Japanese Haiku)

Vikram Sridhar

Vikram Sridhar is a Performance Storyteller and Theatre Practitioner. His stories, performances and workshops for children, adults and families are rooted in heritage, ecology and folklore deeply inspired from various communities of the soil. Based in Chennai and Bangalore, he has travelled the country extensively with his desi way of storytelling.

Subodh Sankar and Lakshmi Subodh

Subodh and Lakshmi are co-founders of Atta Galatta, a Bengaluru-based bookstore with a focus on Indian, vernacular writing and is a venue for literary, art and cultural events.

Since its inception 12 years ago, the bookstore has hosted over 2500 events, including book launches, poetry readings, theatre performances, art shows, screenings, storytelling sessions and workshops. The bookstore has partnered with festivals such as the Bangalore Literature Festival and the Lekhana Writers Festival as the official bookstore.

Atta Galatta has partnered with the Bangalore Literature Festival to present The Atta Galatta-Bangalore Literature Festival Book Prize. Instituted in 2015, the annual award are presented under 7 categories of Fiction (English), Non-Fiction (English), Popular Choice, Best Cover Design and 2 new categories instituted in 2021, Best Young Adult Book and Best Children’s Book: Picture Book. An annual award is presented for Literary Achievement in Kannada to an author, celebrating their body of work and contribution to the language.

Venue: Grand Mercure Bengaluru at Gopalan Mall, Opp RMZ Infinity Techpark, Old Madras Road, Bengaluru – 560093

For info contact: Subodh 98450 19705

For registration visit: www.bengalurupoetryfestival.org

Entry is free to the festival

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