Founded by poetesses Anju Makhija and Gayatri Majumdar, the Pondicherry/Auroville Poetry Festival 2022 (P/APF) will begin on December 21st to culminate on the 22nd. The theme this year is Equality/Oneness. “As we increasingly find ourselves in a polarized world divided in innumerable ways–communal disharmony, gender inequality, national conflicts–the list is endless. In this environment, is oneness possible? We wonder how we can keep the conversation going by honouring our differences and diversity? How do we celebrate our oneness and remain connected to the world? Experience unity with all that surrounds us?”, says Gayatri Majumdar, Festival Director.
Being held under the aegis of the Pondicherry Poets and The Brown Critique, the festival will open at Sri Aurobindo Society's Matri Niketan, (previously Academy House restored by INTACH) Kuruchikuppam. It will also take place at Palais de Mahe, Bussy Street, in association with ‘People for Pondicherry's Heritage’, Pondicherry, and at Unity Pavilion, Auroville. The Pondicherry Poets was founded in 2017 by Anju Makhija and Gayatri Majumdar, to create a platform for poets.
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The P/APF will feature a recitation of Sri Aurobindo's poems, a talk on 'Gender Equality–a Spiritual Perspective', book launches, a workshop on Haiku conducted by Rochelle Potkar at AURA Store on Beach Road, a farm visit to Ousteri Lake, and devotional music. The festival, in Auroville, Pondicherry, will give the stage to about 20 poets/artists and speakers from across the country.
The book launches at this year's festival include those of Ashwani Kumar (Rivers Going Home Anthology_Mumbai); Mani Rao (Love Me in a Hurry & Saundarya Lahari_Bengaluru); Sushrut Badhe (Sri Aurobindo’s Vedanta – Rhythm of Ananda_Pondicherry); Gopal Lahiri (Crossing The Shoreline_Kolkata); Anju Makhija (Mumbai Traps_Mumbai); Gayatri Majumdar (The Dream Pod_Pondicherry); Nishi Pulugurtha (Raindrops on the Periwinkle_Kolkata); Smita Agarwal (Speak Woman_Allahabad); Kiran Bhat (Speaking in Tongues_Mumbai); and Paresh Tiwari (Now a Poem, Now a Forest_Mumbai).
About The Founders
Anju Makhija is a Mumbai-based poet, playwright, translator, and Sahitya Akademi awardee, winner of the BBC World Regional Poetry Prize, and a recipient of the Charles Wallace Trust Award. She has written and co-edited 13 books associated with poetry, compiled anthologies related to women and partition, and has created translations, plays, and children's books.
Gayatri Majumdar is the editor, publisher, and founder of the critically acclaimed Indian literary journal, The Brown Critique. Gayatri began her career as a journalist at the Press Trust of India, and The Independent, in Mumbai. She was also with Indian PEN, then edited by Nissim Ezekiel. Her career also encompasses leadership in the publishing industry and work in NGOs.
How to get there: Sri Aurobindo Society's Matri Niketan, Kuruchikuppam, Puducherry is six kilometres from Puducherry airport. Hyderabad is the only city to have a direct flight to Puducherry. The rest of the tier 1 cities operate regular flights to Chennai, and from airport, cabs to Puducherry are readily available.
Where: Sri Aurobindo Society's Matri Niketan, Kuruchikuppam, and at Palais de Mahe, Bussy Street, and at Unity Pavilion, Auroville, Puducherry
When: 21st and 22nd December, 2022
Time: 9:15 a.m.