Poetry is an integral part of art, culture, and literature, and in a wider context, it reflects the heritage of a civilization. All set to go hybrid this year, the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) 2022 will feature some of the most popular poets of the contemporary world. The Festival will offer a variety of sessions highlighting various aspects of poetry.
Produced by pioneering performing arts and entertainment organization Teamwork Arts, the Festival will have a session of readings and conversations. At one such session, writer, poet, translator, and activist, Meena Kandasamy will take the audience on a journey navigating the dimensions of self, politics, and gender. She has authored critically acclaimed works of poetry, prose, and translation such as the Gypsy Goddess, This Poem Will Provoke You, When I Hit You, Exquisite Cadavers, The Orders were to Rape You and Women, Dreaming. Kandasamy and Executive Editor, Penguin Random House India, Manasi Subramaniam, will speak of the weight of words, beliefs, ideologies, and the space in-between.
The epic poem, The Light of Asia, by Sir Edwin Arnold first took the world by storm in 1879. Sir Arnold’s rendering of the Bhagavad Gita was one of Mahatma Gandhi’s undisputed favourites. Author and Rajya Sabha member, Jairam Ramesh’s book, The Light of Asia: The Poem that Defined the Buddha, attempts to contextualize and comprehend this important narrative poem that has now become a milestone in Buddhist historiography. Weaving together literary, cultural, political and social history, the book not only helps us understand the Buddha but also explores the life of the multifaceted poet who himself was steeped in Sanskrit literature. In conversation with author and academic Malashri Lal, Ramesh will inspect the form and style of this iconic poem and its everlasting impact on world history.
At another session concentrated on the political and poetic articulation of the right to belong, Kandasamy and poet Akhil Katyal will be in conversation with eminent journalist Mandira Nayar. They will discuss the voice, strength, and cadence of diversity and difference.
Award-winning poet, author, and critic Arundhathi Subramaniam has contributed greatly to contemporary spiritual writing and exploration. At a session titled ‘Women Who Wear Only Themselves: Yoga, Poetry and Culture’, she will be in conversation with the Managing Trustee of Yuva Ekta Foundation Puneeta Roy, to discuss the confluence of literature, culture, and yoga, the ultimate practice and meeting-place for individual consciousness and the universe.
The Festival will also present a ‘Poetry Hour’ – a series of multivocal poetry readings where different languages, rhythms, and styles converge in a joyous celebration of imaginative possibility. Separated in four sessions ‘Poetry Hour’ will feature eminent Rajasthani writer Chandra Prakash Deval; poet and editor Sudeep Sen; award-winning poet and writer Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih who writes in Khasi and English; Rajasthani and Hindi writer and translator Jitendra Kumar Soni; author of over 40 books Anita Agnihotri who writes in Bangla; well-known Rajasthani and Hindi writer Nand Bhardwaj; writer and translator Akhil Katyal; poet, critic, cultural theorist, independent curator and recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award Ranjit Hoskote; writer, poet, translator and activist Meena Kandasamy; publisher and editor of Rajasthan’s first bilingual monthly lifestyle magazine, Simply Jaipur, Anshu Harsh; poet and fiction writer Anukrti Upadhyay; writer and an influential voice in Odia Literature Paramita Satpathy; photographer and writer Devendra Bisaria; Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, editor and anthologist Kala Ramesh; multi-award-winning translator, writer, and literary historian Rakhshanda Jalil.