Category Archives: Renaissance

Quick Bite with Sonnet Mondal

Sonnet Mondal has read, and represented India, at literary festivals in Macedonia; Cork, Ireland; Istanbul, Turkey; Granada, Nicaragua; Sri Lanka; and Slovakia. Winner of the 2016 Gayatri Gamarsh Memorial award for literary excellence, Sonnet was one of the authors of Silk Routes Project, IWP, University of IOWA. One of the current directors of Odisha Art & Literature Festival, Sonnet Mondal edits the Indian section of Lyrikline Poetry Archive, Berlin and serves as the Editor in Chief of the Enchanting Verses Literary Review (www.theenchantingverses.org) His upcoming visits include 2018 Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka.

  1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

I just scribbled one piece of 10 lines, back in 2006 which I don’t recall as a poem, but something which drew me into writing poetry.

  1. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

A poet’s eye is his sensitivity and together with intellect, he creates an aperture called poetry through which readers can perceive that everything we see, feel, hear and sense is not everything. I feel like travelling through my deepest emotions while writing poetry and it allows me to examine and re-examine the world. The way how I see life is best communicated through this journey.

  1. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

No single piece of art can relate to all walks of life at the same time. Poetry portrays those emotions which cannot be pictured — through any direct exact way or through any other genre of literature.

Taking poetry as a curiosity and a form of expression — it has always had a limited yet pronounced space in the world.  The general mindset — that people don’t understand poetry and are unenthusiastic about reading poetry is a misconstrued rendition of the queries  — that readers have about poetry while thinking of buying an anthology. May be — it can be addressed to a certain extent by incorporating more poetry sessions or workshops in literary festivals or events.

  1. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

Thoughts have no time to arrive. They may pop up even in extreme situations. They are extremely volatile and evaporate easily from mind. So I mostly make notes whenever they surface in my mind and later I work upon them after 12 at night. Night somehow allows me to give the much desired shape to my muse. The desire to have an element of surprise in my life and the desire to have a sight of the skyline through the uplifting mistiness, often inspire me to write down poems.

  1. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

Waves as such come, break and dissipate into obscurity. I think ‘Poetry’ and ‘Insta-poetry’ should not be confused. Poetry is the most pithy and figurative of all genres of literature and these artificial prefixes added to the word ‘Poetry’ don’t make them what we have known or what I call as poetry.

  1. Where do you want to take your work in the future in terms of poetry?

I never thought about taking my poetry somewhere. It travels with me like my shadow. Poetry once on paper is independent and can travel on its own — beyond the fences set by desire or time.

Thanks Prakriti foundation for organising such wonderful event.

Thanks Haris, Smita Anand and Kirbaa Karan for the wonderful pictures!

Quick Bite with Sharanya Manivannan

Sharanya Manivannan is the author of four books, including the award-winning short story collection, The High Priestess Never Marries and the newly-released poetry collection, The Altar of the Only World.

1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

I wrote my first poem at 7 years old, and it was built around all the words I could think of that rhymed with “cat”.

  1. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

I’ve written and read poetry for so much of my life it’s very much one of the modes through which I know myself. One of the greatest gifts poetry has given me has been consolation. At other times, it has been a way for me to salute beauty by trying to bring more into the world.

  1. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

The problem begins with how poetry is taught in schools. Students should never be forced to memorise poems, or be force-fed “meanings” of poems. This is a cruel and meaningless method, both to people and to poetry itself. Teach the word through voice, teach it as love, teach it as a shield against loneliness. It is difficult to change people’s minds later in life, when they’ve been traumatised by the way poetry has been introduced to them as children.

  1. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

Whenever a poem calls to me. This can be day or night. I’ve bolted upright from my sleep many times because the words were suddenly pouring out of me. Other times, it’s less dramatic — a subtle shift aided and accompanied by music.

  1. What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?

In a lot of ways, Insta-poetry is a reaction to the horrible way poems are taught in schools. I like the accessibility of the medium, but I dislike how it encourages laziness, the need for constant validation, and a skewed relationship with one’s own work — it ceases to be craft if you’re counting likes.

  1. Where do you want to take your work in d future in terms of poetry?

I’m trying to become better as a writer of fiction, and as an illustrator. I hope poetry forgives me these extramarital alliances.

Thanks Prakriti foundation for the wonderful events!

Thanks Haris for the amazing pictures!

All images are copy right protected to Madras Photo bloggers and Prakriti foundation

Quick Bite with Parvathi Nayar

Parvathi Nayar is a writer, poet and contemporary visual artist based in Chennai. Parvathi Nayar plays an active role – and is deeply committed to supporting – the emerging renaissance of the contemporary in Chennai. Parvathi is best known for her videos and her complex drawing practices; she also engages with text, sculpture, painting and photography. Her works have been collected by institutions such as the Singapore Art Museum, BMW, HCL, The Sotheby’s Art Institute, The Australia India Institute and Deutsche Bank.

   1. Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??

I can’t honestly remember when I wrote my first poem, but I always did scribble bits and pieces. I so enjoy the process of writing – and rewriting!

  1. What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?

For me poetry offers a form that is at once succinct and yet intense and vivid  – it is a way to talk about the things that I am thinking about or experiencing.

  1. Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?

I wish it could have an audience outside a literary circle, just as I wish art could have a way of speaking to a larger group of people – as this is the stuff that speaks of the human condition.

  1. When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?

It can take place at different times of day – its whenever I can carve out the actual time and head space for it! I’m inspired by all kinds of things to write poems – but sometimes it is an exploration for me to actually “understand” something gnawing at me, if you know what I mean. In this regard one of the poems I read out at the session stands out –  an exact from Black And White, which was written as a way of conceptualizing a solo show of mine – Drawing is a Verb at the Arts House, Singapore. It stands out as a memory from the past as a device that had a specific resonance to understanding the spatial aspect in my art. Since then a lot of the verse has had relationships with the art.