17 Nov 2016: ‘Amaravati Poetic Prism 2016’ – International Multilingual Poets Meet at Vijayawada

Over 100 poets converged and created a mini India on the banks of the River Krishna at the Conference Hall, Haritha Berm Park, Vijayawada on 13 and 14 Nov’16 to read their multilingual poetry from ‘Amaravati Poetic Prism 2016’, an International Multilingual Poetry Anthology published by the Cultural Centre of Vijayawada and Amaravati (CCVA - a CSR arm of the Malaxmi Group), that has a record 527 poems in 53 languages. The Anthology has been rated as a Record by the India Book of Records and more such accolades are expected to soon follow!

Day One 13 Nov 2016 saw the Krishna Zilla Parishad Chairperson Gadde Anuradha inaugurating the event along with G Hari Babu, Corporator, Vijayawada. Immediately following this, the poetry reading sessions commenced with the poet delegates reading their poems in Telugu, Koya, Kannada, Kodava Takk, Malayalam, Tamil, Assamese, Bengali, Oriya, Mizo, Marathi, Gujarati, Dogri, Punjabi, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu, English, Esperanto, French, German, Mandarin, etc.

Day Two 14 Nov 2016 had the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Nara Chandrababu Naidu himself at the event to unveil CCVA’s International Multilingual Poetry Anthology ‘Amaravati Poetic Prism 2016’ and to honour poets who had directly and indirectly helped create this mammoth anthology. The Hon’ble Chief Minister was full of appreciation for this unique multilingual poetry initiative of CCVA.

A notable feature of this event was that given the multilingual nature of the poems, having different language panels was not feasible for the organizers. Instead they devised an out-of-the-box chit (draw of lots) system that carried the names of the poets. The first slot of the poetry reading session was assigned to a super senior poet Rajaram Ramachandran, who after his poetry reading, picked out the next chit and announced the name of the next poet. Thus, the chain of poetry reading continued throughout the day with each poet announcing the name of the next poet... Everyone enjoyed this totally democratic process of calling upon poets to read their poems… as throughout the day, the poets were kept guessing about who is next… In a single day, close to 110 multilingual poems were read! As the poetry sessions were going on, the Mayor of Vijayawada Koneru Prasad and G Veerapandian, Commissioner, Vijayawada Municipal Corporation came visiting and addressed the poet delegates.

As an interlude, in between poetry reading sessions, the poet delegates were also treated to some delectable audio and video poetry readings from some of the poets who couldn’t make it to the event for various reasons – Dr Aprilia Zank of Germany, resplendent in a salwar suit with an Indian ambience created behind her with zari dupattas tied together to form a backdrop, read her German poem. World renowned playwright Jawaid Danish of Canada rendered his soulful Urdu poetry from the anthology. Avril Meallem of Israel and Shernaz Wadia of India, who have pioneered the unique Tapestry genre of poetry, sent an audio recording of their Tapestry poem featured in ‘Amaravati Poetic Prism 2016’, along with a poem of Avril who couldn’t come to the event because of her husband’s indisposition. Likewise, Bhargavi Raghuram’s video recording of her Telugu poem, despite being in a cast due to shoulder and hand fractures, touched many a heart!

Courtesy: Padmaja Iyengar, Hyderabad, who is the Hon. Lit. Advisor, CCVA, who organised the event. Originally posted by her at FB. Now reproduced here, mutatis mutandis, with her permission. Her email Ids: poeticprismccv@gmail.com, padmaja_iyengar@yahoo.co.in. 


Note: Also see the following two reports… Ed.

The New Indian Express, Hyderabad Express
Nov 16, 2016, by Saima Afreen



                           “After bifurcation, poets and artists from Telangana
                             have been to AP for awards and functions
                                           – U Atreya Sarma, Poet-Translator-Editor


Can culture bring people together? Can words weave in camaraderie? The Amaravati Poetic Prism 2016: International Multilingual Poets Meet in Vijayawada this week which brought over 100 poets from across the country and overseas and of course, from the two states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, proved that things and hearts can change over a few stanzas…

When poets from bifurcated states gathered together

Vijayawada saw coming together of 100 poets near river Krishna for a poetry meet as part of Amaravati Poetic Prism 2016 International Multilingual Poets Meet. Many poets from Hyderabad were part of the poetry event

Year 2014 saw the bifurcation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Since then the vibes have been a bit cold between the states and its people. Political boundaries apart, it is language that brings boundaries together, and we are not talking just about Telugu. That’s how 14 poets from Hyderabad were part of Amaravati Poetic Prism 2016 and travelled all the way to Vijayawada to be part of the launch and two-day poetry festival held at the beautiful banks of river Krishna. The event was organised by the Cultural Centre of Vijayawada & Amaravati (CCVA), a CSR initiative by Malaxmi group of companies.

The poets from the city were as varied as their works. Some of them were journalists, while some were in the teaching profession. The poems in the anthology are in 53 languages. The city poets chose free verse, ghazals to measured pattern of rhyme and rhythm in their poems. The topics were as diverse as the daily life toll, awakening of the heart to themes related to social issues. For example, in the ghazal of Nusrat Rehana Asif, who is the granddaughter of famous poet Sir Nizamat Jung there was the lament of distrust as she recited: ‘Miltey nahin wafaon ke pahle se ab nishan/ kab ke gaye who din hain sanam aitbar ke.’ She shared, “More such literary programmes should happen not just in both the states but in small towns as well. At the CCVA poetry fest the poets got an opportunity to listen to each other’s works, sit and discuss. Such conversations also tell you how other wordsmiths feel for you.”

The ghazal of Sahitya Ratan Sunita Lulla revolved around homelessness and loneliness. But after the bifurcation are the wordsmiths feeling the same? “The division of both the states is only political. Hearts can’t be divided. This event in a way was proof of good bonhomie when poets from Guntur, Vijayawada and Hyderabad sat and laughed together discussing nothing but poetry. Even after bifurcation poets and artists from Telangana have been to AP for awards and functions. The poetic event by CCVA was impeccable,” said poet, translator and editor Uppaluri Atreya Sarma who contributed his works in English and Telugu. The recitation enthralled the audience. However, the poets from overseas who couldn’t come sent their audio clips that mesmerised the audience.

City-based poet Elizabeth Kurian Mona contributed her poems in Urdu, English, Hindi, Telugu and Malayalam. Felicitated by the AP chief minister Chandra Babu Naidu along with other poets she shares, “Other literary fests invite only the celeb writers and poets. Events like these give proper platform to writers uniting poets from both the states. However, they can include workshops as well in the event.”


The Hans India, Amaravati Tabloid
Nov 17, 2016, by U Atreya Sarma


                            “Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
                             By narrow domestic walls
                             Where words come out from the depth of truth
                             Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection”
                                                                                           – Rabindranath Tagore

A multilingual stream of poesy vied with the Krishna River, and the resultant poetic bonhomie soared over the Indrakiladri for two days on November 13-14. The “Amaravati Poetic Prism 2016: International Multilingual Poets Meet” was a gala poetic event at the Haritha Berm Park of the APTDC on the banks of the sacred Krishna.

As many as 80 poets from across the country, including one from Thailand, read out 99 poems in as many as 27 Indian and foreign languages – Telugu, Assamese, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kodava Takk, Koya, Maithili, Malayalam, Marathi, Mizo, Odiya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Urdu; English, Esperanto, French, German, Mandarin, Thai, and Vietnamese. And the nearby Prakasam barrage appeared to be a bridge connecting the orient and the occident.

Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, the chief guest, launched the concomitant anthology running into 528 pages, with 527 poems in 53 languages from across the globe, including even little known tongues and dialects. Many Sahitya Akademi awardees had contributed to the anthology.

Chandrababu made a scintillating speech tracing the overseas trade and cultural intercourse of Andhras to the Satavahana era when Amaravati was their capital, which again his government was determined to develop as a world class city, with a visionary spirit. The river valleys brought in the first civilizations; and arts and letters flourished in them. It was how great poets like Jnan Pith awardee Viswanatha Satyanarayana, Veturi Prabhakara Sastry, Veturi Sundararama Murty, Tummala Seetharama Murthy and Vemulapalli Srikrishna were born here and became household names. The graceful Kuchipudi dance also originated in these parts. This poetic event was very much in line with that eclectic spirit of the Andhras, he said, and in a lighter vein exhorted the poets to sit on the banks of the Krishna to derive their poetic afflatus. In tune with the spirit of the multilingual meet the CM spoke in both Telugu and English.

And the CM felicitated a cross-section of prominent poets.

Other dignitaries who shared the dais were Devineni Umamaheswara Rao (Minster for Irrigation), ‘Nani’ Kesineni Srinivas (MP), and Gautam Sawang (Commissioner of Police).

Inaugurating the first day’s programme, Gadde Anuradha (ZP Chairperson) observed that this international multilingual poetry fest reflected the Indian ethos of unity in diversity. The government of the new AP was doing its best to develop Amaravati as a vibrant centre of art and culture as well.

Mayor Koneru Sridhar recommended poetry instead of the present day films that had nothing worthwhile in them. VMC Commissioner G Veerapandian who spoke in English, Telugu and Tamil, promised to extend the necessary support to literary and cultural activities. G Haribabu, Corporator (Ward 26) also spoke.

(NB: The paper has inadvertently left out the freelance reporter’s name and also the Rabindranath Tagore quote; but later on they made amends by inserting the authorship credit in their e-paper)

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