Kritya 2012: The International Poetry Festival

Dr.Jayasree Ramakrishnan Nair | Apr 01, 2012 | Vol. 4, Issue 2
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The 7th edition of Kritya International Poetry Festival, Kritya 2012 was held at Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan, Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala, India) from January 16 - 18, 2012 and the extension of the festival was held on January 19 at Asan Smarakam, Thonnakkal and on January 20 and 21 at Sameeksha Ashram, Kalady. It was a great occasion for the organisers and participants alike, as the festival had once again come to its homeland Kerala. 

The 7th edition of Kritya International Poetry Festival,  Kritya 2012 was held at Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan, Thiruvananthapuram from January 16 - 18, 2012 and the extension of the festival was held on January 19 at Asan Smarakam, Thonnakkal and on January 20 and 21 at Sameeksha Ashram, Kalady. It was a great occasion for the organisers and participants alike, as the festival had once again come to its homeland Kerala. The festival honored the poet-seer Rabindranath Tagore and celebrated his idea of peace in this period of unrest.

In tune with the theme, the three day festival at Vyloppilli Bhavan began with Rabindra Sangeet soulfully rendered by Mrs. Abhradita Maitra Banerjee, the well-known Hindustani musician. Poets from all over the world took part in the ceremonial lighting of the lamp. In her opening speech, Dr. Rati Saxena, the Festival Director highlighted the significance of the collectiveness of poets and talked about the commitment of Kritya Literary Foundation to furthering poetry and other art forms.

Artistes from Eklavya Ashram staged Visual Presentation of Malayalam poetry.  Jnanpith award winner and Kerala's own poet Shri. O.N.V. Kurup rendered the inaugural rendering of poetry. This was followed by a special poetry reading by the renowned Korean poet, Wolsan Kim Ki Dong. Before the poetry reading sessions began, Odveig Klyve's photo poetry exhibition and K. Jayakumar's painting exhibition on Rabindranath Tagore's Gitanjali were inaugurated by Mr. Samil Yang, President of the Asia-Iberoamerica Cultural Foundation.

The next three days were really wonderful with each and every minute soaked in poetry - the poets reciting their poems in their mother tongue, with English translation and the Malayalam translations rendered beautifully by talented and creative students from the prestigious N.S.S. College, Karamana, Thiruvananthapuram. This innovative way of presentation was much applauded by the audience, with the poets enjoying themselves to the full, listening to their own creative pieces molded into another language in  all its sensibility. The evenings were enriched with poetry films, each distinctive in itself. Another highlight of this festival was the publication and release of the bilingual volume of poetry 'Intimate Distance/Dooreyanennal Oppam' comprising English and Malayalam translations of the poems presented at the fest. This book edited by Dr.Jayasree Ramakrishnan Nair has been published by the Kerala Sahitya Akademi, Thrissur. The three day festival at Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan attende by a rich audience concluded on 18th January 2012. The Sanskrit theatre, by Painkulam Ramachakyar Smaraka Kalapeedam was also hosted on the final day in Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan. This traditional performing art made a great impact on the visiting poets, who found the rendering, costumes, accompaniment and other details unique.

On the 19 January all the international poets were invited to Asan Smarakam, Thonnakkal, where again they recited their poems. It was a great occasion for the many students who had the chance to feel the beauty of poetry in various international languages. The festival concluded and the last two days were spent at Sameeksha Ashram, Kalady where the poets had a wonderful time discussing and debating on Indian and world philosophy. They also enjoyed trip down the river on a native houseboat. At night they went to watch the procession held by the local Catholic Church. The next day morning, the team visited the birthplace of Sri Shankaracharya as well as Lord Krishna's temple. It was a great opportunity for the international poets to view the society close at hand. While walking along, or sitting at the temple gates, the poets discussed all kinds of subjects. One of the topics that came up for discussion was how in Norway  that every forty years a new version of the Bible appeared, and how every culture had something somewhere in common with other cultures.

It is true that this edition of Kritya's Poetry festival has come to a close, but it is indeed remarkable that everyone could appreciate some of the best poems written by contemporary poets, as well as interact constructively with creative minds from all over the world.

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