Bengaluru Poetry Festival 2022 to go online on August 27 and 28
Aside from celebrating poetry, the festival also celebrates freedom. There are no restrictions on languages and various reinvented forms of performing are encouraged.
Published: 22nd August 2022 01:31 AM | Last Updated: 22nd August 2022 01:31 AM | A+A A-
BENGALURU: The Bengaluru Poetry Festival (BPF) is back on the live stage. After two pandemic-ridden years, poets will once again have the opportunity to gather in front of an audience in the sixth rendition of this festival, to be held on August 27 and 28 at The Leela Palace Bangalore, Old Airport Road. Starting in 2016, BPF is an art festival celebrating poetry and aims to provide a cultural experience for both the audience and participants.
The idea for this poetry-exclusive festival first emerged when Subodh Sankar and his wife Lakshmi Subodh saw many poetry events hosted at their bookstore and cultural space Atta Galatta run successfully. “In literature festivals, the space for poetry was very limited. But poetry was well and alive in the art scene. So that’s when we thought we’d create a platform that would be exclusively dedicated to poetry,” says Sankar. Since 2016, the previous four live renditions (the 2020 rendition was online) of this festival have been attended by over 5,000 people in total.
The event also hosts activities for children despite largely being catered toward an adult audience. Acclaimed Kannada poet Pratibha Nandakumar has been attending the BPF since its inception. “I have been part of this festival since its beginning and I consider myself a part of the team. The collective love for poetry draws me to this festival every year,” says Nandakumar.
Aside from celebrating poetry, the festival also celebrates freedom. There are no restrictions on languages and various reinvented forms of performing are encouraged. “BPF is extremely open to any avant-garde presentation of poetry. So, if I want to present a poem differently, I’m always certain I’ll find the opportunity to do so in this festival,” says Nandakumar, whose new book is being launched at this year’s BPF as well as a poetry chapbook, for which she collaborated with the poet Mani Rao.
The festival organisers and many poets attribute much of the success of this festival to the city of Bengaluru. “Bengaluru is a self-aware city, invested very much in creative growth. The crowd here, however, is sensitive and open. Nowhere else would have the Bengaluru Poetry Festival been such a quivering success because elsewhere people can tend to be a little preoccupied,” says festival director Shinie Antony.
English-Haibun poet Shobhana Kumar, who will also be attending this year’s festival, says, “The Bengaluru audience is a great audience for poets. In 2016, when I took part in the inaugural festival, I remember the Leela Palace was packed on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I don’t think you see that kind of crowd anywhere else. This city embraces art very well.”