The pandemic has thrown open a can of varied emotions, and many are turning their musings into poems. These new writers are promoting their works at several poetry platforms on social media that have their own set of dedicated followers. One such Instagram account is @hindi_panktiyaan. Its founder, Deepak, says that since March, their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages have collectively received about 45,000 new followers. “We have also registered an estimated 25 per cent increase in poetry submissions. This is overwhelming but also exciting, as we are getting some excellent writings.”
Similarly, Insta handle @ishqurdu, just started promoting upcoming Urdu writers on its platform. Founder Nasheet Shadani says, “We recently held a competition for young Urdu writers, and found many enthusiastic voices wanting to share their work. It was all done through our Instagram page without additional promotion. Most of our participants are millennials passionate about Urdu poetry and literature.”
Insta handle @Pen Voice has a talk show, Dialogue in Darkness, where viewers can only hear the interviewer and see the poet. “This format is gaining popularity because it raises a certain curiosity in the listeners,” says Founder, Avinash Gaurav, who has been promoting poets’ work across colleges for eight years now. Delhi-based poet and theatre practitioner, Kamal Singh, was interviewed by Pen Voice earlier this month, a session that lasted for 30 minutes. “I have written a lot during the pandemic, as after a long time I was just with myself. Given the lockdown, followed by exponential rise in COVID-19 cases, I didn’t meet my friends. Theatre performances are stalled. In this free time, you naturally experience overwhelming thoughts that you need to pen down,” says Singh.
He had lost touch with poetry after college. “When I picked up the pen again, I just outpoured my emotions about loneliness, solitude, pandemic, and built a small poetry collection. Writing poetry has become a habit, and I will continue.”
Since March, the social media accounts of a number of poets have registered an overwhelming number of followers. Poetry submissions on these accounts have also increased.