HYDERABAD: This Saturday, city-based Indian-English poet Saima Afreen launched her debut poetry collection titled ‘Sin of Semantics’ at British Council Hyderabad. Andrew Fleming, the British Deputy High Commissioner, released the book. He himself is an ardent aficionado of poetry and his favourite is not any British poet but the famous American bard Maya Angelou. He quoted her while talking about the younger poet: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” He added that Saima’s book is going to inspire many as it deals with issues of inequality, gender politics, women oppression blended with symbols of mysticism and dream-like quality.
Poet-scholar Rebecca Vedavathy hosted the event asking questions related to her editing process, favourite authors, Oriental symbols, legends she uses as images and how she connects with different places that she’s not visited. It was interesting to hear the author reply, “A travelling writer leaves behind parts of his/her being on visiting a particular place as sometimes the cities summon people for a particular task to be done and that’s when you become part of that place carrying forward its stories through your words.”
Rebecca added that her poems are speckled with references to Russian literature, Greek myths like Icarus, Persephone and also the endless references to Middle-Eastern legends which make the poet’s work as urban fairy tales.
This year the poet was awarded Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship at the University of Kent, the United Kingdom. She finished the manuscript of the book while she was a Writer-in-Residence at Villa Sarkia Writers Residency, Finland during autumn 2017. She currently works for The New Indian Express, Hyderabad.
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