Second WE Anniversary
Congratulations friends, WE turn two this September, with the blessings of the universe !
Love and regards to poet Anna Sujatha Mathai who has been conferred the first Kamala Das Poetry Award for her contribution to poetry and love and resilience in the face of all odds. The award was given away by eminent poet Keki Daruwalla, at a ceremony hosted by the India International Centre, Delhi, on Sept 28, 2018.
Our love and gratitude to Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal, to whom our inaugural anthology is dedicated. She teaches us what respect is, what kindness is.... and what love embodies in its frail frame...
Our love and gratitude to Priya Sarukkai Chabria, it is a great honour for us that her poem 'Invocation - Spirit of Water' opens our inaugural anthology 'Equiverse space - A Sound home in Words'.
It has been a lively journey so far, over waters both serenely calm, and at times foaming white with the froth of turbulence; bearing aspects of great teachers showing us how to navigate.
WE are now proud members of CLMP New York ( Community of Literary Presses & Magazines). WE are honoured to be the recipient of MAP Leadership Award 2018. To our credit are : Fifteen curated readings/ one-day fests/collaborations/ associations, one selection of WE poets into a Sahitya Academy anthology, one award instituted (Kamala Das Poetry Award), and our first anthology Equiverse Space just launched!
By some wondrous coincidence WE and our dearly loved anchor Shuchi Kapoor (author of LOVE Inc), who has compered almost all our readings so far, have come up with our first books at the same time! We shall be launching them together in Mumbai on the 18th at our favourite Bookstore -Title Waves in Bandra. Poetic miracles.... and WE are deeply grateful.
'EquiVerse Space - A Sound Home in Words', our inaugural WE anthology is here thanks to the creativity, love and participation of every contributor. You'll be pleased to know that it is beautiful inside out. Holding it in my hands creates feelings of a strange vulnerability imbued with empowerment, feelings too difficult to put into words.
'Love Inc' Shuchi Kapoor's first novel, explores facets of friendship and love set amidst the rough hewn rocks of betrayal. Beautiful things are hard won.
If you were in Mumbai on Sept 18, and attended the firsti launch, many thanks; you listened to the beautiful poetry curated by Ishmeet Nagpal from her brand new 'All Aboard' group of fabulous Mumbai women poets.
Thank you all friends, well-wishers, collaborators,
Editors Kala Ramesh (haiku) Taseer Gujral (poetry) Abha Iyengar ( short fiction) Mohammad FarHan ( review) Smeetha Bhoumik (chief editor - compilation, concept, theme)
Editorial Advisory Board
Kiranjeet Charurvedi, Rochelle Potkar, Pervin Saket, Maya Sharma Sriram....
At The India International Centre, Delhi, on Sept 28, 2018
An evening where joy erupted in spontaneous, vibrant ways, where people met for the first time like old friends... and friends met like there was no distance of different cities separating them! Such were the golden moments, when great generous souls like Keki Daruwala participated with love, shared thoughts and anecdotes, while conferring the Kamala Das Poetry Award on Anna Sujatha Mathai - our revered, immeasurably gifted poet with immense courage. Friends, poets, writers, poetry lovers made the evening a memorable bouquet of appreciation in all its hues...
I do not have all the pictures. I have captured some of the chaotic merriment of mingling after the celebrations were complete....and some of the earlier moments too, but my phone camera is not great....
Program in brief
WE Award Ceremony & Book Launch in collaboration with All Aboard- Delhi chapter.
Anchored by Shuchi Kapoor, (author - Love Inc)
Opening song by Keya Chaturvedi
WE welcome address by Smeetha Bhoumik
Kamala Das Poetry Award conferred on poet Anna Sujatha Mathai
by poet Keki Daruwala, amidst fond remembrances of shared poetic moments in a long and beautiful journey....of verse laden boughs....Keki da shared treasured memories of Sujatha and he reading together at the US embassy circa 1991....Sujatha read Kamala Das with astounding aplomb, and also remembered her friendship with her, her visits to her home...I had the honour of reading some of Sujatha's poems...
Launch of Equiverse Space -A Sound Home in Words
Poets and writers read from the anthology, their own works or the works of others...
Special mention - Taseer Gujral's poem read by Kiranjeet Chaturvedi
Padmashri Maddala's poem read by Smeetha
Good evening. On behalf of Women Empowered-India & all Aboard it is a pleasure extending you a very warm welcome - our distinguished guests Ms Sujatha Mathai, Mr Keki Daruwala , all poets, friends, poetry lovers, & writers, thank you for joining us this evening.
This evening we celebrate the inaugural Kamala Das poetry award being conferred on poet Anna Sujatha Mathai by one of our most revered poets Keki Daruwala. The evening will also see the Delhi launch of our inaugural anthology of creative writing titled Equiverse Space -A Sound Home in Words.
Founded in Sept 2016, this September Women Empowered india or WE turn two years old with the love and blessings of beautiful, kind and gifted people, and am so happy to see many of you present here this evening. It is a great honour for WE to celebrate this anniversary with the inaugural Kamala Das Poetry award being conferred on poet Sujatha Mathai, anidst poetry & performance by WE , All Aboard, & other poets. All Aboard has been founded by Ishmeet Nagpal very recently. It is an inclusive platform of women & women identified creative persons.
Our 1st WE anthology - Equiverse Space- A Sound Home in Words,
is edited by four wonderful persons - Kala Ramesh the internationally acclaimed haiku & Japanese short forms expert, who gives us a beautiful section titled hazy Moon, dear friend & gifted poet Taseer Gujral who edited the poetry section while going through great personal changes as she moved home from Chandigarh to Accra in Ghana with her husband and daughter. Abha Iyengar with her expertise and dedication as editor of the short fiction section and Mohammed Farhan who gave us great reviews of two important contemporary books. I in my role as chief editor had the privilege of applying a musical note to this feminist theme, looking at equality in brand new ways, while putting this anthology together. There's a core to this discussion titled the Modern Jazz Word Quartet where four of us Kiranjeet Chaturvedi Pervin Saket Maya Sharma Shriram & I take a close look at ground realities related to the feminist viewpoint today.
The WE editorial advisory board comprises Rochelle Potkar (who has just won the Norton Girault Literary Prize in poetry, UK) Pervin Saket Kiranjeet Chaturvedi Maya Sharma Sriram.
This anthology carries works of poets & writers across the world, from all age-groups and backgrounds. It is a creative space to belong to and is blessed with the works of stalwarts like Sujatha Mathai Priya Sarukkai Chabria Arundhathi Subramaniam Shreya Sen Handley Kalpna Singh Chitnis Steffen Horstmann Meenakshi Singh and many new emerging voices full of promise.
Over two years we have formed beautiful bonds both with institutions and people and I would like to say a word of thanks to our collaborators
The US Consulate, the Goethe-institut Max Mueller Bhavan, Arcs of a Circle by Rochelle Potkar, MAP Festival by Neha Mishra Jha, G5a, Crossover Poetry, the Poetry Club, 100TPC Mumbai, Rhythm Divine Poets, and All Aboard.
My heartfelt thanks and congratulations go out to all who have contributed their creations to this anthology....thank you Meenakshi Singh Kasturi Patra Kinshuk Gupta Praniti Gulyani .. who are here this evening...
In our beautiful new collaboration with All Aboard, we have poetry & performance presented by Meghna Prakash Taksh Sharma Priyanka Shrivastav and the very special classical music performance by young artist Keya Chaturvedi.
A very big thank you to author Shuchi Kapoor, for being our anchor this evening and to Ishmeet Nagpal for curating quality àq All Aboard reading.
It is my privilege to begin our celebration with a poem Invocation : Spirit of water by Priya Sarukkai Chabria. It is also the opening invocation of our anthology.
Dear Keki da,
Please accept my heartfelt gratitude and respect.
It has been a very big honour for all of us at Women Empowered-India (WE), and an entire congregation of poets and poetry lovers who remained entranced yesterday as you gave away the Kamala Das Poetry Award to poet Anna Sujatha Mathai.