Posts made in October, 2014

Somewhere in the yellow and green splendor || The Te Aroha – Literature Studio Writers’ Retreat

Months of research and agreements and disagreements, and it boils down to this. The Te Aroha – Literature Studio Writers’ Retreat is finally taking shape. It took time, it took effort, but at the end we love how it is looking right now. Several renowned writers, hand-picked by our jury, will be joining us at Te Aroha, Dhanachuli, Uttarakhand from November 3-7, 2014. And joining them will be four highly talented contest winners, media personnel, a couple of special invitees, and the curators and, of course, the host. Following are the profiles of all the guests who will be a part of the retreat: Guest Writers (In alphabetical order): Amir Or, born in Tel Aviv in 1956, is the author of eleven volumes of poetry in Hebrew. His latest books are Heart Beast (2010), Prophecy of the Madman (2012) and Loot (Selected poems 1977-2013). His poems, translated into more than forty languages, have appeared in poetry journals, anthologies, as well as in eighteen books in Europe and America. Among them are Poem and Day (Dedalus, 2004, 2006,); The Museum of Time (ArtAark, 2009; Dutch, Azul Press 2012), Miracle/Milagro (Spanish/English, Urpi Editores, U.S. 2011), Loot (Serbian, Arhipelag Press 2012, 2014, Şiirden, Turkish 2014), Le Musée du Temps (Editons de l’Amandier, 2013), Let’s Speak You (English/Romanian/Hebrew, Contemporary Literature Press 2014) and Tredici Poesie (Italian, Milan 2014). Or gave readings and lectured in dozens of festivals and conferences worldwide. He is the recipient of Israeli and international poetry awards, including the Pleiades tribute (SPE 2000) for having made “a significant contribution to modern world poetry”, the Fulbright Award for Writers, the Bernstein Prize, the Levi Eshkol Prime Minister’s Poetry Prize, the Oeneumi literary prize 2010 of the Tetovo Poetry Festival, the Wine Poetry prize 2013 of the Struga Poetry Evenings and the ‘Stefan Mitrov Ljubisa’ Award 2014 of The Budva City Theater. He was also awarded several poetry fellowships, among them fellowships from Iowa University; the Centre of Jewish-Hebrew Studies at the University of Oxford; the Literarische Colloquium, Berlin; the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Ireland; and the Hawthornden Castle, Scotland. He translated into Hebrew eight prose and poetry books, including The Gospel of Thomas; Stories from the Mahabharata; and Limb Loosening Desire, an anthology of erotic Greek poetry. For his translations from ancient Greek he was awarded the Culture Minister Prize. Or has studied Philosophy and Comparative Religion at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he later lectured on Ancient Greek Religion. He has taught poetry and creative writing at Helicon Poetry School, as well as at universities in Israel, Europe, the U.S., and Japan. He has published numerous essays on poetry, classic studies, and comparative religion. In 1990 Or co-founded Helicon Poetry Society and later on served as Helicon’s Chief Editor and Artistic Director. He initiated and developed its various projects, including Helicon’s poetry journal and its series of poetry books; the Sha’ar International Poetry Festival; and the Helicon Hebrew-Arabic Poetry School. Or serves as editor of the Catuv poetry books series. as national editor of the international poetry magazines Atlas and Blesok, and as a national coordinator for the U.N. sponsored UPC venture, “Poets for Peace.” He is a founding member of the EACWP (European Association of Creative Writing Programs) of the international Circle of Poets and of the WPM (World Poetry Movement). ****** With several novels and short stories to his credit, Charu Nivedita has often been termed as the most controversial Tamil writer of this period as he elicits extreme reactions by his admirers and his critics alike. He is known for his racy style of writing and his ability to...

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The Case of the Vanishing Bookshops

It is no longer a secret that with the onset of ebooks and online shopping sites, the bookshops are vanishing at an alarming pace. Sector-18 market in Noida that at one time in not too distant past boasted of at least four charming little BookStores, now is left with only one. Galgotia’s, miraculously, still survives but has been reduced to one dingy basement. Most book stores in North-West Delhi and West Delhi are also suffering the same fate, with huge players like Reliance TimeOut being pushed to shut their shops. Book stores in South Delhi are only slightly better off. Some have closed down whereas others are seeing a highly diminished inflow of customers. The owner of a bookshop in Defence Colony market thanked me so profusely that it made me feel guilty about all the books I have bought online. And what is most unfortunate is that this is happening when reading as a hobby is obviously on an upward trend in India, with 73% of Indian Youth literate and increasingly turning to books for leisure-reading. And youngsters as more attached to books than we ever were. One particular young lady, all of 9, I had met last year started sobbing in her mom’s arms when she was told that her favorite book store has shut down. I, myself, was devastated upon learning that Cafe Turtle and Pages book stores in Noida and Crossword and Reliance TimeOut in Rohini have shut down. This is the kind of love we harbour for our favorite bookstores. And in spite of this, the book stores are shutting down, and we can do nothing but watch. Today I Eulogise my favorite book store Pages in Noida Sector 18: Pages, the book store in Sector-18, Noida, made all my visits to the crowded market worth it. I don’t remember a single visit when I came out without purchasing anything. Unpretentious and simplistic, the layout was just perfect for my taste. The staff was always eager to help and one particular old uncle ji did everything he could to find the book I was looking for or the one he thought I should read. When the store closed down, it left a void in the market and in my life. I wish some day I will wake up to find that this was all a dream and that the store never closed down. If one of your favorite bookstore has closed down recently and you wish to eulogise it, leave the eulogy in a comment on this blog post and we will share it on our Facebook Page for others to read....

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