Poetry, according to Dr. Sigma Sathish is a medium that encompasses many meanings to its metaphorical lyrics, and in turn, offers the reader and listener an opportunity to broaden their imagination. The process, she adds, lets our mind wander in our thoughts and reach a conclusion. This was the thought that triggered poet Dr Sigma, assistant professor at NSS College for Women, Thiruvananthapuram, to organise regular park poetry sessions, which has now resulted in the compilation of a book —9 Contemporary Poets of Kerala. The book includes the works Dr Aryan Gopi, Dr Babitha Marina Justin, Sree Prasad R, Meera Nair, Dr Santhosh Alex, Chandramohan Satyanathan, Gopakumar Radhakrishnan and herself other than two international names, Roderick Craig Low and Daya Dissanayake who also penned the foreword and book cover blurb respectively.
Sigma feels that poetry would get a wider reach only if the creators are brought to the forefront. She says, “It was in 2017 the idea of park poetry reading was introduced in Kerala. Until then, such sessions existed only in metros like Bengaluru. The response was unbelievable. Its second edition, in 2018 too was a success. The sessions included poem recitals and discussions on various topics.
These sessions had huge impact on the listeners and therefore I thought of compiling the works of nine 'relatively new' poets whose works are very promising as well. The book is also an insight to various topics these poets choose to write about. I had no criteria to select the nine poets, four men and five women including myself. It was just a random selection among talents,” says Sigma, who adds that blurb and foreword are the key selling points of the book.
According to Rodrerick, the book is a fine collection of poems and that it excites him to see the presence of female poets in tackling a range of subjects and their male contemporaries who, metaphorically stand with them, and speak together in a poetical chorus reflecting a dynamic and modern creative future for Kerala. Daya Dissanayake, a Srilankan poet, writes that the nine poets have opened the doors for everyone around the world to feel and experience the culture of Kerala through their poetry by cutting across the barriers of language and creating a literary bridge.
Dr. Sigma concludes by saying that it is her tiny effort to provide a space for English poets in Kerala which has a wide scope for literature. With more people interested in reading and listening to poetry, platforms like these are necessary. The book was launched a couple of weeks ago by Dr. T P Sreenivasan, former Ambassador and and P Somarajan IPS....