Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Book release: Anindita Sengupta's City of Water, Friday, 7 May

Toto Funds the Arts
is pleased to invite you
to the launch of Anindita Sengupta’s
first volume of poetry, City of Water, where she will be
in conversation with poet/writer Sridala Swami 

Venue: Crossword Bookstore, ACR Towers, Ground Floor, 32 Residency Road, Bangalore – 1
Date and time: Friday, 7 May 2010 at 6.30 pm

Anindita Sengupta’s poetry has been published in several journals including Eclectica, Nth Position, Yellow Medicine Review, Origami Condom, Pratilipi, Cha: An Asian Journal, Kritya, and Muse India. It has also appeared in the anthologies Mosaic (Unisun, 2008), Not A Muse (Haven Books, 2009), and Poetry with Prakriti (Prakriti Foundation, 2010). In 2008, she received the Toto Funds the Arts Award for Creative Writing, annually given to two writers under thirty in India. In 2010, she was the Charles Wallace writer-in-residence at University of Kent in England. Sengupta, who lives in Bangalore, is also a freelance writer and journalist and has contributed articles to The Guardian (UK), The Hindu, Outlook Traveler and Bangalore Mirror

2. Michael Scharf's review of the Bloodaxe Anthology (ed. Jeet Thayil) in the Boston Review. Vivek says there's a companion piece. When it turns up, I will post the link.


3. Not very related, but have been wanting to slip this in somewhere. In response to Anindita's post here, Swar Thounaojam says:

“How can one not bear witness to terrible things? Isn’t that self-indulgent?”

When you say ‘witness to terrible things’, what is your focus? empathy for victims? authenticity of the terrible things? for me, these are very dangerous territories for artists especially writers. In the age we live in, multiple and various narratives of violence are beamed straight to our screens – we are too familiar with home as well as foreign violence – the brutal obscenities of our age. The weight of authentic representations/recounts/narratives very easily close down responses because it doesn’t lead to thought; it is just an impotent (though earnest) addition to what we already know and see and hear. Yes, empathy has to be there but that is not enough. That familiar ‘terrible things’ have to be made strange so that we can go beyond uncomplicated empathy and make ourselves think actively. For me, it is not about bearing witness to terrible things; it is about imagining terrible things on my own terms. It is not self-indulgent; it is necessary investigation. Like Howard Barker said – ‘I trust my imagination, I don’t value my opinions.’ He was not being glib when he said that. He was expressing a deeply philosophical stance of an uncompromising writer. Our age needs imagination; opinions are a dime a dozen.

4. Looking forward to catching up with a bunch of you in Bangalore! See you (definitely, I hope) on Friday, or else over the weekend.

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