The Bengaluru Poetry Festival is the city’s only literary event dedicated to poetry. Organized by the not-for-profit Bengaluru Poetry Festival trust, the event has seen 4 back-to-back successful years, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 and has attracted thousands of poetry lovers each year.
The four years of the festival has seen participation from over 250 poets, musicians, lyricists and performers and the programming has included Individual performances, Panel discussions, Workshops and Readings. The festival has brought poets and poetry from across the country, with substantial regional and ethnic flavours to the audiences of Bangalore.
The festival has grown to become a beloved fixture in the literary and cultural calendar of the city, and is now being recongnised across the country.
The Bengaluru Poetry Festival was conceptualized as a celebration of all things poetry. From the classical to the modern, from hymn to haiku, from ballad to ode, poetry is what makes language dance. The rhyme, the rhythm, the words all merge into the perfect pitch, so we think and ache, and remain human.
The festival was conceptualized, when the founders of the festival realized that while poetry as a form of self-expression was gaining immense popularity, and Indian poets, and poetry were increasingly being recognized the world over, there were limited opportunities available for poets within existing literary festival platforms. Thus was born the Bengaluru Poetry Festival in 2016, a platform for poets, and poetry.
An inherent love for poetry brought the core team together – to plan this festival in a spirit of gratitude and joy, as a salute to poets and the magical, magical world of their compositions.
Aparajitha is currently a student of English at the University of Calgary. She enjoys anything related to literature and art and has been a part of the organising committee for the Bengaluru Poetry festival and Kovai Bookalatta. She enjoys combining her love for reading and writing through film, drama and special effects makeup.
Shinie Antony has written short story collections The Orphanage for Words, Barefoot and Pregnant and novels When Mira Went Forth and Multiplied and A Kingdom for His Love. She has compiled the anthology Why We Don’t Talk and the humour anthology Jest Like That.
Co-founder of the Bangalore Literature Festival, she won the Commonwealth Short Story Asia region prize in 2003 for her story A Dog’s Death. Her latest novel is The Girl Who Couldn’t Love.
Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury is a poet and writer with several books to her credit including - Hungryalists (non fiction), Where Even the Present is Ancient: Benaras (poetry) and Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen: Bengali Cinema’s First Couple (nonfiction), the latter shortlisted for the Crossword Award, nonfiction category in 2013.
She is also the fiction and poetry editor of The Bengaluru Review, a literary magazine from Bengaluru.
Armed with a Master's degree in Sociology from the Bombay University, Amruta Dongray worked in the tourism industry for eight years. She continues to work full-time as a mother to two human and three canine children.
She considers herself as an "accidental poet". She started writing poetry in 2010. Her first book PASTPRESENT saw its release in 2013. Her second collection of poetry Three Halves was released in 2018.
Her poems are her take on the dynamics in society and are generally very short. She now also enjoys writing longer poems which read like stories. She co-hosts an evening of poetry every month at Atta Galatta.
Prashant Sankaran stepped off the hectic corporate treadmill after 25 years on it to mentor small entrepreneurs and serve on the advisory boards of a few not-for-profit and for-profit organisations. He also dabbles in photography, performing arts and filmmaking.
His book Home, a fusion between poetry and a graphic novel was released earlier this year and his children’s book Tutu Plays Hide and Seek will be released this year. He blogs at: Shoonyata.
Sourav is a journalist, poet, and translator. He is the founding editor of Bengaluru Review magazine, and has conducted creative writing workshops for both children and adults in schools, colleges, and independent venues.
He is a visiting faculty at Azim Premji University and NIFT Bengaluru, where he teaches poetry and creative writing. He is also a core member of 'Anjuman', a literary club that promotes Hindi-Urdu literature in Bengaluru.
His published books include Yayavar (Collection of poems), Karnakavita (Editor: Anthology of Hindi-Urdu poetry from Bengaluru), Teen Natak : Abhishek Majumdar (Editor), and Soho Mein Marx (Translator: Three Plays by Howard Zinn). His fourth collection of poems and a book on Japanese Haiku are currently under publication.
Performance storyteller and theatre practitioner Vikram Sridhar believes in storytelling as a strong medium for conservation, which is highly relevant in the modern context. He combines his work and interest in theatre and conservation in his storytelling. He is the co-founder of Tahatto, a Bangalore-based theatre entity.
Around The Story Tree is his initiative to connect the modern-day listener to the environment around through the power of stories through arts.
Shikha Malaviya (www.shikhamalaviya.com) is an Indo-American poet & writer. Her book, Geography of Tongues, was published in December 2013 and featured in several literary festivals.Shikha is a co-founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, a literary press dedicated to new poetic voices from India. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and featured in Prairie Schooner, Chicago Quarterly Review, TAB-The Journal of Poetry & Poetics, Drunken Boat & other fine journals.Shikha was a featured TEDx speaker in GolfLinks, Bangalore, in 2013, where she gave a talk on poetry. She has been a two-time mentor for AWP's Writer to Writer Mentorship Program & was selected as Poet Laureate of San Ramon, CA, 2016. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area, but calls Bengaluru home.
Subodh and Lakshmi are co-founders of Atta Galatta, a Bengaluru-based bookstore with a focus on Indian, vernacular writing and is a venue for literary, art and cultural events.Since its inception 7 years ago, the bookstore has hosted over 2000 events, including book launches, poetry readings, theatre performances, art shows, screenings, storytelling sessions and workshops. The Atta Galatta Bangalore Literature Festive Book Prize in four categories – Fiction English, Non-Fiction English and Literary Achievement in Kannada. The annual prize carries a cash component of Rs. 2 lakhs and a specially commissioned trophy.Atta Galatta has ventured into publishing, has published four books of poetry, and an anthology of humour stories.