നടക്കൂ , നടക്കൂ | Walk  

K Satchidanandan:
A reading in Malayalam.

Why I Write 

Venus Jones
Spoken word poet and actress Venus Jones performs powerful poems that bridge history and the present, honouring heroes and sheroes while celebrating her African-American identity.

Renga through a Lockdown 

Karthika Nair and Marilyn Hacker
Shortly after France declared a full lockdown in March 2020, Marilyn Hacker invited Karthika Naïr to join her in creating a renga, literally “linked poem”, the ancient Japanese form of collaborative poetry.

लहू की सुनवाई | Blood's hearing  

Hussain Haidry
कवि, गीतकार और पटकथा लेखक हुसैन हैदरी अपनी कविताओं के ज़रिये नागरिकता संशोधन कानून और दिल्ली के दंगों के खिलाफ अपना प्रतिरोध दर्ज़ करते हुए। यहाँ वे अपनी दो कविताएँ पढ़ रहे हैं, 'दोगले' और 'लोहे के स्वाद'।

Choice Words: Writers on Abortion 

Annie Finch, Manisha Sharma, Pratibha Kelapure, Soniah Kamal and Shikha Malaviya
The twenty-year journey of putting together Choice Words, Writers on Abortion, a landmark anthology of poems, stories and essays (including Indian and Pakistani perspectives), along with the inspiration/process behind their pieces.

The News   

Arundhathi Subramaniam


The News

Arundhathi Subramaniam

Learn something new every day,
say the wise ones

and so we try.

The news today
is that there’s no one
at the Champs Élysées,

no one
at the Gateway of India,
no one at all
in the spice market of Istanbul,
the souk at Aleppo,

that the great theatres
and pulsating green rooms
of the world
lie plunged in darkness,

that pigeons hover
like suspended confetti
above the piazza of San Marco,

that no one’s ordering
double macchiatos
in East Village cafés,

that a woman walking back
to her village from Telangana
died of starvation
in a Chhattisgarh forest.

Her news
(and it isn’t particularly new)

is that we’re always eleven miles
away from home.

(first published in The Indian Express, May 2020)

Playtime: Writing as Rearrangement - A Craft Talk 

Gregory Kan
A craft talk from the New Zealand-based poet Gregory Kan.

Writing as Righting- Poems by Varavara Rao 

Curated by Prathibha Nandakumar
A reading of poet Varavara Rao’s work in English, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi by Ajay Raj, Aravind Kuplikar, Kavitha Lankesh, Radhika Narayan, Sanchari Vijay, Sandhya Rani, Sandhya Reddy, Sudhanva Deshpande and Tina Shashikanth.

What Poetry Means to Me 

Meera Dasgupta
National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States, Meera Dasgupta, shares her poems and journey into poetry, her artivism (art +activism), illustrating how poetry is such a powerful platform for addressing social and environmental issues.

The Poet as a Tangle of Selves 

Rajiv Mohabir with Shikha Malaviya
Guyanese American poet and translator Rajiv Mohabir reveals how a painful history of indentured servitude and multiple migrations informs his work, encompassing several countries, languages, religions, castes and sexuality.

Three Poems    

Kanishka Gupta


Positive affirmations in the times of COVID-19

Kanishka Gupta

I am
not-COVID-19-positive-yet not-fucked-yet not-bankrupt-yet not-suicidal-yet

I am
grateful to God for protecting my unsafe unhealthy unhappy poor universe by causing
5,41,085 deaths in just over six months in 213 countries and territories (and two
international conveyances)1 due to the coronavirus pandemic thereby making my universe
safe healthy happy and prosperous

1Data from as of 7 July 2020, 07:50 GMT

Hope-greetings in the times of Covid-19

Hope you’re staying safe
Hope you’re keeping sane
Hope you’re self-isolating
Hope you’re social-distancing
Hope you’re sanitising-and-disinfecting
Hope you’re surgical-face-mask adorning
Hope you’re not-planning-to-fall-sick-from-anything-but-COVID-19
Hope you’re reverse sneezing-and-coughing
Hope   you’re   namasteing   hand-waving   head-furiously-nodding-and-tossing    eyebrow-
   abruptly-raising body-jerkily-retreating
Hope you’re hoarding stocking stuffing piling overflowing
Hope you’re donating-to-those-who-cannot-afford-to-do-so
(Why not donate here:;
Hope you’re waiting-it-out-from-home productively
Hope you’re waiting-it-out-from-home productively with your loved ones
Hope you’re following your what-will-I-achieve-by-following-my-daily-to-do lists
Hope   you’re   Zooming   Skyping   video-calling   phone-calling   and   not   just   e-mailing
    WhatsApping Messengering SMSing
Hope you’re washing cleaning cooking baking feeding soiling planting watering tending
    hands-feet-face-hair-neck-back messying
Hope you’re home-fitnessing
(You’ll find some no-equipment exercises here:
Hope you’re impulsively-to-the-left-and-then-to-your-centre swiping
Hope you’re binge-bilge-watching
Hope you’re comfort-and-finding-pleasure-in-comfort reading
Hope you’re alternate-world building
Hope you’re augmented-and-virtual-reality embracing
Hope you’re Mars-gazing
Hope you’re difference-between-numbness-and-indifference comprehending
Hope you’re numbers-estimates-targets-toll un-notching
Hope you’re purposefully delaying
Hope you’re soul-searching
Hope you’re life-before-COVID-19 regressing
Hope you’re un-cluttering
Hope you’re re-and-de-prioritizing
Hope you’re un-force-and-retro-fitting
Hope you’re un-rationalizing
Hope you’re un-intellectualizing
Hope you’re un-ideologizing
Hope you’re un-mythologizing
Hope you’re universalizing
Hope you’re self-realizing
Hope you’re I-me-myself-exterminating
Hope you’re sights-visible-not-just-to-your-mind’s-eye seeing
Hope you’re sounds-outside-your-head hearing
Hope you’re role-as-the-ultimate-seeker-and-nature’s-as-the-ultimate-giver reversing
Hope you’re hoping yourself to sleep every night
Hope   your   hoping   is   essential   medicinal   life-sustaining   genderless   ageless   casteless
    colourless borderless human a-nocturnal-winged-mammal an-exotic-anteater an-extra-
    terrestrial-restorer-of-world-order called COVID-19
Hope hoping is your temporary ikigai
Hope ‘hope’ is your feeling of the year 2020
Hope you’re dreaming of never having to stop hoping
Hope you’re not hoping against hope

The Chinese zodiac signs prone to COVID-19 in the year of the rat pangolin and the bat2


2The Chinese zodiac is a repeating cycle of twelve years where each year is symbolized by an animal and its
special character and attributes. The animals that comprise the Chinese zodiac are: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit,
dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

ಲಲಿತ ಸಿದ್ಧಬಸವಯ್ಯ ಕವನಗಳು 

Lalitha Siddabasavayya
A reading in Kannada

Gib Mer Din 

Jurczok 1001
In his performance, 'Spoken Beats', the artist explores the intersection between literature and music.

If I Could Write This in Fire 

Asiya Zahoor and Maaz Bin Bilal with Sourav Roy
Two young firebrands talk about their work, inspiration and their poetry.

Quarantined Sonnets: Sex, Money and Shakespeare 

Tabish Khair
A reading.

What He Found in Solitary 

Amit Majmudar with Shikha Malaviya
Indo-American poet and novelist Amit Majmudar discusses his journey into poetry and his latest collection.

Looking for God 

Avner Pariat
A reading in Khasi.

Poetry as Refuge, Ritual & Representation 

Kirun Kapur, Raena Shirali and Subhashini Kaligotla with Shikha Malaviya
What does it mean to be a poet of the South Asian diaspora, to represent and be part of more than one culture?

ಜಯಂತ ಕಾಯ್ಕಿಣಿ ಕವನಗಳು 

Jayant Kaikini
A reading in Kannada.

Rhythm and Rhyme: Learning through Play Time 

Jeeva Raghunath
A journey of rhymes, stories and singing exclusively for our youngest poetry lovers!

The Game   

Rudrakshi Bhattacharjee


Game of Death

Rudrakshi Bhattacharjee

Let's play a game you can never win,
I'll be the master and you my sin
in an enigmatic play of shadows
with fantasies behind every page.

But, of course, there will be danger.
Your body will shriek, your hands will bleed,
your eyes will drip, my venom alight,
your heart will fail, exhausted.

Your soul will scream
and with your last breath
shallow and mournful
I will warn you – that death never came with a warning.

And then, my dear, you will die.

(Rudrakshi Bhattacharjee is the author of This is How it Took Place, a
collection of short stories published by HarperCollins India and winner of
the AutHer Debut Fiction Award 2020).


Mani Rao