Thursday, May 10, 2007

Literature and performance art in Delhi

Just heard over the transom about what sounds like a cool event:

Earlier this year, the British Council Delhi had organized a Spoken
Word Series featuring performances and workshops by UK and Indian
poets such as Anjum Hasan, Jeet Thayil, Lemn Sissay and Patience
Agbabi. This culminated in an open mic evening at Sarai, where those
of us present felt the necessity for more such spaces, which give an
opportunity to poet performers to explore how performance and poetry
can be brought together, spaces where words can come alive on the
stage through ways and means ranging from music to rhythm to dance and

Introducing "Open Baithak", a space to experiment with words, enjoy
them, delight in them and do risky and innovative things with them. A
space where poet performers coming from different linguistic, literary
and oral traditions can find and learn from each other. A space where
new poets can try out their verses and voices.

The first five sessions of Open Baithak are being sponsored by the
British Council Delhi. Come to participate, or as audience to good
poetry and to daring, dazzling performances.

WHEN: 18 May 2007, 6.30-8.30 pm
WHERE: The Attic, 36 Regal Building, Connaught Place (see

To sign up, email or show up at the Open
Baithak. Email the same if you have questions!


1. You get 7-8 mins on the mike. A bell will signal when your time is up.
2. Bring new material at every Open Baithak. You can perform the same
material twice max, if you wish to try it in a different way.
3. You can bring poems or prose readings in any language.

I'm not one for reading my work, and let's be honest: I haven't written anything I'm proud of in a long, long time. But it's great to see someone's trying to cultivate a more stimulating literary scene than book launches that are more about P3Ps than prose.

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