Published: 22nd December 2018
The Cuttack Poetry Society is all about giving every situation a unique poetic twist!
Their aim is to organise a spoken word poetry fest and call all the biggies of the field from across the country
Christmas cheer will come early for Cuttack Poetry Society as they will celebrate this very merry festival coming Sunday, at their weekly meetings at the Bakul Library in Cuttack. A cheerful Christmas tree will be a part of their celebrations and there will also be a yummy cake to devour, curtsey one of the members of the society who is a home baker. This society, which aims to make poetry great again, have given the game Secret Santa a different spin too. This popular Xmas game where gifts are given, but anonymously was carried out, but instead of gifts, they will write and exchange poetry. How delightful! And this, in short, is what Cuttack Poetry Society is all about, taking up situations and giving them a poetic twist.
Say cheese: Participants at one of the sessions fo Cuttack Poetry Society | (Pic: Arya Senapati)
Annwesha Das and Arya Senapati started this society one and a half years ago and have been growing from strength to strength since then. From 19 participants, they have now graduated to 50 participants and what they all essentially do every Sunday is meet, write, share and repeat. And not just merely jotting down anything, they write poetry, even spoken word. If the participant is hesitant, no big deal! They can share a poem of their favourite poet, no pressures. Poems can be about anything, day to day struggle or something completely different. The sky's the limit. "We were apprehensive of the fact that poetry is a dying art and not many people write poetry anymore," shares Arya. In fact, this was the criticism they received when they started the society as well. But thank God they paid no heed to any of it and went ahead to start the society anyway.
The society has conducted around 30 sessions till date and plan on keeping the tradition going
Once the poem is read out at the session, others can also offer feedback and suggestions and in this way, the society grows and ensures that its participants do too. What really warms the cockles of our heart is the fact that the duo are really doing their best to enable everyone to find the poet within them. Not only are their sessions well attended by youngsters, but also elders, who truly young at heart. Basically, a diverse range of people attend these sessions including people who write Odia poetry, authors, those who dabble in different kind of poetries and newbies. "Though there is no formal mentorship, we do guide those who don't quite know how to start," says Arya who is pursuing law from KIIT School of Law while Annwesha is pursuing her English Honours from Ravenshaw University.
Best team: Founders of Cuttack Poetry Society, Arya Senapati and Annwesha Das | (Pic: Arya Senapati)
We are told that they even conduct separate sessions for children from slum children, a few of whom even attend their sessions regularly. But what really assures the duo that they are treading the right part is when they see a change in people. "Introverts begin sharing and in a way, it helps everyone deal with their issues. We have people crying, laughing and growing emotional at our sessions. It really is a safe place for them to come and emote," says Arya, who informs us that because both he and Annwesha have dealt with mental health problems they know about the importance of creating such safe places.
Rules that the society follows -
- Snap your fingers if you want to appreciate someone's work
- Before sharing your poem, talk about what inspired you to pen it
- Don't criticise anyone's work unnecessarily, only constructive criticism is encouraged
- To become a member of the society, DM them on Instagram
For more on them, click on instagram.com/cuttack.poetry.society