Published: 19th July 2020
Love poetry? Here's why you must check out The Quarantine Train's online poetry workshops
The Quarantine Train is a community of poets that's got online poetry workshops for enthusiasts. It was kickstarted during the initial days of the lockdown
It all started with a Facebook post on April 5. On one of those lockdown days, Pune-based poet Arjun Rajendran thought about starting an online poetry workshop and wanted to test the waters on social media. Anyone who was interested had to just type 'yes' in the comment box. And the response, as Arjun puts it, was 'overwhelming'.
In the next few days, the online workshop, titled The Quarantine Train (TQT), started its journey over WhatsApp and Zoom. Three months down the line, Arjun and his team are all set to register the group as a company. Someone who has been conducting poetry workshops for quite some time now, Arjun says, "Conducting poetry workshops has been very fulfilling to me. During the nation-wide lockdown, a lot of us were isolated and I spoke to a few poets about starting a poetry community online. It seemed like the right time to do so," he says.
TQT's sessions are not constrained to just recitation of poetry, they also include appreciation and critique of English poetry. Sometimes, the attendees get to write their own poetry too, based on prompts. "Appreciation is important for people to be better writers and readers. Similarly, it is also important to understand different cultures," says Arjun. Currently, there are around 60 people who attend these sessions that are bi-weekly.
Telling us the story behind the name, Arjun says, "Train symbolises journey. Quarantine symbolises stability. So, we thought of joining both the terms and came up with The Quarantine Train." While they started out conducting these workshops free of cost, Arjun now plans to implement a nominal fee. "However, if people are going through a tough time financially, we will take that into consideration," he says.