On 4 October, with the help of the British Council and the Poetry Library, Yogesh Patel, the director-poet of Word Masala Foundation and Skylark Publications, hosted a rare outing of British-Indian poetry to celebrate the four fresh collections of poems published this year.
Yogesh Patel uniquely introduced each poet with his critical analysis of their work and specially written poems on them. Mona Dash read from her collection, A Certain Way, published by Skylark in March.
Rishi Dastidar and Dr Bashabi Fraser received Word Masala Award presented by Chris McCabe, the librarian, and Dr Vijay Anand, the editor of Confluence. Their books, Ticker-tape and The Homing Bird came out in June.
Yogesh Patel launched his long-awaited and critically acclaimed collection, Swimming with Whales, at this event.
After reading from her own work, poet Dr Debjani Chatterjee introduced Yogesh Patel as “This is a man who not only writes his own poetry but has made his mission to promote diaspora poets”.
Yogesh Patel read his poems from the new collection with the haunting whale music and sounds playing in the background.
For the audience, the evening was even more fun because of the raffle organised by Skylark. PN Review is an extraordinary poetry journal no poetry lover sho uld be without,’ Yogesh Patel said. ‘So, I feel lucky that Michael Schmidt, its editor, agreed to donate a one-year subscription to the winner of this raffle.’
Writing to Yogesh, afterwards, Daisy Leitch of the British Council Literature Department summed up the event neatly. “Congratulations on the wonderful event and launch of your new collection. We were very pleased to be associated with such an interesting and successful evening.”
The library has recorded the full event for its archive and can be heard free at https://soundcloud.com/the-poetry-library/this-glorious-noise