Menka Shivdasani- Mumbai, India 2016

Organizer: Menka Shivdasani




• As the global movement 100 Thousand Poets for Change enters its sixth year, Kitab Khana hosts its annual celebration of poetry for the fifth time on September 22, 23, 24 and 25, 2016.
• The event, curated by Menka Shivdasani and Damini Kane, includes programmes presented by Poetry at Sangam, the US Consulate General, AVITOKO Room Theatre and a special session for children conducted by Rati Dady Wadia. Natural Streets for Performing Arts Foundation also joins in with live music performances.

As the global movement 100 Thousand Poets for Change enters its sixth year, Kitab Khana, the popular bookstore in Mumbai, gets set to host the poetry festival for the fifth time. The four-day event, curated by Menka Shivdasani and Damini Kane, takes place between September 22 and 25, 2016. Joining in the festivities this year will be Poetry at Sangam (September 22), the US Consulate General (September 23) and AVITOKO Room Theatre (September 24). The popular Sunday morning event for children, conducted by Rati Dady Wadia on September 25, will feature poems written by schoolchildren in Mumbai. Artistes from the Natural Streets for Performing Arts Foundation will also be participating, with live music performances.

“It gives me immense pleasure in hosting ‘100 Thousand Poets for Change’ for the fifth consecutive year at Kitab Khana,” says Amrita Somaiya, Director, Kitab Khana. “Generation of awareness about social evils plaguing our society through entertaining mediums is the need of the hour. There needs to be sensitization and also the will amongst the community to eradicate these evils. Initiatives like 100 Thousand Poets for Change result in greater mobilization of people towards the achievement of the common goal of peace. We at Kitab Khana try our utmost to provide an interactive and beautiful literary experience to all so as to encourage socially effective ideas to blossom and take shape.”

“We look grateful for this opportunity to partner with 100 Thousand Poets for Change, which was founded in the United States. Promoting women’s empowerment is an important issue in both the U.S. and India, and I believe that poetry and spoken word will be an ideal medium to explore what can sometimes be a challenging topic,” says Brittney Stewart, Acting Cultural Affairs Officer.

The global movement, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, now in its sixth year, was founded in the United States by Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion, to highlight issues related to peace and sustainability, with a focus on local concerns. “Local issues are still key to this massive global event as communities around the world raise their voices on issues such as homelessness, global warming, education, racism and censorship, through concerts, readings, lectures, workshops, flash mobs, theater performances and other actions,” say Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion. While September 24, 2016, is the next Global Event Day, the movement has now grown to include round-the-year multi-disciplinary activities that feature mime, music, theatre, art and photography, among several other creative pursuits. All events form part of the Stanford University’s permanent archives; the University refers to this as the ‘largest poetry reading in history’.

“I have been associated with this movement since it began in 2011 and am delighted to find that support has been growing over the years,” says Menka Shivdasani, curator of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change festival in Mumbai. “In the first year, we organised an event at the Mumbai Press Club and a workshop for tribal children in Bandanwadi in Raigad district. Over the last five years, Kitab Khana, the popular bookstore in South Mumbai has whole-heartedly supported the event. Various other organisations have also lent their support to previous editions of the festival and this year, we are happy to welcome Poetry at Sangam and the US Consulate General. The movement has also helped to build a global community of artistes who share the common language of peace and sustainability, and many of us met for the first time at a world conference in Salerno, Italy, last year.”

In 2015, through an initiative spearheaded by Rati Dady Wadia, 100 Thousand Poets for Change Mumbai published The Music of the Spheres, a collection of poems written by school children for previous festivals in the city. A contribution was also made to Nana Patekar’s Naam Foundation for drought-hit farmers, with generous support from those who attended the events.

Mumbaikars who wish to send in their poems on themes of peace and sustainability for possible inclusion on the global site may send in their work to

For further details, contact:

Menka Shivdasani, Rukhsar Lokhandwala,
Curator, Event and Communication Officer,
100 Thousand Poets for Change, Mumbai Kitab Khana
Email: Tel: 022 – 61702276/ 77/78/ 79
Mob: 9820101507

Damini Kane
Mob: +91 9004640002

The 100 Thousand Poets for Change Mumbai poetry festival at Kitab Khana
September 22, 23, 24 and 25, 2016


Thursday, September 22, 2016 (5.30 – 7.30 p.m): The inaugural programme, ‘Writing in Troubled Times: A Poetry at Sangam event’, coordinated by Priya Sarukkai Chabria, showcases Indian and international poetry in English, with translations from Marathi, French, Urdu, Japanese and Bangla from the pages of Poetry at Sangam. Featured poets and readers include Arun Babani, Hemant Divate, Menka Shivdasani, Mustansir Dalvi, Nivedita Shekar, Priya Sarukkai Chabria, Sampurna Chattarji, Vibha Kamat reading their poems and Roselyne Sibille, Iqbal, Joy Goswami, Shizuko Suzuki, Rainer Maria Rilke, Adil Jussawalla and more. Arun Babani will read some of Mohan Gehani’s poems in Sindhi and English. Visit for more on Poetry at Sangam.

Friday, September 23, 2016: (5.30 – 7.30 p.m.): The second day of the four-day festival features a program on the theme of women’s empowerment, coordinated by the U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai. ‘Readings on Women Empowerment’. Participants include Arundhathi Subramaniam, Harnidh Kaur, Maya Sharma Sriram, and Ramya Pandyan. There will also be a special segment featuring readings from Veils, Halos and Shackles, a significant anthology of poetry edited by senior American poet Charles Adès Fishman and Smita Sahay, a Mumbai-based writer.

Saturday, September 24, 2016 (5.30 – 7.30 p.m): Vibha Rani of the AVITOKO Room Theatre (ART), a film/ theatre actor, folk presenter, poet and corporate trainer, presents ‘Popcorn Breasts in a Popcorn World’, a bouquet of various shades of life through poetry. The programme includes ‘Popcorn Breasts’, a theatrical-musical presentation of select poems from the poetry collection CAN, under the series of Celebrating Cancer by music designer and folk singer Megha Sriram, film-theatre actor Gaurav Singh, Ravi Bhushan- film-theatre actor and Vibha Rani. The multi-hued event also includes presentations on gender sensitisation by Nirmal Kant Chaudhary and Vibha Rani; the screening of Shiva, a short film by National Award winner Ashok Patel; readings by Yunus Khan, Mamta Singh, Imroz Alam, Chitra Desai and Master Jadoo. Vibha Rani will present Shadi mein Gaali Geeton ki Ravayat – Teasing songs of Mithila. ART, a wing of AVITOKO – A Better World Tomorrow, is a socio-cultural organisation to bring forward talents of all ages and arenas and to present various forms of literature through theatre at a nominal cost.

Sunday, September 25, 2016 (10 a.m to 1 p.m.): ‘Beauty is a Step of the Divine’, a special programme conducted by Rati Dady Wadia, former Principal of Queen Mary School and a well-known educationist. With a focus on the five fine arts—music, art, poetry, sculpture and architecture—the session features poems by children of J.B Petit School, Cathedral School and Writer’s Bug. Plus, music and dance performances, a display of artwork by children and a skit, The Masterpiece, written and directed by well-known children’s author Katie Bagli.

press release final august 30




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