- With the global movement 100 Thousand Poets for Change having entered its 13th year in 2023, the popular poetry festival at Kitab Khana returns to the bookstore. This is the 12th year Kitab Khana is hosting 100 Thousand Poets for Change Mumbai.
- This year, it will feature a multilingual poetry reading on November 18, 2023, and a lively session of poetry, music, dance and drama by schoolchildren on November 19, 2023.
- The event is curated by Menka Shivdasani and presented by The Source.
With the global movement, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, having entered its 13th year in 2023, Kitab Khana, the popular bookstore in Mumbai, gets set to host its poetry festival for the 12th time, with the generous support of Mrs Amrita Somaiya and her team.
This year, the Mumbai event pays tribute to Michael Rothenberg, who co-founded the movement in 2011 with Terri Carrion. Michael passed away on November 21, 2022, leaving behind a legacy that continues to resound the world over. A path-breaking book, 100 Thousand Poets for Change: 10+ Years of Poetic Activism, A Collective Memory (2011-2023) – a project close to his heart – traces the history of the movement and analyses its impact. In their introduction, the editors Pilar Rodríguez Aranda, Lisa Vihos and Canuto Roldán say: “Against all odds, with no funding or regular fundraising, 100TPC continues to rise waves… Michael will continue to be present as long as we honor and cultivate his vision, and add to the wave.” This book includes an essay by Menka Shivdasani about the festival in Mumbai.
The event in Mumbai, curated by Menka Shivdasani and presented by Source Strategic Communication Pvt Ltd, takes place on Saturday, November 18 (4.30 – 6.30 p.m.) and Sunday, November 19, 2023 (11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.).
“Kitab Khana is a converging point of people, culture, conversation and community, and 100 TPC is an event that celebrates all those things. We are proud to support them for the 12th year running. It’s been an absolute joy to witness brilliant emerging and senior poets. Congratulations to the team, and I look forward to all our collaborations in the future,” says Mrs Amrita Somaiya, Director, Kitab Khana.
The inaugural day, November 18, will feature ‘I Call You to my Riverside’, bringing together a confluence of poets writing in various streams and languages. It will include a tribute to Michael Rothenberg by Menka Shivdasani and a poetry performance by Deepali Parmar. The event will also feature readings by Gayatri Chawla, Shobha Lalchandani and Barkha Khushalani (English/ Sindhi), Vibha Rani (Maithili), Sanket Mhatre (Marathi), Dr Paramita Mukherjee Mullick (Bengali) and Raamesh Gowri Raghavan (English). Filmmaker Susheel Gajwani will present poems in Hindi by the Kolhapur and US-based poet Shashi Gajwani.
The second day will consist of the popular children’s programme, where schoolchildren in the city will present their original poems on the theme, ‘One Planet, One Ocean’. The event will be hosted by Mrs Rati Dady Wadia, former Principal, Queen Mary School. Participating schools include Activity High School, J.B. Petit High School for Girls, The Somaiya School and Queen Mary School. Students of Club Elves, run by Anju Narula, will perform a play, Long Live the Ocean, by well-known children’s author Katie Bagli. There will also be musical performances by Dhwani Pandya and Commodore Sadashiv Vombatkere.
Pervin Saket, award-winning novelist, poet and children’s author, will be Chief Guest on the occasion, and Commodore Vombatkere will be Guest of Honour.
This year, The Source will release The Smiling Face, the Child and Birdsong, the fourth book of poems written by schoolchildren in Mumbai for 100 Thousand Poets for Change. It contains poems composed between 2019 and 2021.
The global movement, which Stanford University referred to as the “largest poetry reading in history”, highlights issues related to peace, justice and sustainability, with a focus on local concerns. In 2018, in collaboration with Florida State University (FSU) Libraries, 100TPC introduced a new initiative—Read A Poem to A Child’, with a compilation consisting of selections from The John MacKay Shaw Childhood in Poetry Collection of Florida State University Libraries Special Collections and Archives.
Menka Shivdasani, who has been organising programmes for 100 Thousand Poets for Change since the inception of the movement, says: “Though Michael Rothenberg is no more with us, his spirit lives on. The issues that he and Terri highlighted through the movement are more important than ever before.
“In the first year, we organised an event at the Mumbai Press Club and a workshop for tribal children in Bandanwadi in Raigad district,” she adds. “Since then, over the last 12 years, Kitab Khana has whole-heartedly supported the event, and their support has been invaluable. Other organisations such as Vibha Rani’s AVITOKO Room Theatre, Laadli, SPARROW, Natural Streets for Performing Arts, Women Empowered (WE), Paperwall Media and Publishing Pvt. Ltd., Cappuccino Readings (now Cappuccino Adda) and Calm Space have also lent their support to previous editions of the festival, and so have individuals such as late Deepankar Khiwani. The movement has helped to build a global community of artistes who share the common language of peace and sustainability.”
For further details and photographs, contact:
100 Thousand Poets for Change, Mumbai