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Poetry festival in Mumbai

Friday, September 28, 2018

The seventh 100 Thousand Poets for Change Mumbai Poetry Festival at Kitab Khana begins on October 4

With the global movement 100 Thousand Poets for Change having entered its eighth year in 2018, Kitab Khana, the popular bookstore in Mumbai, gets set to host its poetry festival for the seventh time.

The three-day event, curated by Menka Shivdasani, takes place on October 4 (5.30 p.m – 7.15 p.m), October 5 (5.30 p.m.– 7.15 p.m) and October 7 (10.30 a.m. onwards).

The 2018 programme will feature Smita Sahay’s ‘Calm Space’ highlighting the neglected theme of mental health, (Thursday, October 4) and Vibha Rani’s AVITOKO Room Theatre presenting songs of women’s empowerment (Friday, October 5). The popular Sunday morning event for children, conducted by Rati Dady Wadia, with Katie Bagli on October 7 (10.30 a.m. onwards), will have children representing various schools and organisations in Mumbai presenting poems they have composed on the theme of ‘Compassion’, written especially for 100 Thousand Poets for Change Mumbai; there will also be music and dance performances. This year, the well-known singer Delna Mody (of The Sound of Music, Threepenny Opera, Rio 2 and Disney's Beauty and The Beast fame) will perform on Sunday.

The global movement, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, was founded in the United States in 2011 by Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion, to highlight issues related to peace and sustainability, with a focus on local concerns. All events form part of Stanford University's permanent archives; the University refers to this as the 'largest poetry reading in history'.

This year, in a collaboration with FSU Libraries, 100TPC has introduced a new initiative—Read A Poem To A Child’—which takes place between September 24 – 29 and will include readings in bookstores, schoolrooms, community centres, public libraries, parks and at private homes. Co-founder Terri Carrion explains, “All you have to do is read a poem to a child in any setting that is convenient, and you can sign up on our website at”

“Kitab Khana is more than a bookstore; it is a place for writers, poets, artists, and different minds to meet and discuss many ideas and different things. We are very happy to participate in this event and become part of a larger global community of ideas and thoughts,” says Jagath T, COO, Kitab Khana.

“Sustainability is one of the key pillars of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change global movement,” says Suneel M Advani, Chairman, Blue Star Limited, which has offered support this year. “Blue Star has always believed in helping to sustain the environment, and we also encourage the arts.”


Thursday, October 4, 2018, 5.30 p.m. – 7.15 p.m.

I Utter Lilac Shrieks…

Calm Space brings together four poets and two musicians to challenge stigma and celebrate neurodiversity, with performances on mental health, mental illness and everything in between. Coordinated by Smita Sahay, the programme features poets Vinita Agrawal, Sanket Mhatre, Arjun Rajendran and Rochelle D’silva, with music by Hasan Baldiwala and Sharanya Rajeevan.

Friday, October 5, 2018, 5.30 – 7.15 p.m.

“Kyonki zid hai...."

(Songs for Women’s Empowerment)

AVITOKO’s musical presentation of  ‘Woman Power’ through folk songs of Mithila by Vibha Rani, folk singer, film and theatre actor, poet and writer. Vibha Rani portrays the collective voice of silences of the women who live through suppression and superstition. Rooted in folk traditions of Bihar, the humorous and satirical songs have been written and composed by her. Vibha Rani presents them in a unique theatrical style where the inherent resistance and emotions in the songs break barriers of language, gender and the complacency of our silences.

Sunday, October 7, 2018 (10.30 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.)

The Quality of Mercy…

Rati Dady Wadia’s path-breaking children’s programme, with noted author Katie Bagli, featuring poetry, music and dance on the theme of compassion by schoolchildren in Mumbai. Participating schools and organisations include J.B. Petit High School  for Girls, The 71st East Bombay Zoroastrian Bharat Guides group, Universal School, Ghatkopar, Mahapragya Public School, The Somaiya School, Queen Mary School, Writer’s  Bug, Fun Ki Pathshala and Young  Writers’ Nook.

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