National Poetry Festival begins
Friday, 01 February 2008

Staff Correspondent

The two-day 22nd National Poetry Festival begins at Dhaka University. Poet Syed Shamsul Haq will inaugurate the festival on the premises of the DU central library at 10:00am, the organisers told a press conference at the National Press Club in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Some 400 poets from home and abroad will participate in the festival with the slogan ‘the message of poetry, the victory of democracy’, they said.

The council from this year will give the National Poetry Council Shamsur Rahman Award alongside the National Poetry Award, the organisers said.

‘A young poet will be awarded the newly introduced prize every year. The prize money of the award will be Tk 10,000,’ the festival convener, Asad Chowdhury, said.

He said, ‘We are observing that our progress towards democracy is being hampered in the country. Our concern in this regard is symbolised in our poetry.’

Eminent poets will recite their poems at different sessions during the festival, which will also feature seminars and musical soirees.

Professor Niranjan Odhikari and Poet Sazzad Qadir will present two papers respectively on ‘The spirit of time and society in poetry’ and ‘The role of Bangladesh’s poets in democratic progress’ at the festival, being organised by the council every year since 1987.

Recitation of poetry will be followed by musical performances in the evening during the festival. The invited poets from India are Ranjit Das, Tushar Chowdhury, Bimalendra Chakrabarti, Ratul Debbarman, Kajal Chakrabarti, Chandrima Dutta, Binayak Bandopadhaya, Anadi Ranjan Bishwas, Nomita Chowdhury, Abdus Shakur Khan, Swati Chattopadhaya, Mitul Dutta and Manshi Kirtonyia.

The general secretary of the council, Golam Kibria Pinu, and poets Kazi Rosy, Aslam Sani, Rabindra Gop, Mustafa Mazid, Mohan Raihan, Faruq Mahmud, Tariq Sujat, Rifat Ara Shahana, Halim Azad, Ayat Ali Patwari, Shahadat Hossain Nipu, Sayeed Akhand, Faizul Alam Pappu, also attended the news conference.

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