Category Archives: Interview

Two questions to the Editor-in-Chief, Stephen L. Wilson

Stephen is extremely busy nowadays. He is editing a charitable anthology to help the survivors of the recent earthquake in Nepal. The anthology is named: Magnitude – The Awakening Of Nepal. Read his answers to grasp the benevolent soul of the chief editor.

Kiriti: Stephen, with Magnitude you would be crossing the borders of your country and aiming to help a cause in a foreign land. How does it feel to reach out to them who are not your native countrymen?

Stephen L Wilson: I am honored and happy to reach out across borders to help. As always, it is a great feeling to be able to work with so many talented people from across the globe, in so many capacities.

Kiriti: I am not being negative towards your hard work and motivation. Magnitude – The Awakening Of Nepal bears more poetry than prose-pieces. Aren’t you afraid of being not-so-successful commercially this time around? Your other works Twist Of Fate and Angels Cried have been appealing even to the general readers of literature. With more poems appearing in Magnitude, aren’t you confining your work to a definite group of readers?

Stephen L Wilson: My intent is never to be commercially successful. From the beginning, the anthologies are a creative outlet for artists and poets who would like to help out with a cause, but who may not be able to otherwise do so. In the process, we stand to raise a bit of money for charity. At no point in the process do I ever pay much attention to commercial success. I feel that if IIA* can offer a quality book at an affordable price, people will buy it rather than make a straight cash donation, so that they may have something tangible to show for their charity.

[IIA stands for Indies In Action, a virtual group of like-minded people, and functions on Facebook.]

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Anthology, Interview, Magnitude, Stephen L. Wilson

Poetess Ananya Chatterjee Speaks Her Mind

A Long Conversation With The Poetess, Ananya Chatterjee from Calcutta, India

 

Summer afternoons are best spent in the coffee shops. You order for a tall glass of iced tea, and you are allowed to enjoy their conditioned ambience for hours. If you haven’t tried this yet, trust me, you won’t go wrong as you follow my suggestion. Again, there is an added advantage! You will be able to cut down your domestic electricity bill if you can enjoy some chill outside your home. Coffee shops are thus my favorite summer destinations during the scorching afternoons. It was on 16th of May (2014) I was curiously observing the election results of our nation as I got a call from one of my old buddies; she is the one who does not quite ring up. I had a pleasant surprise in store: My friend was perhaps shivering in excitement as she told, “Hey Kiriti, I am heading towards the publication of my first poetry title, and you know, I am more than thrilled!” Her vibrations were easily palpable through my ear-drum. I congratulated, wished her all success and invited her over a glass of cold coffee the same day. She probed, “Are you sure?” I laughed out loud, and poked, “Hey! You are most welcome, but get prepared for a ragging session.” “What’s that?” she inquired, and added, “Listen, I am game.” Dear friends, she is one of the promising poetesses from Calcutta, a lady in her early thirties, ace software professional in a multinational company, the translator for eminent artiste Soumitra Chatterjee in his book, “Forms Within.” She is Ananya Chatterjee, a caring mother of two lovely kids.

Ananya was almost thirty minutes late, thanks to the wonderful traffic of our gorgeous city! She was excited, she was giggling, and brought along the complete manuscript of her upcoming book. I chased her, “Now the ball is in my court.” Ananya smiled, flattered her eyelashes (those were for real), and said, “Okay! Carry on.”

 

Kiriti Sengupta: Ananya, what made you think of being a published poet?

Ananya Chatterjee: Well Kiriti, to be very honest, the thought of getting my works published, was a distant dream – not something I consciously set out to achieve. As you know, I have been writing verses since long- but it was only recently that I felt the need to reach out to a wider reader base. My mother, herself a composer of Bengali verses, as well as my sister and my husband, and a few steadfast friends, who are avid readers of poetry, actively encouraged me to make a serious effort in the direction of getting my verses published. The thought initially was huge, as I have always composed purely for the love of it, and it took some time to prepare myself for taking the plunge. I must also mention, that working on translating Soumitra Chatterjee’s verses, and then actually seeing them in print as part of the Coffee Table book Forms Within, gave me the final push. It was only after this, that I seriously started thinking of publishing my own compositions. For this, I shall remain indebted to distinguished curator Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya who provided me the opportunity to work on Soumitra Chatterjee’s verses.

 Kiriti: I have noticed that you prefer being referred to as a poetess. Gender of an artiste is hardly taken under consideration nowadays, but would you like to project your feminist self as you call yourself a poetess?

 Ananya: Yes, I am aware that poetess as a term is rarely used in current times. Yet, I prefer being called one. It is not something that I consciously decided, it is just that poetess sounds much better, and is a term I can more associate myself with. Let’s just say I believe that poetess portrays my identity better than its masculine form does.

 Kiriti: The title of your upcoming book is brilliant: The Poet And His Valentine. Here you have envisioned a male entity; do you think even a poetess has a ‘he’ existence? If this is right, would you like to say that irrespective of physicality all poets are essentially male?

 Ananya: Well, the title happens to be the name of one of the verses belonging to this book. So, to answer your question, let me share with you the thoughts that went into writing this particular verse. In this poem I have drawn a resemblance between the relationship that a poet(or poetess) shares with his/her poetry, and that shared between a lover and his beloved. When a new verse starts formulating in a poet’s mind, the period is one of extreme, emotional upheaval. Being a poet yourself, you must have gone through those agonizing moments of irritability and restlessness when a new poem is about to be composed. Those moments, I feel, bear an uncanny resemblance to the emotional turbulence that unsettles a person, when cupid strikes- when love happens. The emotional balance of a lover goes for a toss, and the mind regains its composure only after he has shared his condition with his beloved. Similarly, a poet’s frustration is cured only after the thoughts that throng his mind, culminate in the form of poetry. Please note that here I have resorted to the generic rule that a lover is a “he” and the beloved being sought, is a “she.” This does not speak of their physical gender- rather of the role they uptake in the preliminary stages of love.

So, I guess, now I have answered your question. Just as all lovers are not essentially male, so is the case with poets.

 Kiriti: What is poetry, Ananya? And why did you choose to write this particular genre in spite of being an avid reader of fiction novels?

 Ananya: For me, poetry is an attitude towards life. A person can be a poet even without writing a single line or word. Poetry is a way of looking at things, a way of interpreting the sights we see and the events we experience- a way that is a bit off-route, a trifle irregular. A person looking at a tree might just think of resting under its shade- a poet on the other hand might imagine its swaying branches to be actually inviting him to nestle under its shadows. A poet’s imagination knows no bounds, and a successful piece of poetry can trigger an almost identical imagination in the minds of its readers. When the poet’s imagination resonates with that of his reader- that is when a verse becomes truly profound, that is when poetry serves its true purpose.

As to why I chose this particular genre- the answer simply is that I never chose. On the contrary, Poetry chose me, and I could not be gladder! One cannot choose to be a poet- one is either a poet or is not- it is not something that can be attained through endeavor- it is something that one is born with, or so I believe.

 Kiriti: If I ask you to name three of your favorite poets your answer would be…

 Ananya: This is so difficult, but I will try. The name of RabindraNath Tagore of course tops the list. Pablo Neruda’s works are also very close to my heart though I have read them only in translated form. Of course I am a huge fan of the haunting verses of Robert Frost, W.B.Yeats and T.S. Eliot – their works fire my fantasies. It is through their creations that I truly fell in love with poetry.

 Kiriti: Much experiment is now being carried out in poetry all across the globe. Your poems essentially vibrate with rhythmic pulses. Aren’t you scared of being marked as dated?

 Ananya: Wow, I would really love to answer this one. I have heard this question so many times.. why do I compose rhyming verse when the whole world is rooting for freeform verse. For one, let me just say, that this is something that comes to me naturally. It is not like I do not enjoy reading free form.. but when it comes to composing something myself- I want, not only the words to reach my readers- I also want the readers to catch the underlying pulse- the inherent rhythm or undercurrent that flows through each of my verses. And I would love to be called dated- as that would mean my being thrown into the same time period as my favorite poets- ha ha.

Then again, I never said I would not compose free verse- but I will never make a conscious effort in that direction. If it comes to me naturally at some point- I would be happy to take the plunge! But be it free verse or rhyming verse- my aim has always been to write effortless poetry. And as long as I am ensuring that, I am content.

 Kiriti: You are headed to join the league of Indian English poets. Tell me something honestly, would your readers consider your work unique? Remember pal, we have enough poets, and unless you have some unique renditions none is going to remember you for your poems.

 Ananya: Kiriti, I must confess I am loving every bit of this conversation J . First of all, if I started writing with the intention of being remembered, I would never be able to write even a single line- the effort would be too conspicuous! And secondly, I believe a poem is not remembered for its uniqueness, rather it is remembered only when it touches a chord with its reader. I would not mind my poem not being termed unique as long as even one reader says he or she wondered how my poem narrated his or her experience/emotions with such amazing precision. It is this resonance that I long to create. And I believe, I have succeeded in this, with quite a few if not most of my verses. The rest, I leave in the hands of destiny J.

 Kiriti: Who are your target readers? Poetry is not enjoyed by many; some poets claim that poetry is read only by the poets. What is your take on this issue?

 Ananya: At the risk of sounding clichéd, my answer is that my target reader is the common man – the kind of person we encounter in everyday life- the kind of person who worries for his family- who toils for his livelihood, dreams of his first love, grieves for his deceased parents, but is too scared to react when his neighbor is looted. My target reader is also the so called criminal who dreams of redemption, the ailing patient who wants to make her caregivers happy. The truth is that I have no specific target. My poems are for one and all.

I believe, there is a dormant seed of imagination in most of us. And a poem has the power to arouse that dormant facet. There is a saying “It is so difficult to be simple” And I believe many verses today suffer from the same ailment- we are trading simplicity for uniqueness. I have tried to keep my works simple enough and am confident that one and all will enjoy reading them and relating to them.

 Kiriti: We don’t have enough publishers in Calcutta who publish English poems. What is the equation with your publisher?

 Ananya: I feel really lucky to have Shambhabi – The Third Eye Imprint as my publisher. I agree – English poetry does not have that many publishers in Kolkata, and I am really happy that things have worked out so well for me. I love the energy and professionalism of my publisher and am really glad we chose each other!

 Kiriti: What is your take on self-publicity? Should a poet engage him/herself in marketing books?

 Ananya: This is my opinion- when a poet decides to publish his work in the form of a book, from that point onwards he or she should actively share the responsibility of ensuring that the book reaches a wider reader base. If a poet is indifferent to the entire process of publishing and marketing, then the book’s future will definitely get affected. In that case, the entire purpose behind publishing one’s work is lost, isn’t it?

 Kiriti: I understand that you are extremely excited with your first poetry title although you have been the translator of the eminent artiste Soumitra Chatterjee in his book “Forms Within.” I would like to hear your experiences as you have worked with him.

 Ananya: As you must already be aware, being a translator of verses yourself, translating poetry is a huge challenge, as one needs to not only translate the words, but also ensure that the lyrical factor is not lost. So, when I was offered to work on translating a few verses of Soumitra Chatterjee as part of Forms Within, I was nervous as well as excited, especially because his verses are so profound, and haunting. While translating, I made it a point to ensure that the translated verses carried the same lyrical quotient that the original verses did. I was naturally thrilled, when Mr. Chatterjee appreciated my work, and lauded my efforts. When the book came out, and I saw my name in print, as the translator, it was a huge feeling- this served as a trigger and further cemented my resolve to publish my own works.

 Kiriti: Please share your experiences as you are currently engaged in translating the verses of the celebrated painter Jogen Chowdhury.

 Ananya: After seeing my work in Forms Within, I was offered to translate the entire collection of Jogen Chowdhury’s verses. The poems are extremely thought provoking and have a unique element in them. Translating his verses has been a huge learning experience. It has been an arduous as well as challenging task- but I am enjoying every bit of it. This work has enriched my creative abilities to a large extent. I am greatly indebted to eminent curator Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya for providing me with this opportunity, as well as the opportunity to work on Soumitra Chatterjee’s verses.

 Kiriti: I wish you all the best, Ananya. May you receive huge response from your readers, and I sincerely hope that The Poet And His Valentine will be read, accepted, and recommended all across the world.

 Ananya: Thank you so much for your encouraging words and heartfelt wishes! I need all the luck I can get!

 Image

1 Comment

Filed under Interview, Poet, Poetry, Writer

The Reciting Pens reviewed by noted academician Subhoday Dasgupta

 

Book Review

 

The Reciting Pens

 

Author: Kiriti Sengupta

Publisher: Inner Child Press Limited (USA)

ISBN: 978-0615861869

Price Rs. 270/- (INR)

 

Reviewed by: Subhoday Dasgupta [A.P.C. College, Calcutta University]

 

 

The book is based on interviews of three poets, taken by the author Kiriti Sengupta who claims in his preface that he has kept the sentences mostly as they were uttered by the poets themselves.

This work is in fact a journey through the ‘inward eyes’ of three poets with three different frames of mind. Kiriti Sengupta found it a difficult task to accommodate different time frames of these three poets. But then the job was challenging and enriching too. “Reciting Pens” is not just a collection of interviews. The book is in fact a project on poetry as a genre with three case studies. Kiriti has also painstakingly translated few poems of all three poets in this project. He has realized that each language has some unique features in language, culture and nuances which is extremely difficult to be translated to any after language. In the introduction of the book the author expresses his concern for the acute dearth of efficient translators in Bengali poetry. This according to Kiriti, is one of the reasons why most of the English-Speaking readers are not aware of the rich heritage of Bengali poetry.

W.F.Lantry, noted American poet from the United States laments in the foreword of this book “…we don’t know enough about contemporary Bengali poets, and we should. Yes, we all love Tagore, and may be we have read a little of Kazi Nazrul Islam, if we’ve been lucky, we have sampled Shanka Ghosh.”

The first contributor to Kiriti’s project Joya Mitra an accomplished Bengali author and also a social and political activist. However, Joya Mitra herself would rather call herself “…merely a student of this society”. Actively engaged in the Naxalite movement that broke out in West Bengal in 1970’s and consequently imprisoned for four and one half years Joya started writing poems quite early in her life. She finds no contradiction in a person being a poet and a revolutionary at the same time.

Kiriti’s next poet in the project Ranadeb Dasupta too is a believer of Marxist ideology. In Ranadeb’s opinion writing poems is an exercise which is nothing but catching and penning down the “waves and rays of running life and surroundings” that continuously enters the mind of the poet and get refracted with various colours. Though a communist by conviction Ranadeb thinks that a poet is essentially lonely. The poetic soul should withstand the pain of injuries sustained in the journey of life. This pain in the long run attains wisdom.

Suddhasattya Ghsoh is the last but not the least among the three poets included in this case study by Kiriti. Suddhasattya, also like two other poets, has strong association with leftist politics. He hails from a family which suffered a lot for having fought for the cause of the have not’s. No wonder in his early poetic career he was influenced by Bengali poet Sukanta Bhattacharya who is noted for his poems on social reality especially on the perspective of the exploited people. Later however, Jibananda had been a major influence on Suddhasattya. This influence was so immense that at one point of time he realized that he must evolve his own style and content free from the influence of other poets. He gradually developed a style of his own with his mastery of words.

Going through the pages of this book where three noted Bengali poets are speaking their minds is definitely a pleasant experience. Kiriti in this project has blazed a new trend in research on contemporary Bengali poetry. An added attraction is translations of few selected poems of all three poets.

 

Subhoday Dasgupta

subhodaydasgupta@gmail.com

2 Comments

Filed under Anthology, Interview, Poet, Reviews, Writer

Critical Review: The Reciting Pens, by Don Martin (U.S.A.)

Title: The Reciting Pens
Author: Kiriti Sengupta
Reviewer: Don Martin
Editors: Stephen L. Wilson & Kate Lantry
Foreword By: W.F. Lantry
Cover: Partha Pratim Das
Illustrations: Pritam Ghosh
Publisher: Inner Child Press (US)
Price: 270 INR (Approximately $4.35 US Dollars)
ISBN: 978-0615861869

One of the nice things about being an editor and reviewer is I sometimes get to read some books I never would have chosen myself. The Reciting Pens, by Dr. Kiriti Sengupta, is one example of that. Pens is just not a book I would have chosen myself off the shelf of my local bookstore. But I am very happy I read it!

I should probably say up-front that Dr. Sengupta is himself a poet of some note. He recently published his first English-language non-fiction, The Unheard I. That book, like this one, discusses among other things challenges in translation, especially with respect to poetry. His poems have also appeared in Twist Of Fate, a charitable work. He also has a number of non-English books out there. Dr. Sengupta knows his subject, and he knows what he is talking about!

Pens is an exploration of Bengali poetry. In his Introduction to the book Kiriti says his goal is to expose English-speaking readers to this unique art form. He further says that Bengali poetry is an under-represented genre in modern literature, and he is probably right about that. The book explores, among other things, the reasons for that, in a quite understandable manner. He presents three notable Bengali poets, all of them contemporary: Joya Mitra, Ranadeb Dasgupta, and Suddhasatya Ghosh. Not only does Dr. Sengupta present their poems for our consideration, he also gives us quite a bit of background on the poets. Going even further, Kiriti also interviews the poets, which gives us some context on their work. But more about that later.

Mitra is a poet who says she writes from her “quietude.” She explores those silent nooks and crannies we all have in our minds, but we just don’t talk about much. Her poetry is eerily haunting, and she writes with a lot of deep meaning. Dasgupta could be considered a dark and brooding poet. An avowed communist, he writes about the ordinary travails and struggles of life, without being overly political. Kiriti finally describes Ghosh as a “lavish” poet. His poems are rich in descriptions of scenery and events, as well as emotions. One thing I like about Pens is the poets are all so different, and each offers a different glimpse into their work, and into poetry as a whole.

Poets are funny, because they don’t always say what they literally mean. So you don’t always know. They use literary tools such as the metaphor to put their meanings across. Pens allows the reader to go beneath the surface meaning of the poems, and see what they really mean. This is where the background and interviews in Pens comes in handy. Having the poet explain their work, in their own words, adds a lot of context, and allows the reader to more correctly interpret their poems. I appreciated that aspect to a book of poetry, which I rarely see.

As with any translated work there are always two risks. The first is the translator must be faithful to the original work. Closely related to this is that the translator must be very careful with his word choices. Dr. Sengupta, as the translator, does a masterful job here. In his Introduction he says right up front he is not going to change much. That’s a refreshing change, because I see too many translators who essentially become co-authors. They change so much they are basically rewriting the entire thing. Pens is pretty much the words the poet actually used, without any modification or editing. This allows the reader to gain the true insight into the poet’s intent. The translations in Pens are very good, and they are faithful to the poet’s original intent.

The other thing related to translation are the word choices. There are just some words which don’t translate into English very well. This is especially true with a language like Bengali, which is very descriptive (you might even call it “flowery”). Bengali words sometimes have two, three, or even more meanings, all of which are correct. How does the translator know what the poet really meant, what his real intent was? For example, the translation of the Bengali word for “friend” can have any number of meanings, so the translator has to be very careful which English word he picks. Kiriti does a fine job of presenting the translated poetry which is true to the poet’s original meanings.

A big bonus to the book are the interviews. Most poets don’t like to talk about themselves or their poetry much. Dr. Sengupta has a knack for getting them to discuss it. His interview with Dasgupta was a little testy, as I read it. But Kiriti persisted, and probably got Mr. Dasgupta to reveal more about his work than he ever has before.

This is one of the most interesting things about the book. Kiriti delves deep into the poets. Why do they write what they do? How do their life experiences color their work, and what motivations might they have? For a non-Indian, such as myself, that allows me to read their work and get something meaningful out of it. The three poets profiled could be said to be complex, drawing their inspiration from their spirituality, their political activism, or even just from the beauty of nature or the flow of society. After reading Pens I really felt I knew these poets, on more than in just a, “Yeah, I’ve heard of them” basis. And that, as I see it, is one of the big advantages of the book. Plus, if you enjoy Gothe, Shelley, and Tagore there is plenty there for you to think about.

All-in-all The Reciting Pens is a must read for any serious student of poetry, and especially any student of poetic translation. I really admire Dr. Sengupta’s ability to put it all together – the background, the interviews, and the poems themselves, in such a way that the reader gains deep insights into the poets and their work. It’s a rare talent, and you can’t go wrong with this book!

Highly Recommended/ 4.5 of 5 Stars

– As Done 10/8/2013 – ( Source: https://www.facebook.com/don.martin.969?hc_location=timeline )

###

Leave a comment

Filed under Indian Heritage, Interview, Nonfiction, Poet, Poetry, Writer

My Editors and I

God has made me an author. It was merely incidental, and I turned out to be an author of a few books. Two of my titles were in Bengali, my native language, and the rest two were in English, an international language commonly used by the people all across the globe. You may have a different take on my observation and an inference, for every single individual is entitled to his/her own version of thought! I am actually a writer, and I will prefer to be referred to only as a writer. One who writes is a writer, and if I adhere to this definition, a poet, a novelist, an essayist, and even a journalist is a writer. The term ‘writer’ includes a wide range of professionals, and an editor, I think, perfectly fits in this broad category of literary workers. In all of my English titles I had the opportunity to work with certain extremely talented editors, who are truly professionals with adequate knowledge of the work they remain associated with. In this article I will write about the editors who took the pain and invested their time towards the production of my books. Before I proceed any further let me confess: I’m an Indian. I had my schooling that encouraged the British style of English, otherwise called the Queen’s English. Most of the Indian schools are equipped with this age-old pattern of teaching English. Incidentally, until now, all of my editors have been Americans, but honestly speaking, they never posed a trouble against my decision towards adhering to this particular style of writing English.

I’ll start with Donald Randolph Martin, a known writer-cum-editor-cum-reviewer, who is popularly known as Don Martin. I worked with Don for my book titled The Unheard I. It was nonfiction with some good amount of poetry in it. Prior to editing my work Don asked me right away, “Do you want to Americanise your work?” My answer was: No. My aim was to popularise Indian nonfiction amongst the Western readers, under the competent guidance of an American editor. Don was the one who edited almost every line which bore punctuation errors. He actually taught me to be careful with punctuations. Don is a man of fewer words, and he started his career as a poetry editor. He remained extremely considerate towards the translated poetry that I included in my book. Although he edited a few lines of the poetry, but that was strictly limited only to the areas of punctuation. I was blessed with a note from his desk, and I included the editor’s note as the front matter of The Unheard I. Don’s words construct his real account of working with me, an Indian author. My heartfelt gratitude to you, dear Don! You taught me the finer nuances of the language and its presentation. Trust me, until now I have not used the word ‘imbibe’ since the moment you gave me a different meaning that is common amongst the Americans! Don, you would be glad to know that copies of the first edition (paperback) of The Unheard I are soon to be exhausted, and I owe my success to you and to Prof. (Dr.) Hulya Yilmaz, Senior Lecturer, College of the Liberal Arts, Penn State, who wrote the exclusive foreword. Another good news here again: the Inner Child Press, limited is on their way to publish the U.S. edition of The Unheard I.

Next in my list is a publisher-writer-editor Stephen L. Wilson. Stephen and I are very good friends, and he is one of my older brothers I have in the U.S. Although we have our share of differences, whenever we worked together we created some thoroughly professional products. It all started with my association with Indies In Action (IIA), a virtual group that is dedicated to support the victims of the natural calamities by producing literary anthologies. Stephen was the chief editor of the international charitable anthology, Twist of Fate (ToF), which carried a few of my submissions. During the making of ToF I got an opportunity to interview other contributors from all across the world. It had truly been an experience of my life time! As Stephen agreed to edit The Reciting Pens, he was curious: “Would you like me to do copy editing or proof editing or both?” I failed to answer readily, for I was not aware of these terms, quite frankly. Stephen made me understand of these things, and remarked: “Never refer my edits as suggestions…this is so unprofessional!” Finally, I came to realise that editors offer/propose edits that are not mere suggestions. Stephen, I am indeed grateful to you for all your hard work, which polished The Reciting Pens. Stephen Wilson not only edited my work, he made me aware of a few lazy words as well, as he urged. A few examples: basically, that, etc. With every movement Stephen made me take special attentions towards the final product, the paperback of The Reciting Pens. Being a Dental Surgeon, who was once engaged in research publications, the word ‘substantivity’ holds great importance! It may not readily be found in the common dictionaries. Substantivity refers to the ability of a material/compound to adhere to the surface of another material. Similarly, I will mark Stephen with a high grade of substantivity with reference to the job called ‘editing.’

If Stephen L Wilson edited and polished The Reciting Pens, it was Kate Lantry who was solely responsible towards the finishing. Kate is the wife of the noted poet W. F. Lantry (Washington, DC), who wrote the fundamental foreword of my book. I was in regular touch with Kate as she was the one who facilitated my interactions with W. F. Lantry. I never planned of Kate as the contributing editor of The Reciting Pens, nor did she want to be acknowledged as one! It was Kate’s spontaneity that she came forward with some valuable edits, which she found important to be implemented. If I remember quickly, Kate was so particular towards a definitive style of presentation, for my anthology was essentially based on the interviews that I held with three published Bengali poets from Calcutta, India. I am so proud of you, Kate! You are the one who worked much towards the stylisation. No amount of appreciation can ever pay for the load of work I had put on you.

My dear friends, fellow authors, and aspiring writers: Please get in touch with Don Martin, Stephen Wilson and Kate Lantry if you are seriously looking forward professional editing of international quality!

Don Martin: https://www.facebook.com/don.martin.969?fref=ts

Stephen Wilson: https://www.facebook.com/StephenLWilson?fref=ts

Kate Lantry: https://www.facebook.com/kate.lantry?fref=ts

 

6 Comments

Filed under Anthology, Article, Indian Heritage, Interview, Nonfiction, Poet, Reviews, Spiritual, The Unheard I, Twist of Fate, Writer

The Unheard I – Reviewed

Reviews of my nonfiction book “The Unheard I.”

1. By Prof. Dr. Sunil Sharma, from Bombay, India:

Kiriti Sengupta, when not performing dental procedures on decaying / decayed teeth, loves to compose lines in Bengali and meditate on many issues. Some of these reflections are finding their slow but sure way into the library of a well-read and aware reader − thanks to a mini-book tantalizingly called The Unheard I, a rich collection of pieces with wide-ranging topics from the poetic, spiritual, and mundane to the difficult art of translation.

The 63-page, beautifully-translated and produced book is disorienting to a reading-expectation revolving around traditional modes of writing and production. The book tosses different ideas and strands as lightly as a master chef tosses delicate long noodles and other ingredients in a wok and serves up a rich spread − hot, appealing and delectable.

Kiriti comes up with a rare genre of writing − Yogic poetry that celebrates Indian heritage now globally known for its holistic healing. From dentistry complexities to yogic poetry to a clinical examination of the first person singular I is a demanding task that only multi-talented Kiriti Sengupta − a dental surgeon and predominantly Bengali-language poet − can perform.

The Unheard I is a sincere engagement with some themes of enduring value. It needs to be read and further discussed by well-meaning critics and readers interested in a creative exploration of charity, yogic philosophy and practice and the art and science of translation. Go and grab a copy and then plunge into some serious stuff you will not find in this age of mindless thrillers and commercial pulp fiction.
29-Aug-2013

2. By Prof. Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi, from Calcutta, India:

Dr Kiriti Sengupta’s “The Unheard I” is a reading wonder which unfolds a colourful image gallery of new trend in writing. It’s an enjoyable read even though a reader stumbles at several doors. When the doors are opened with master keys its an inviting discourse. I was fascinated by the interesting mix up of genres in the book. I read again to conceptualise my ideas. Is it a meta nonfiction? Possibilities are wide open. If we go by the present critical nuances the book is an interesting discourse where the author has made some deliberate choices.

It’s about the narrator; about writing and translation from Bengali. An orthodox reader may find the book “shocking”. It moves on! It moves our cerebral cells. Foreword of the book is a key to get into the book. Editor’s Note clearly mentions the idea behind the publication of the book. Don Martin states, “Kiriti was a joy to work with(.)” Joy spills over white pages of the book as we are whisked from one idea to another.

The book has three segments: A Serious ToF; Yogic Poetry; The Indian Heritage and The Translator I. Out of these three parts I personally like the second part where the author has introduced Indian heritage and Yogic poetry. The ideas are not definite but make sense. The author doesn’t try to historicise the traditional heritage. He makes his own selections and enjoys a licence. No reader should form a definite heritage out of this seemingly partial presentation of a tradition handed down generation after generation. It reminds me a modern trend in different parts of the globe where poetry is performance. I’ve attended a few of them in alien shores. It’s again back to our ideological position. Can poems be reflection of a meditative mind? Can poems be circulated and written for facebook community? I think the world is changing fast.There is a new threat for critics, writers and reviewers: requests flood like rivers in monsoon. There are so many types of writings as there are innumerable writers in the world. Life narratives emerge as a potent body of nonfiction. There is no hard and fast rule for its contents. It leaves possibilities open!

“The Unheard I” is a literary proto autobiography of a dental surgeon where the author moves out of his professional world and explores “self- realisations”. Some descriptions are sketchy and short. But there are rooms for improvement in the next updated edition. Writing is an ongoing process. It’s mutual. Both the readers and the author evolve over a period of time. And there is always a proper time for everything. Elegant production of the book adds a separate dimension. We do think that those who have a drive to write nonfiction, and who persist with the genre end up in good writing. Granted, everything is not attractive, but something is really engaging which pulls a reader back to his seat.

There are translations (from Kiriti’s mother tongue) of some poems in the book. Good or bad doesn’t matter. It’s a valuable reflection of a society/culture rich with art. The selection of poets is personal. It can go to any number. I was expecting a logic behind the selection of poems from the vast and encompassing reservoir. It’s about a very rich culture where one should be careful. Translation of a rich culture to the global readers is a serious act. I hope Kiriti has good answers to follow up. I’ll be happy if the book travels well in future. Hope it carries healthy food as baggage.

What I like most of the book is the ending of the book. It prepares us for the next book. Any way, the book promises to be a stable march for a better tomorrow. Happy surgery in words!
1-Sep-2013

3. By Stuart Aken, from England:

This short piece of esoteric literature came my way via contacts on Facebook. The book is divided into three sections: A Serious ToF (Twist of Fate); Yogic Poetry: the Indian Heritage; The Translator ‘I’. So, I think you will realise this is not a work of interest to what might be called the ‘common reader’. It is a scholarly piece that will appeal to those with an interest in poetry, particularly spiritual poetry expressed as literature, as well as those who have a leaning toward or a significant interest in Indian myth and religion.

The Twist of Fate referred to above is an anthology of pieces collected together to present to readers as a way of gathering funds to help those left in distress by the tornado that hit Oklahoma in May 2013. And this first chapter of the book is a presentation of the author’s experiences in contributing to that anthology.

Poetry, let alone Yogic Poetry, is a genre of which I have little experience. My admiration of the craft lies within the bounds of the variety of works produced by the two Dylans (Bob and Thomas). And my knowledge of Indian culture is minimal. So, I found this section both illuminating and confusing. The many references to the Yogic culture were lost on me, but the general sense of spirituality came through.

The Translator ‘I’ deals with the author’s work and attitudes regarding translation as a craft. He is an acknowledged translator of work from Bengali to English. I’m no linguist, but I have always admired the skill that allows those who understand more than one language to translate not just words but meaning. The ability to convey the essence of a piece written in one language when converting it into another is almost magical to me.

So, not a general reader’s book, but a piece of work that will undoubtedly find favour with those interested in the subject matter discussed. It is to those readers that I recommend the book.

Leave a comment

Filed under Indian Heritage, Interview, Nonfiction, Poet, Poetry, Reviews, Spiritual, The Unheard I, Yoga, Yogic Poetry

‘The Unheard I’ – cover revealed!

My upcoming nonfiction, ‘The Unheard I’ is scheduled to release on 18th July, 2013. Please,Image stay tuned!

Leave a comment

Filed under Indian Heritage, Interview, Nonfiction, Poet, Poetry, Spiritual, Twist of Fate, Writer, Yogic Poetry