Two major international poetry festivals namely- The Ars Poetica, Slovakia and The Cork International Poetry Festival, Ireland will be highlighting Indian English poetry in the coming months.

The invitee in both of these events, Sonnet Mondal has read at Struga Poetry Evenings, Macedonia in 2014, Uskudar International Poetry Festival, Istanbul in 2015 and International Poetry Festival of Granada, Nicaragua in 2016. Prior to the recent invitations, in February this year, Sonnet’s poems in Slovenian translation were wired at the Public Radio and Television of Slovenia.

The Cork International Poetry Festival, organised by the Munster Literature Centre based in Ireland and supported by the Arts Council, Ireland has invited Sonnet Mondal to present his poetry to an Irish audience on 17th February 2017. An Irish special edition published by The Enchanting Verses Literary Review and guest edited by Irish poet & editor Patrick Cotter will be released on the opening day of the festival. Sonnet is the founder editor in chief of The Enchanting Verses Literary Review and this country special issue will present Irish poets in both Irish language alongside the English translations.

Much before this, the Ars Poetica Festival, Slovakia in its 14th annual edition will be hosting an Indian cultural evening in November 2016 to introduce Indian culture through poetry and dance to the Slovakians. The invited artists for this event include Sonnet Mondal, Sukrita Paul Kumar, Subodh Sarkar, Sangeeta Majumder and Usha Akella. The Indian evening to be held in mid November this year will set in motion a dance and poetry recital titled Echoing Shadows that will be performed simultaneously by Sonnet Mondal on poetry and Sangeeta Majumder on Kathak. The festival with the Ministry of culture, Slovakia and Radio & Television of Slovakia as its prime partners will host a half an hour poetry reading by Sonnet and other invited Indian poets followed by a reading in Slovak translation. The festival will also launch an anthology which would include the poems from the invitees alongside their translation in Slovak language.

April and the Plastic Sunflowers 

by Sonnet Mondal 

 The four plastic sunflowers in my bedroom-

The way they swayed in the ceiling fan’s air

Were the functional-year-long-April for me.

Fallen twigs of meditating winter

And the deadwood sanity of their roughness;

The begging deserts of the patient summer

And the coarseness of their ravaged mirages;

The thin tune of the nostalgic autumn

And the restlessness of their alcoholic breezes-

Were never like fresh seasonal fruits to me

For I had the functional-year-long-April in my bedroom:

Those four plastic sunflowers.

Not long, my wedding and divorce-

Both in their infancy

Ended the perpetual April in my room

By demanding those yellow sunflowers

In the package of reparation.

It was four seasons ago and the spring of April

Now seems to be a creepy plastic serpent

Irresistibly insidious in its illusory cruelty

as my new girl friend from the same city

Talked of bringing new plastic flowers in my room.

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