Picture This and Kavishala – Poetry News Roundup 16th August

Today’s news round-up comes from Erie County in the US and from India, as we review the most recent poetry news from around the world.

Picture this in Erie County

Imagine a picture of a woman dancing with a hula hoop with flames coming from it. Then try to write a poem inspired by this particular image. A project called Picture This which is organised by the Erie County poet laureate project is inviting everyone to do just that at the recent Erie Art Museum’s Blues and Jazz Festival.

The idea is to encourage citizens to write prose poems or poetry and put down their ideas in writing about the region’s images. Erie County gets its name from Lake Erie and in turn from the Native American tribe of the same name who lived around the lake before the 17th century, which gives you an idea of the ancient beauty of the landscape. At the same time Erie County celebrates the varied cultures of its surrounding major cities like New York and Chicago. There is plenty of material then for budding writers and poets to take inspiration from.

Not only are participants invited to submit written work they can also share a brief spoken word video through Twitter, Facebook or YouTube and they could have their poem printed online or in the Erie Times-News. An exciting opportunity indeed for an aspiring poet or prose writer who wishes to celebrate the great county which they live in. And because this is a weekly project they have the opportunity to put their words to a different picture each week.

Kavishala shines a light on India’s poets

The internet is proving to be a valuable tool for aspiring writers and poets to bring their work to a wider audience. India has always had a rich culture of art and writing and many famous poets hail from that ancient country such as Sarojini Naidu and Vikram Seth. And while modern day India hosts many literature festivals, one young writer, Ankur Mishra from the region of Uttar Pradesh, realised that Indian poets like him didn’t really have anywhere to showcase their work.

This is why he launched Kavishala in May 2016 as an online platform for his own poetry but was soon inundated with requests from other amateur poets keen to take advantage of it. Two months later he expanded Kavishala to accommodate anyone who wished to upload their poetry to the site. Ankur is justifiably proud to have been able to use his considerable skills in IT to be able to develop the website plus an app to make it even easier for Indian poets to access. The idea has certainly been a huge success among India’s new generation of poets who were desperate to find somewhere to bring their work to a wider audience.

Cartoonist and poet Aseem Trivedi acknowledged the role Kavishala has played in “arousing interest in poetry as well as beautifying it” while poet Danish Mohd Khan offered profuse thanks to Kavishala for providing this poetic platform.

Kavishala continues to expand and so far has published over 16,000 poems.

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