The Pondicherry/Auroville Poetry Festival (PAPF) 2023 opened at the Sri Aurobindo Society on the morning of 21st December with devotional music by well-known musician, Arjita B. Chowdhury. It was followed with the annual ‘Vishendevi Award for Creativity in Rural Areas’ presented to 94-year-old dancer Lalitha Ramathilagam from Chennai.
Pradeep Narang, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society, graced the occasion and made some discerning observations on Artificial Intelligence, which was the theme of this year’s Festival.
Later Dr. Alok Pandey’s hour-long talk based on the book Glimpses of Sri Aurobindo’s Life through His Poems, which he compiled, captivated all the visiting poets and participants from across India and abroad. This extraordinary book is published by Sri Aurobindo Society (February 2023). Around 50 people attended the event.
Curated by Anju Makhija and Gayatri Majumdar, this magnificent poetry festival entered its seventh edition in 2023 in which renowned poets/academics from Lucknow, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Trivandrum and the United States read their work in various venues in Pondicherry and Auroville. Besides poetry, the Festival presented by Pondicherry Poets and The Brown Critique hosted book launches, a workshop, panel discussion, music sessions and a solo poetic performance – ‘She of the Four Names: Lal Ded’ – by actress Mita Vashisht.