New Delhi, Feb 13 (PTI) An array of global poets from as many as 18 countries will converge in the national capital for the much-awaited ‘Vak:The Raza Biennale of Asian Poetry’, beginning February 15.

The three-day event, to be held at the India International Centre here, will feature 20 international poets and six Indian poets.

“Perhaps, this would be the first time that many of these poets would be coming to India from as far as Korea, China, Japan, Iran, Singapore, Armenia, Georgia, Palestine, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Bhutan, Hindi poet and managing trustee of the Raza Foundation Ashok Vajpeyi said.

The biennale, which will have six poetry sessions and three talk sessions featuring some of the most important poetic voices from Asia, this time aspires to remind the people of the continuing struggle for freedom, tolerance and non-violence through its hard-hitting poetry and discussions.

“Followed by the poetry sessions, each day will have a panel discussion with the poets.

“While on the first day, the panel would discuss freedom and dissent in poetry, the second day would have discussions on the ‘Truth of Poetry in Post-Truth Times’. Third and last day will hold a conversation on ‘Poetry and Violence’,” Vajpeyi said.

He added that the poets during the festival will read poems in their original language, which will be then followed by a reading of its translations in English as well as Hindi.

The event, which coincides with the celebration of 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi, as per Vajpayi, without making it obvious has its theme related to the principles laid down by the father of nation only.

“My vision is that Asia has too many tongues and many different poetics. For example, while the Japanese poetics seem to be woven around the sense of smell and Arabic poetics around utterance, the Indian poetics is all about taste. But, all of them together are concerned with freedom, dissent, truth, justice and plurality” he explained.

The festival organised by the Raza Foundation as a part of its annual ‘Raza Utsav’, also celebrates the birth of the legendary Indian modern painter and Raza Foundation’s founder, Sayed Haider Raza.

It will come to a close on February 17. PTI

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.