Delhi’s very own celebration of poetry - Delhi Poetry Festival, Season 6 is here!

Delhi Poetry Festival is committed to preserving, reviving, and celebrating the cultural and poetic heritage of the historical city of Delhi. This year Delhi Poetry Festival will be celebrating poetry distinctively in four languages - Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, English and more Indian languages poets will join in one single festival that is exclusive to poetry with an eclectic mix of speakers to light up the discussions around poetry, the performers to hold you in a trance, and the poetry to stir your soul!

The glory of Poetry has been well represented by various eminent poets and speakers over the 5 past editions. It is the vision of DPF to scale up the festival by the year. The pandemic has changed our world indelibly and forever. So has the festival of poetry. Delhi Poetry Festival brings more relatable, sustainable, and philosophical content that promises to linger with you much beyond the 2 days of poetic festivities.

Announcing the festival, Dolly Singh, Founder & Festival Director, Delhi Poetry Festival said, “Delhi has always been a poets’ playground. Its alleys still resonate with the verses of Khusro, Ghalib and Zafar. It’s human to indulge in poetry. In escapism. It sneaks in and finds a place in our thoughts. No wonder poetry is so immersive. Great poetry has the power to start a fire in a person’s life. It can alter the way we see ourselves. It can change the way we see the world”.

She goes on to add, “Artists and poets are the raw nerve ends of humanity. By themselves, they can do little to save humanity. Without them, there would be little worth saving. At DPF, it is our endeavour to create a space that is free & fearless”.

“Poetry is safe haven for troubled minds and distorted visions. It is the only sane space in chaotic times.  The celebration of poetry is an affirmation of our faith in humanity. Poetry, the language of civilized society is once again blossoming, and we must give our all to nurture its growth. The Delhi Poetry Festival, since its inception in 2013, is committed to create the space for poetic expression and to usher in the winds of change. The festival is equipped to showcase varied hues of poetry in all its splendour” says Sanjay Arora, Executive Producer, Delhi Poetry Festival.

Invoking Waris Shah – one of the most influential poetic voices emanating from either side of Punjab and the creator of Heer Ranjha Epic, on his 300th year.

The festival is deep in content & impact and high on credibility. Poetry breaks every wall of resistance and penetrates the darkest crevices of imperfections to create something beautiful and near perfect. From this year, we are introducing Punjabi poetry and what better year than to start it by celebrating the great poet, Waris Shah whose 300th year is currently being commemorated.

This would include a candid conversation – Hawa Vich Likhe Harf between the legendary Punjabi poet, Padma Shri Surjit Patar, who has worked extensively around Waris Shah’s poetry and the affable Dr. Vanita.

Surjit Patar will also be inducted into the Delhi Poetry Festival Board of Patrons this year. Other names include Waseem Barelvi, Sukrita Paul Kumar, Farhat Shahzad and Uday Prakash.

The invocation of Waris Shah will continue with a pertinent and essential subject of Relevance of Heer in 21st century - A discussion on Waris Shah’s Heer and her love, life, battles, and death. Steered by Dolly Singh, the session will have Dr. Vanita, Rene Singh, and Sakoon Singh sharing their views.

Punjabi scholar and historian, Sumail Singh Sidhu will weigh in with his impressions of Waris Shah bringing to the fore his decades old love for the emblematic poet and the relevance of his work to today’s society.

Content this year is very selectively picked and curated to be thought-provoking and meaningful to the youth today.

Traditional publishing has evolved to make room for podcasts. This has been further accelerated by the pandemic. DPF will bring an illuminating workshop on the relevance of podcasts to poets in these times and the basics of setting it up in a DIY fashion. While this will be a close-door registration-driven interaction, the larger audience at the festival will get to hear the same speakers at a free-flowing conversation as well.

The war in Ukraine, like most tragedies, has brought forth a deluge of poetry, both for and against. Nidheesh Tyagi has painstakingly translated some of these gut-wrenching poems and will recite the same to bring us in touch with the realities of this war-ravaged land in this session titled Yudh Ki Vyatha – Ukraine Ki Kavya Pukar.

Boundaries are imaginary lines drawn up on a map doing little to separate folks across them. A very unique yet incredibly romantic expression comes from the young Amy Singh who will share a short session with us thereby recreating her touching ode to the Postmaster General at the Lahore GPO.

Echoes of Partition will bring out the sentiment of separation and the nostalgia of familiar lanes and separated friends to warm the cockles of the heart. Rahul Singh, founder of the Khushwant Singh Literature Festival will accompany Sukrita Paul Kumar in a walk down memory lane with Nirupama Dutt.

Rabbi Shergill is passionate about the significance of our cultural & environmental heritage. He is also saddened by a decline in these both. He will catch up with Dolly Singh to voice his thoughts on Role of a creative artist during a cultural decline.

Bollywood will find its place at this festival with national-award winning documentary filmmaker Brahmanand Singh in an intense dialogue with Suanshu Khurana on Creating Musical Legacies through Books & Cinema.

The works & life of Anand Bakshi, famed lyricist of the yore will be discussed by his son, Rakesh Anand Bakshi who will be talking to Brahmanand Singh in a session titled Kuch Toh Log Kahenge.

On the lighter side, poetry, folk and tradition amalgamate to create a very energetic session - Madhaniaa’n: poetry in Punjabi Wedding Songs. Sufi vocalist, Radhika Sood Nayak will render the Punjabi songs while Amy Singh paints the Punjabi wedding scenario in her voice.  

A poetry festival is incomplete without poetry recitation by our very own master poets. And we have four sessions – one each in Hindi/Urdu & English and two in various other languages of India, aptly titled The Melting Pot.  

The Magic of Ekphrasis: Poetry, Dance, Music & Photography - Dr Arshiya Sethi, a Kathak exponent and poet Sudeep Sen, will bring out the nuances of poetry and dance form in this mystical conversation where the two meet.
SheScapes, an initiative of Delhi Poetry Festival, is a women-centric platform and will present three women comedians in a refreshing piece With a Pinch of Salt.

Delhi Poetry Festival takes a detour into long form by getting the book Turmoil in Punjab – Before & After Blue Star. An Inside Story discussed and debated between the author Ramesh Inder Singh who is the erstwhile DM of Amritsar during Operation Blue Star and Vipul Mudgal.

All this and much more awaits you in the sixth season of this mega celebration of poetry. The iconic premises of India Habitat Centre will resonate with voices that promise to bring change, induce thought and alter mindsets.


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