By Bhagyasree:- Budding poets and musicians amongst students of Kolkata’s top colleges congregated today at Oxford Bookstore for a pre- Christmas music and poetry contest themed – She’s Always a woman to me”. Amongst the fantastic ten were an undergraduate student from Presidency University, a Mass Communication PG student from Jadavpur University, an English PG student from Jadavpur University, an Economics PG student from Calcutta University, undergraduate English students from Bethune College and New Alipore Collage, a PG Political Science student from Calcutta University, a PG Comparative Literature student from Jadavpur University and a PG English student from Jadvapur University!
The young talent of the city are set to walk away with exceptional prizes. The top 2 singers may bag a recording deal with a music label and the best poetry performers will AKLF 2018 alongside established poets. The compositions in English, Hindi and Bengali by performers were judged by Ratul Shankar, Gaurav Chattopadhyay (Gabu), Bodhi and Mainak Nag Chowdhury from the iconic Bengali bands Cactus and the band – Kendraka who will be performing at Plug-In in AKLF 2018. Oxford was abuzz as the impressed judges and the contestants to sing their popular numbers firing up the large assembly of city’s youth at bookstore.
AKLF has always believed in celebrating the city of Kolkata and what better way to do it than on Friday before Christmas when the city is resplendent with music and poetry. An ode to AKLF was conceptualized as an informal stage for the budding talents of the city to showcase their art in a bookstore that is an integral part of the city. It gives me great pleasure to welcome the young poets and singers who are gathered here today and I know that for the next few hours they will make us all forget about our worries and immerse ourselves in the holiday spirit. I welcome the esteem judges, Ratul Shankar, Gaurav Chattopadhyay (Gabu), Bodhi and Mainak Nag Chowdhury and thank them for being part of this initiative”, said Maina Bhagat, Directors, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival
“We are delighted to celebrate Kolkata’s love affair with poetry, music and literature through these two youth initiatives and are delighted that fresh talent from the city will enrich both Poetry Cafe and Plug-In as a result of these events.”added Anjum Katyal, Co- Director, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival
Plug-in, curated by Oxford Bookstore in 2017 brought together the two worlds of literature and music on one stage created for it at Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2017. Graced by Underground Authority, the Ritornellos, No Strings Attached and many more in its first year, its upcoming second year Plug-in will be held across 4 days with the hottest musical acts in the city which includes the likes of Kendraka, Cactus, Nikita Gandhi and Teri Miko.
Poetry Café curated by Oxford Bookstore in 2016 promotes love and respect for poetry and provide a platform for aspiring writers with a Literary festival curated by Oxford Bookstores – the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival. A special space with informal ambiance that encourages face to face interactions between established and aspiring poets has featured Ben Okri, Bashobi Fraser, Andy Corner, Neal Hall, Anjum Hasan, Anita Nair, Jerry Pinto, Sankho Ghosh, Bina Sarkar Elias, Kalyan Ray, Aparna Sen, Debasish Lahiri, Anjana Basu, AvikChanda, and many younger poets of the city writing in Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and English in the last two editions in 2016, 2017. In 2018, Poetry Café will be held across 3 days at St. Paul’s Cathedral Lawns with TishaniDoshi, Sudeep Sen, Sampurna Chattarji, Jerry Pinto, C. P. Surendran, and international poets James Noel and MakenzyOrcel from Haiti and Nalini Paul from the UK. City poets will read works in several languages.
The second round of the contest will be held on December 29th, a fortnight before AKLF starts on Jan 11th 2018.
About Oxford Bookstores:
Established in 1919, Oxford Bookstore is the best equipped ‘base-camp’ for journeys of the mind offering its customers the widest range of outstanding titles and consistently courteous and informed service for close to a century. Today, with stores in major metros, India’s first of its kind tea boutique, Cha Bar, India’s only literary festival created by a bookstore, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, Oxford Bookstore offers booklovers access to the very best in publishing enhanced by a variety of events which salute books, visual & performing arts and celebrate the word. Oxford Bookstore measures its success by the smiles on millions of happy customers that the brand has served over the last nearly 100 years. There are a few treats as sumptuous as a visit to Oxford Bookstore in India. Each time you walk into our iconic store in Kolkata where the brand started in 1919, its charm leaves you wanting for more. Our fleet of happy to help expert booksellers and informed hosts work day and night to bring to customers world class reading experience be it through our books or our fine teas and live by the brand’s motto – Much more than a bookstore – at every Bookstore.