Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Tenth Kritya International Poetry Festival 18 - 20 Feb. 2016



11.02.2016 20:43

From Rati Saxena:

Dear friends,

The tenth Kritya International Poetry Festival is scheduled to be held on the 18th, 19th and 20th of February 2016. Kritya is once again welcoming poets of note from all over the world to her homeland Kerala to partake in this festival. There is a difference this time, though. We have decided on a floating venue for Kritya 2016; Kritya is  going out to the people rather than asking them to come to her. We believe that poetry is most relevant in the present day and we must reach people who have little if no access to the arts and poetry. Poetry is a compelling medium to disseminate valuable ideals, discuss social issues and effectively paint the world around us in all its beauty, ugliness and complexities. Poetry is the elixir that heals the deep - lying wounds of the mind. Poetry is the single most powerful medium to spread the message of peace in this strife - torn world. With its wonderful capability of speaking volumes through few but powerful expressions, there is no better tool of communication than poetry.

We are going to hospital also, will go to cancer wards read to patients we applied to prison, but the director of prison is a fat man of a fat IQ, he does not understand that poetry can help those people.*

We also having whispering poetry.

Our programme is as given below.

Dr. Rati Saxena

Festival Director







* "This is a wonderful idea, Rati! I recall how we read in different venues, colleges  and even the central prison in Paris  a French Poetry Festival long ago. Prakriti Fest in Channai also does this. Would have been happy to join you all. Am in Kerala now and have to be back on 15th as I have many things lined up from 16th including a trip to Dubai to receive a poetry prize. All the best!

Much love."

Satchid Anandan

Am 12.02.2016 10:48, schrieb Philip Meersman:

Dear Rati, dear all,

At the Annual Brussels Underground Poetry Fest we always look for some experimental performances (http://poetryfest.brussels).

We have done a creation at and with the Royal Planetarium (https://www.belspo.be/belspo/fsi/orbksb_en.stm) with poets and the projection of planets and star(system)s. Also we did several poetry interventions and interactions in the public space; like instant poetry writing on demand at the weekly market, doing performances in the shopping streets,... look at our Facebook for pictures: https://www.facebook.com/poetryfest.brussels/photos_stream

Perhaps we could work together with some of you to have more interaction and exchange of performance artists? I also like very much the exchange of best practices here!

I truly love your idea Rati to go to the cancer ward and read poetry to the patients.

When I went to the festival in Rosario we also had a reading in Prison, but this reading was mostly to let the prisoners who did a year long workshop read their work to the international poets. It was beautiful to see how the inmates really enjoyed the appreciation of the international guests. But indeed everywhere you have fat directors who do not understand poetry. We tried to set up a project like that, but didn't succeed, in one of the Brussels prisons.

I'm glad Hatto that you and Fernando are working together and that you are going to Medellin. I hope to be invited one day too. We'll see.

Huge hugs and all the best,



Berlin 12.2.2016

Dear Philip,

good to hear from you and let us see who can connect with your interesting concept of performing artists who are able to take poetry into the streets.

About prisons, there comes to mind Michel Foucault's '"Surveillance and Punishment.' We know how Sartre responded to Genet when the latter decided to become a thief after everyone in society had called him that, and who landed in a prison where the walls were so high that there was no chance to catch a glimpseof the future. Naturally the director has to be convinced that he needs to go on a diat. But if we read about the latest prison revolt in Mexico, then you know they are as well internally controlled and therefore the question becomes can poetry truly bring about an alternative to criminal energies being used for the wrong purpose. It seems a key is as you describe the recognition and appreciation if prisoners struggle with their words and conscience.

Naturally I cannot help thinking about similar situatons of confinement. Just yesterday I visited the International Congress Centrum here in Berlin since there are housed 700 refugees, 150 of which are children and youth ranging in age from zero to 18. The confinement is like a disillusionment with the lack of freedom in movement often felt at the level of thinking especially when the imagination is gone.

As for cancer wards, here Glen in Malta can contribute. He has written poems about cancer after having interviewed patients or persons affected by cancer. There is a need to give an uplift to the human spirit for otherwise the person can succumb to a downward spiral. Clearly poetry can also become a part of preventive medicine insofar like a lie dector you stop lying to yourself. I spoke two days ago with a man who denied having a tumor in his brain until it was nearly to late to have it removed. He was lucky but not many are if they do not practice preventive medicine. So I would think we can learn to become more sensitive to hidden signals which indicate something is wrong in our bodies. It might be just a poem not so well made, a bit crooked in wording precisely where the finger goes over a rough edge on the skin and yet no one suspects this hidden danger. Since cancer is largely unknown until it really hits, making this invisible visible is like breaking the power of fear of the unknown. Clearly this goes hand in hand with public responsibility of how we talk about health and more so cancer related issues. Glen warns rightly so that two enemies prevail: clichees and popular wisdom often based on speculative theories. That is not the same as practical wisdom. Above all courage has to be given to face the truth. A friend told me her husband did not want to know the full truth although he had lung cancer. Thus he went as a Greek man to only German doctors so that his German wife had to translate. She was in turn afraid of telling him the full truth as she was afraid he would panic. This fear kept them driving away from meeting the cancer head on while it elongated the illusion he would make it. He died within one year. Naturally scratching the curve in time requires a bit of luck as well.

Obviously as Dileep would say besides poetry a good hug and sometimes a dirty joke will help get over some frightening moments.

All in all, we take courage by going out in an effort to reach those people left stranded or behind.

Coming back to an overall festival character, Rati, thanks for letting me know how it went with you in Medellin. I look forward to this event and Philip, for sure, I will say hello on your behalf to Fernando. Ilias from Eleusis will also be coming and hopefully we will manage to hold a small poetry festival in Eleusis. Perhaps some performance artists like yourself can come to illustrate the beauty of performance and of going out to address the people directly. In Greece with all the crisis I am reminded of what was the greatest gift of Homer: he gave self confidence to people, so that they shall make it!



 On Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 4:16 PM, Philip Meersman wrote:

Dear Hatto, dear all,

Indeed, poetry can help in easing the pain, the suffering, but only just and only for a moment I'm afraid. We as a conscious society need really to try to resolve the problems of greed and powerplays of which the bulk of the population and of civilization in general is the victim of.

As for Glen and his poetry: has has made a fantastic visual poetry art object from his poems. It is a book-art which we exhibited during the last edition of the Underground Poetry Fest at Wiels. I truly loved it!

Huge hug,



On 12 February 2016 at 16:41, Rati Saxena wrote:

dear Hatto and Philip, a good discussion, Hatto is very good with words, no doubt,

as for me, I a still learning, and I don't think that my learning will over with death, I may go ahead to learn some thing.....

getting words is not easy for me , in fact every thing is difficult, so what I do I kritya, there is only madness, nothing more...

I send you iformation so that guest poets can should be known

so I am learning from you all

Philip, you can give me more ideas, and Hatto, please give me some words, but one thing , I hate bad jocks so I may not like to learn that part of life

with love and regards

Rati Saxena


On Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 9:30 PM, Glen Calleja <glencalleja@gmail.com> wrote:

Dear Rati, dear All,

May your festival be a wonderful success and may all the encounters between poets and poets and poets and audiences be inspiring and fruitful.

Thank you Hatto and Philip for the references to my work. I'm flattered. The 'cancer poetry' is really an attempt to try to glimpse at the human being who is cornered with existential questions which a 'terminal' disease forces upon him/her. Nothing more. I hesitate in front of statements that declare poetry as a healer. What if as a poet I - knowingly or unknowingly - don't manage to heal anything or anyone? Would I have failed in my practice as poet? I don't think so..

Such discussions are to be opened together with a bottle of wine not on email

All the best from Malta,

Glen Calleja




dear Clen,

will you please give us 2-3 poems , as we are going to hospital and meeting cancer patients, so we will read your poetry also, and yes, we will give your name also, if possible, please give a small bio note, 

I have also some poems regarding varicose, migraine, pain etc, I will send you to read.

see, i could learn here also

love to you all

Rati Saxena





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