Sarah Kay enthrals Bhutan lit fest with poetry

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Thimphu, Aug 23 (IANS) American poet Sarah Kay led the audiences at the opening day of the Mountain Echoes literary festival into the old-world charm of poetry, reciting verses with eloquence and interacting with the gathering on lighter notes.

A few minutes into the session, she recited one of her most popular poems, titled “B”. “If I should have a daughter, instead of Mom, she’s gonna call me Point Ba because that way she knows, no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me.” began Kay, setting the tone for the rest of the session and gripping the attention of the onlookers immediately.

A poet and an educator from New York, Sarah Kay also spoke about her experience of travelling to India, and how that was her first journey outside the United States.

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She shared with the audience how overwhelmed she was with her experience of visiting the country, so much so that she couldn’t stop talking about it. She translated her experiences into a poem which she recited at the festival.

In her session “Considering Breakthrough: Connecting with Spoken Word Poetry” at the Royal University of Bhutan, she said as a poet, she spends a lot of time obsessing about finding the “right words” which she thinks may not even have been invented yet.

She moved on to perform two ‘love poems”, one of which was a “Love Letter from a Toothbrush to the Bicycle Tire” and other that she wrote for an Indian girl.

Kay also spoke about her best friend, “a strong, beautiful, compassionate woman”, who was in an abusive relationship, before reciting “The Type”.

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She said that for her poetry is like “puzzle solving”. She recited a poem in memory of her late elementary school Principal who had a profound impact on her life.

Sarah Kay is part of a movement to bring poetry to wider audiences. Her organisation Project VOICE brings poetry into classrooms and communities to help people better understand their society and themselves.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Eastern Himalayas, Mountain Echoes literary festival is an initiative of the India Bhutan Foundation and Jaipur-based literary consultancy agency, Siyahi.

–IANS

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