Kolkata: 120 students participate in US-India Poem Project

U.S. Consulate Kolkata hosts U.S.-India Poem Project.
U.S. Consulate Kolkata hosts U.S.-India Poem Project. Photo Courtesy: PR Team

One hundred and twenty high school students of Kolkata participated in the US-India Poem Project hosted by the US Consulate on Thursday.

Two US poet laureates, Meera Dasgupta and Kashiv Ramani, joined virtually from the North American nation to engage with students and highlight the importance of poetry to them.

They also read excerpts from their poems during the event.

In her opening remarks, American Center Director Elizabeth Lee said: “We are thrilled that you have decided to participate in the launch of the U.S.-India Poem Project: Kolkata Youth Poet Laureate Programme.”

“We need more young, fearless poets like you, to pick up the pen and motivate a thousand others, like our young friends here today, to do the same,” she said.

“The world needs you to write powerfully about yesterday, today, and tomorrow because poetry is a language that serves both the educated elite and the common person,” she said.

What is the US-India Poem Project?

The US-India Poem Project will collect poems from Indian students and along with partner Urban Word will work with organisations, arts councils, colleges and universities, and poets to promote the programme, and shortlist poems from student leaders (age group 16-25).  

The National Youth Poet Laureate Programme is an initiative of Urban Word.

The project aims to identify and celebrate young poets through a city-wide contest.

To prepare for the project, Urban Word will offer in-person and virtual workshops and presentations for students and key stakeholders. Urban Word will manage all poetry submissions and provide all promotional materials.

Next, the top 20 young poets will submit a full portfolio to be named Kolkata’s first ever Youth Poet Laureate. The partner, with Post support, will launch and run the entire contest, select winners, and publish an anthology of selected student poems.

Over a span of 18 months, Urban Word will train and support poets and organisations on the ground in Kolkata, promote and administer the National Poem Project contest, support the professional development of 20 winners of the National Poem Project, and administer the adjudication of the finalists to select the first-ever Youth Poet Laureate of Kolkata.

The partner will also measure the short, medium, and long-term success and change in mindset of the university/college students, which will be measured by social media analytics, institutional feedback, mentimeter tracking, and surveys.