Sunday, 31 December 2017

A World Assembly of Poets: Comments by Jonah Raskin, Ethelbert Miller, Tuncay Gary, Okey Ndibe, Cyril Wong, KK Srivastava, Charles Johnson, Christopher Guerin, Fred Chappell, Tess Onwueme, Margarita Merino, Veronique Tadjo, Sushil Gupta, Urvashi Sabu, Dr. Hemlata Srivastava

A World Assembly of Poets
Comments by Jonah Raskin
If it’s laughter you want, or tears, or truth, or beauty, there’s no finer book of poetry than this one. A World Assembly of Poets offers a superlative way to start the New Year and to carry readers all through the next 12 months.

I confess, I have not read every single poem in A World Assembly of Poets, which has just been published by Re-Markings. That would take at least a week of concerted effort. After all, there are more than 150 poems by more than 80 poets from more than 30 different countries, including India, Pakistan, Russia, China, the U.S., Israel, Nigeria, Spain, Singapore, Sweden and Scotland.Still, I have read enough of the work in A World Assembly of Poets that has been ably compiled by a team of editors to know that this volume has the power to entertain, illuminate and inspire readers from Asia and Africa to Europe and the Americas.
“I have no hesitation in saying that these soulful offerings from the world’s best lyricists of the heart is a wonderful tribute to the undying human spirit of freedom, dignity and hope,” chief editor Nibir K. Ghosh writes in the “Editorial” at the front of the book.
Guest editor Tijan M. Sallah writes about specific poets such as Liu Hongbin, Pritish Nandy and Per Wastberg in the introduction to the volume, and offers overarching observations. “If American poetry is geared to the individual and the particular, the poetry of Asia is dominated by spiritual concerns,” Sallah writes.
Still, A World Assembly of Poets makes it clear that generalizations about poetry can only take us so far. At the beginning, at the end and in the middle of this volume, a reader can only engage with specific poems by individual poets who insist on adhering to their own hearts and heads and who pledge allegiance to their own aesthetics. By chance I opened A World Assembly of Poets to page 61 and the work of Sallah himself, perhaps the best-known Gambian writing poetry today who writes in “I Come From A Country,” lines that transcend national and geographical boundaries: “I come from a country where the land is small,/ But our hearts are big,/Where we greet everyone by name in the morning.”
I know this country. Perhaps you do, too. It’s the country of big hearts that exists wherever there are poets with names like Sallah, Naheed, Manhire, Fahey and Amjadi and whose work co-exists on the page. It is not necessary to start on the first page and go straight through to the last page. One can skip around and go forwards or backwards, until a poem grabs hold of you and pulls you inside, as Arun Kamal’s “I’ll Tell Lives,” which is translated from Hindi into English, did for me. Some of the poems, including Haki R. Madhubuti’s “More Powerful Than God” are very funny, indeed. If it’s laughter you want, or tears, or truth, or beauty, there’s no finer book of poetry than this one. A World Assembly of Poets offers a superlative way to start the New Year and to carry readers all through the next 12 months. There are more poems here from India than any other country in the world except for the U.S.A. That is fitting. After all the book comes from Agra not from New York, and with the unstinting cooperation of Dr. Sunita Rani Ghosh, Dr. A. Karunaker, Mr. Sudarshan Kcherry and that master of computer graphics and design, Mr. Sandeep Arora.

Jonah Raskin, a frequent contributor to Re-Markings, is the author of 14 books, including literary criticism, reporting, memoir, and biography. He has taught journalism, media law and the theory of communication at Sonoma State University, U.S.A.

                     Comments by Ethelbert Miller
My friend Tijan Sallah dropped by the house today with copies of the new anthology he edited. What a wonderful collection of poems from poets around the world. From Brazil to Spain. Pakistan to Australia. China to Nigeria. The US poets included are: Sonia Sanchez, Kevin Powell, Rita Dove, Fred Chappell and David Ray. I’m happy for 4 of my poems to be in this book. 
Congrats to Nibir Ghosh for making it all possible.

Ethelbert Miller is a writer and literary activist. He is board chair of the Institute for Policy Studies, an inductee of the 2015 Washington, DC Hall of Fame, and recipient of the AWP 2016 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature. Translations of Miller’s poems have appeared in over nine languages. His most recent book is The Collected Poems of E. Ethelbert Miller.

                      Comments by Tuncay Gary
Dear Tijan & Nibir Ghosh,

I'm glad to be a part of the world expressed in this wonderful book. After all, it is an enormous suggestion to bundle poetry from all continents of this earth. I love to read this book. Starting with the editorial by Nibir K. Ghosh with a fantastic picture of Plato and his poetry criticism, the introduction of Tijan M. Sallah, who makes a foray into the continents and the individual countries, then stand by selected examples, the poetry of the poets for themselves allow. And another thing that makes this volume "A World Assembly of Poets" of the special edition of RE-MARKINGS clear: Poets may write in different languages of this world, but the statements, the inner essence, the mainspring itself, are very human.

Tuncay Gary is director, actor and author based in Berlin, Germany


                        Comments by Okey Ndibe

My brother Tijan,
Congrats for birthing such a marvelous book. I received the fantastic volume two nights ago. I’d meant to call you to say thank you for including me in such exalted poetic company. In a world often ruled by demagogues and drawn to philistinism, it’s a treasure to find some of the world’s best poetic voices collected in this extraordinary book. This anthology is a rich harvest, bound to excite devotees of poetry—and to attract many others who, before now, were indifferent to the music and vistas that the best poetry yields. 

Okey Ndibe is a Nigerian American novelist whose most recent book is Never Look an American in the Eye, a memoir. He has written for numerous publications, including the New York Times, BBC online, The Guardian (UK), Financial Times, and D La Repubblica (Italy).

Okey Ndibe

Ensconced in a front row seat in Economy class,
Suspended thirty-eight thousand feet,
My thoughts remained earthbound.           

Shoulder bunched, I leaned to the aisle,
Aware that the blonde next seated
Would countenance no tar.

Her perfumed indifference wafted my way
In equal measure, it seemed
Then, my chivalrous ally appeared.

It rowed to and fro;
Too tiny to be named at first glance
Then it disappeared.

In that spliced moment, a row it made.
If you listened, its air spun
A song, like a protracted hiss, a quick kiss.

A flimsy stowaway, this dreaded, undocumented alien,
Perhaps a native of the West Nile
Dreaming her way, like me, to North America.

Was she a candidate for network news infamy?
A tiny monster busying the brows of doctors scurrying for antidotes.

I had no interest in the odds
Of this sly visitor, squeaking past vigilant eyes.
No interest also in the busy doctors,
Trained to screen homeland pests from foreign vectors.

My lips quivered in self-humor:
Circle back, avenger, passport-less peregrine
And steady your attention on my supercilious neighbor.

Woulda West Nile bite or two
On her pretty face,
Wipe out that sneer?          

(A World Assembly of Poets)                          
                            Comments by Cyril Wong
RE-MARKINGS: A World Assembly of Poets is a glorious anthology for daring to take risks and by including poets who aren't the expected names, like Joanna Chen from Israel (her 'Babel' poem is a perfect way to signal the anthology's conclusion) and Liu Hongbin from China (I'm thrilled in this case for how, due to "inhospitable politics" as Tijan Sallah mentions in his introduction, we are reminded of the pain of displacement and non-belonging that poetry can capture, waking us readers from any sense of political complacency). I also love it when memorable yet starkly contrasting poems that many have come to love in their different corners of the globe (like those by Rita Dove and the activist Tenzin Tsundue) are placed together in the same volume. Reading this motley curation of verse is both enriching and cathartic, as well as an overall beautiful and life-affirming experience. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of its cosmopolitan symphony. - best, Cyril 

Cyril Wong

You and your photographs of boats;
that repeated metaphor for departure,

or simply the possibility of a voyage?
What you cannot tell me, you tell me

with a vessel and its single passenger,
eyes fixed on some skylit conclusion.

Set apart and starkly upon a canvas
of tractable waves, brought to still

by the trigger-click of your camera,
like the sound a key makes when it

releases the lock. Your heart became
that lock; these images are how you have

always articulated distance, a withdrawal.
Darling, there are just as many ways

of saying goodbye as there are ways
of letting you go. The boat is narrow

like the width of my heart after
impossible loss, cruel resignation;

this heart you ride in. Love, if this is how
you choose to leave me, let me let you.

(A World Assembly of Poets)

Cyril Wong has been called a confessional poet, according to The Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry, based on his "anxiety over the fragility of human connection and a relentless self-querying." He is the Singapore Literature Prize-winning author of poetry collections such as Unmarked Treasure and The Lover's Inventory. 

                       Comments by Charles Johnson
Recipient of National Book Award, USA, the first African American writer to win this award after Ralph Ellison.

Nibir, I just received in today's mail A World Assembly of Poets: Contemporary Poems. This hefty book---417 pages!---is simply beautiful, even breathtaking. Congratulations, old friend. This is sure to become an essential work for readers and scholars. Pranam,, Chuck

Charles Johnson with Nibir K. Ghosh at the latter's Apartment in Seattle during his 
                        Senior Fulbright tenure in the USA, 2003-2004


                   Comments by Christopher Guerin

Dear Nibir,

Thank you so much for including me in your glorious anthology. It is the most significant publication I have ever received of some of my works.  I’m also deeply humbled that you chose to print two poems, “The House,” in particular. It has always been one of my favorites, but has never been published before. Seeing it for the first time in this handsome volume will be a cherished memory. I also greatly appreciate being mentioned in the introduction with some many other estimable poets.  I hope you plan to sell the book on Amazon. I will be happy to promote it to all of my friends and encourage them to buy it.. Again, thank you so much, and congratulations on a marvelous achievement. Warm regards, Christopher

Christopher Guerin is Vice President of Corporate Communications, Sweetwater Sound, Inc., USA

                                            Comments by Fred Chappell

Dear Dr. Sallah,

I have read through—much through quickly---A World Assembly of Poets.   I will be returning to it many times, to reread and reassess my feelings and thoughts.  But that will happen over months and maybe years, so I’ll respond now and re-examine later. It is quite an ambitious and successful undertaking.  I admire immensely your broad acquaintance with world poetry and—as I surmise from your notes—with the poets who contributed to the volume. I am proud and honored to be included in such colorful and august company.  But if I had comprehended more closely the nature of the collection, I would have submitted different poems.  I chose the fables because Aesop and La Fontaine are globally known names. But the form of the ancient fables precludes (mostly) social change or revolutionary sentiment.  Aesop’s attitude is one of weary, sardonic, or rueful resignation to the status quo.  He will not join with Aparna Lanjewar in “The joy of living in the philosophy/of Revolt and Revolution.”  He would not dispute with Gurchuran Rampuri that the ruler made the Book Divine “a pawn in his hands”; he would only agree, wearily.  He would not fight to do away with racial or sexual injustice or the caste system.  Aesop’s forte is fatalism, alas. So I would have chosen other pieces I’ve written.

    But this is really beside the point.  I admire the fighters for truth and justice.  Mr. Chipasula stands forth courageously, as do Mr. Kgositsile (“to have a home is not a favour”), Mr. Hoelbling (“numbers don’t honor individuality”), Ms. Naheed (“those who are afraid even of little girls/How small, how insignificant they are”), LaShawna Griffith (Choose any poem, almost any line.)   And so very many poets represented here who are or have been activists for the best causes. It is also very striking to me how many of these poems are about the art—and duties, especially—of poetry itself.  At least a good half at least of these poems examine, defend, uphold, and lament the role of the poets in society, how they are ignored or insulted or chastened ore even imprisoned by tyrannical regimes.   That has been a familiar theme since the time of Hesiod, of course, but in Assembly it is voice anew and often. Even so, this Assembly has variety: voice, language, metaphor, and usage that seem to spring from the soil of the nations from which they originate.  We will not mistake a poem from Spain for one from Russia, even when the themes are similar or nearly identical.  There is even room for humor—as in your pun on “hand” in our Introduction and the pun on “aids” in a poem I can’t locate now.
    So—once more—Thank you!   A strong job you’ve done the worthiest. - Yours truly, Fred Chappell

Fred Chappell, acclaimed poet and novelist,  is author of over a dozen books of poetry, a handful of novels and short story collections, and two books of critical prose. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Bollingen Award, the Aiken Taylor Award, an award from the National Academy of Arts and Letters, and the best foreign book prize from the Academie Française. He was named North Carolina Poet Laureate in 1997, a position he held until 2002. He retired after 40 years as an English professor at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He was the Poet Laureate of North Carolina from 1997-2002.  
                      Comments by Frank Chipasula

Amongst the silences of restless nights/ My voice wants to break through the shell of words/ to name and sing the evidence/ of our resolve and will to live/ past the glib of noble intentions.../ .....Amongst the silences of these restless nights/ our dreams refuse the perfumed bandages/ that try to hide the depth of their wounds...--Keorapetse Kgositsile ("The King Has Arrived")

Brother Tijan: Jealous down, as we say in my part of Africa, this is a powerful document, a treasure  and nourishment (beyond comfort food) that will fortify my creative muscles for the next leg of my journey on this rocky road.  This monument will endure the test of time. Though I have not read anything else because the book finds me in the middle of a demanding project, I know that this  document belongs with such anthologies as Jerome Rothenberg's Technicians of the Sacred: A Range of Poetries from Africa, America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania as well as Pierre Joris & Habib Tengour's Poems for the Millennium

FRANK M. CHIPASULA is a Malawian poet, editor and fiction writer. He holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Brown University, an M.A. in Afro-American Studies from Yale University and a Ph.D. in English Literature from Brown University. His Visions and Reflections (1972) is the first published book of poetry in English by a Malawian poet. His other books are O Earth, Wait for Me (1984), Nightwatcher, Nightsong (1986) and Whispers in the Wings: New and Selected Poems (1991). 

                                        Comments by Tess Onwueme

In this season of unrelenting drought
The scorched human body and soul appears jinxed,
Sizzling in the ravages of toxic Leadership
With vacated (nay, non-existent!) Conscience.

How then can today’s endangered Universe  
Not gratefully applaud this timely offering
 Of a nourishing collection
 By the “World Assembly of Poets “
Daring to water the sea of famished spirits?

For inviting me into this communion,
I cannot but chant

With honor and admiration, I salute you––
Tijani Sallah, Nibir Ghosh, et al.

 Tess Onwueme, Ph.D.,
is an internationally acclaimed multiple award-winning Playwright. She holds the eminent position of University Professor of Global Letters & Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, USA, and was nominated for the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.

                                      Comments by Margarita Merino

Dear Nibir, 

I have received the wonderful special number of Re-Markings: A World Assembly of Poets!!! It looks truly great!  Many congratulations! Thank you so much:  ¡Gracias de todocorazón!

It is an honor to be a part of it!  Please, give my warmest thanks to our Guest Editor and Editors, Dr. Tijan M.Sallah, Dr. A. Karunaker and to the beautiful and accomplished Dr. Sunita Rani Ghosh… Is she your wife?  I imagine how proud you both feel about each other!  Best wishes too to Sanddep K. Arora. A note of thanks to professor Jonah Raskin who is the person who sent my copy from Santa Rosa, CA.

My husband Steve Lindsay wants to buy two or three copies, but he told me last time he tried that the book still was not available for purchase… I want to send it at least to a couple of people who will love it!  I wish to you, to your beautiful wife, your family and country, that your compassionate and generous approach will come back to all your world with BIG gratitude, tranquility, plentitude,and well being. 

You, my dear friend, chant with your deep work and generosity the call for unity, diversity, understanding, respect, inviting all to open our minds to make us stronger in celebration of education, solidarity, life: We NEED those values in our wounded world, so I sing your name today!  

I am enjoying too your marvelousblog, and I am discovering little by little the contents of A Word Assembly of Poets!!!

 I have found the family I needed to share and feel I am part of the Earth!  I have met those who demolish boundaries, those ready to accomplish the dream of my old children poem: “Come on To Defend the Beauty of the World.”

This amazing book that you have created in company of other talented people is a blessing, an explosion of dignity and FREEDOM.  I am so happy to have the privilege to read such magical contents, its diversity, its warmth, its inspiration. ¡Muchasfelicidades!

This Special Assembly is permitting me to know poets who want to be humans first!  Yeah!  I am ready to travel no matter where to read with them.  In your blog it is so pleasant to find the wisdom of Jonah Raskin - and watch him pictured in front of my dreamed place!  Makes me happy to feel the energy of the poets, their comments!  I love to see the faces of my brothers and sisters!

I want to come back now to the book.  Opening it now (pg. 61) I find I am having a conversation with the great lady who was the mom of Tijan M. Sallah, in “a country…/ Where we greet everyone by name in the morning.” (pg. 64) 

The book, the blog... Where I should go?  : )

You, Nibir, and your friends understand the best part of knowledge: the one that heals and brings IDEALS and souls together!

Best wishes for you and Sunita.  My husband and I are dreaming one day not far away we will meet and celebrate with you both!  And with all your friends!

¡VIVA INDIA!  INDIA MOTHER OF MARVELS!  Margarita Merino Lindsay, January the 14th, 2018

Dr. Margarita Merino Lindsay was born in Spain, León “The Capital of Winter.”  She has published Viaje al inte­rior (Voyage to the Interior), Baladas del abismo (Ballads from the Abyss),  Halcón herido (Wounded Falcon), Demonio contra arcángel (Demon versus Archangel), the Italian bilingual anthology La dama della galerna (Grand Lady of the Tempest), Viaje al exterior (Voyage to the Exterior) Prof. María Cruz Rodríguez--in her  book on MM poetry -- points her "as the pioneer of Eco-Feminism in Spain” reflecting how along her poetical trip she is committed with universal love and compassion for Nature an all creatures.


        Comments by Veronique Tadjo
Dear Dr. TijanI have read A World Assembly of Poets with great pleasure. As you point out in your preface, it is befitting that Africa comes first. Our poetry has a long oral tradition and the African poets that you have chosen show this inspiration. It is an amazing achievement to have collected such a wealth of poems coming from voices all over the world. I have gained much inspiration from reading the anthology. So many interpretations of life! The telling of how we live and die - without borders. This publication is a testimony to the energy and determination of all those who have collaborated on the project. Congratulations to you, Dr Nibir Ghosh, Dr Karunaker and Dr Sunita Rani Ghosh! I am happy to feature in this major contribution to world poetry. Thank you for your preface and thank you again for including my work.
All the very best, Véronique

Véronique Tadjo is a writer, artist and professor of French and Francophone Literature. Born in France and raised in Côte d’Ivoire, she did most of her studies in Abidjan before earning a doctorate in Black American Literature and Civilization at the Sorbonne, Paris IV. She has written novels, poems and books for young people which she illustrates. Her work has been translated in many languagesShe shares her time between London and Abidjan. 

                     Comments by Prof. Sushil Gupta
Dear Nibir,
Thanks for a copy of this anthology of Contemporary Poems.
The sheer volume and its eclectic collection takes one's breath away. How you managed to compile it at all is a minor miracle. Tijan Sallah's introduction is all embracing and enumerates the global brotherhood of poets. I marvel at his sweep of Dalit theme in Indian poetry, plight of refugees over the world, uprootedness, migrations, holocaust, cultural hybridity, religious zealotry, middle east squabbles, all within 27 pages. My mind boggled at his recounting the names of distinguished poets from different countries and languages.
He manages to titillate the imagination through this cornucopia. My hearty congratulations!

- Sushil Gupta  

Prof. Sushil Gupta is the author of the acclaimed novel, 
The Fourth Monkey

                     Comments by Dr. Aparna Lanjewar

Truly happy to share that some of my poems are housed in this amazing unconventional anthology “Re-Markings” - A World Assembly of Poets special issue on poetry edited by well known Gambian writer and one of Africa’s significant voices Tijan M. Sallah. Its editorial team that includes UGC Emeritus Professor Nibir Ghosh and others have done a fantastic job of compiling together 100 contemporary poets from all over the world. Closely, modeled on the Vintage book of Contemporary World Poetry edited by J D McClatchy, which remains unmatched and unrivalled, this particular compilation, A world Assembly of Poets: Contemporary Poems is not just bold and seminal but comes quite closer to it.

The book is unconditionally unique and  needs no models but the only comparison if any it elicited was the vintage book from my point of view. There are possibly good many others but this seemed handy for the resonance of painstaking research is undeniable in both Also I must admit that I certainly do have few reservations for the vintage book too, as all you  frequently encounter are indisputable brand names only too willingly adding  up to the greater joy and delight of the compiler/editors. While speaking of our collection it definitely moves  on to the next level of greater inclusivity and challenges anthological stereotypes in many respects
I am particularly excited because in recent times when several anthologies and special poetry issues have come out listing the same conventional names in poetry, and seem guided more by personal choices and preferences of the compilers/ editors. This one definitely stands out for its depth, range, underlying beauty and multiplicity of poetic voices and approaches, Besides its penchant to meet reasonable standards of versification.It is a well researched collection, meeting rare reviews worldwide…Happy holding my copy right now…enjoying my presence amongst some very good poets across the world.

Dr. Aparna Lanjewar Bose is a trilingual writer, poet, critic, and translator. She is Associate Professor at  English and Foreign Languages University (A Central university), Hyderabad. She specializes in American Literature, African American Literature, Revolutionary Marginal Literatures and Contemporary women’s writings. Her study tours, research and Social activism led her to visit several countries like Germany, France, England, Switzerland, Sweden, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Thailand, Austria where she spoke on both literary and social concerns. 

  Comments & Review Essay 
                                   by Urvashi Sabu
Dear Prof. Ghosh,
I am delighted to receive the long awaited world poetry issue, and even more delighted to see my translations in them. Please accept my congratulations on the production of this very eminent, much needed volume that brings together world poets under one cover. Its elegant design and presentation, along with its content, are evocative of the high standards that Re-Markings is synonymous with. Thank you and best wishes for more such ventures in the future! - Urvashi

Re-Markings' Special Number: A World Assembly of Poets
Review Essay

When was the last time I saw, read or heard of the publication of an anthology of world poetry? With this question on my mind, I did a quick web search and realized to my astonishment that the last published compilation was in 2010!

Eight years down the line, there comes an ambitious volume, the brainchild of Prof. Nibir K Ghosh and celebrated Gambian poet Dr. Tijan M. Sallah, aptly titled A World Assembly of Poets. Published as a special number of the sixteen years old and still going strong literary journal ‘Re-Markings’, this issue is not only a collector’s item but an absolute must have for any serious student or lover of literature.

In a world riven  by war and strife, this special number makes a bravely unique and concentrated effort to unite, within the same cover, living poets from across all  continents; poets who are aware of, and alert towards, not just the craft of poetry but also of the dilemmas confronting humanity, nations, and cultures today. In the Editorial, Prof Ghosh quips about Plato’s aversion to having the poet in his ideal state; and moves on deftly to Shakespeare’s, Wordsworth’s and Shelley’s impassioned avowal of the craft of poetry, and the significance of poets across cultures. The contents page follows, with the sections being classified according to continents, and within that the countries, in alphabetical order. (No partiality there!) An Introduction by Dr Sallah critically traces, analyses and evaluates the evolution and growth of modern poetry, with reference to the poets included in this volume. And with that done, we come to the kernel.

The first thing that strikes one is that many of the poets are as yet comparatively lesser known; some even make their publishing debut here, in this issue! And that could possibly be the biggest achievement of this special number. This moving away from the canonical, the venerated, the Dead, to the Living, the new, and the mint fresh, reflects the concern of the editors to make this volume even more representative of the times we live in, rather than a hearkening to the ages past. It is an act of literary courage as well as honesty, of presenting to the world a new mirror to the present, a new retelling of the past, a new vision of the future. The second interesting aspect of this number is that barring a few (which appear in English translation), almost all the poems are originally written in English. While purists may deride this as not being representative of world languages, I am of the opinion that this conscious choice of one language, particularly from non English speaking countries, reflects a post colonial ‘coming of age’, a recognition, of ‘owning’ the language, so to speak. The poets under consideration are comfortable with the language, and use its tropes and nuances with refreshing expertise. The translations too are sensitive and refined.

Then there is the very interesting inclusion of the expatriate, globalised experience in the selection of poets who have relocated from their homelands to other countries. Thus, for example, Gurcharan Rampuri features in the Canadian and Meera Ekkanath Klein in the USA section.  The Indian section is eclectic, featuring legends as well as award winning poets (Arun Kamal, Gopikrishnan Kottoor, Shiv K Kumar, Jayant Mahapatra, Arundhati Subramaniam) academicians (Shankar Dutt, Ramesh C Shah) Dalit voices (Dr Aparna Lanjewar, Sharan Kumar Limbale) Journalist Pritish Nandy, senior IRS officer KK Srivastava, and, wonderfully rendered, Tibetan-Indian poet Tenzin Tsundue.

The poems in the volume speak eloquently of indigenous cultures, myth and folklore (Africa), of daily life and cultural flux, racial identities and conflicts (America), of women’s issues, caste and community, poverty and want, history and the glorious past (Asia). They are fresh, and appeal to the modern sensibility (Australia, New Zealand). They are inclusive and global, philosophical and evocative of the Classical age (Europe). They reflect the richness and pain of a mixed identity (Latin America and Caribbean). The tiny but unique section on the Middle East, featuring, (and this is surely a coup!) women poets from Israel and Iran is a fitting finale to a poetic journey through the modern world with all its conundrums and conflicts of identity, gender, class, community and nation. 

The volume is beautifully produced. Clearly a labour of love 
for its editors. This volume deserves praise not just for the ambition with which it was conceived, but for the brilliance of the final product. It could well be on the syllabus of university curricula across the world. And it should.

Dr. Urvashi Sabu is Associate Professor, Dept. of English, PGDAV College, Delhi University, Delhi . She has recently been selected for the prestigious Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship 2018 at UEA, Norwich, U.K.

      Comments in Poetic form by Dr. Hemlata Srivastava

                            If music is the food of  love...

"If music is the food of  love"
Poetry is the food for heart, 
Catering to the cravings of the mind.

It creates not only the rhythmic words,
But brings harmony to the discordant World.                                              
This brings to the need of Poets, need of Poetry.

And here comes 'A World Assembly of Poets',
Poets pouring perfect Poesy, 
Hailing from all corners of the world,

Covering all the Continents and the different shades, 
Passing through the prism of emotions,
Reflecting the serene ray of Poesy.

Appearing, as if the whole World gathered together,
To hold their hands and sharing their views, while
Voyaging through the realm of imagination and sailing through the waves of emotions.

Only Poets can do this magical charm,
And create the perfect world of calm,
That charms us with the enlightening vision

And make us cross the sea of oblivion, and
Help us reach the blissful mission
By giving a sense of unique satisfaction.

Which is beyond sharing, 
Beyond description, 
Installing the poet  
In the hearts of the readers.

Dr. Hemlata Srivastava is Associate Professor in the Department of English Studies & Research at Agra College, Agra, India. Here she is seen at the Shakespeare and Company, Paris
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