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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Poetry Chapbook Contest 2018!

Submission deadline extended to 15th July.

Rhythm Divine Poets Poetry Chapbook Contest Guidelines 2018

1. The poetry chapbook contest is being organized by Rhythm Divine Poets, a Kolkata-based poets group co-founded by three poets (Dr. Amit Shankar Saha, Sufia Khatoon and Anindita Bose) for the promotion of poetry.
2. The length of the chapbook should be between 24-30 pages of poems.
3. The language should be English.
4. There is no theme.
5. There is no submission fee.
6. There is no restriction of nationality to enter the contest.
7. Entry is limited to one manuscript per poet. No simultaneous submission allowed.
8. Only poets who have no full-length book published in print (singly or co-authored) and not more than one chapbook published in print (singly or co-authored) are eligible for entry.
9. The manuscript should be formatted in Times New Roman with 12 size font and should have a content page.
10. The manuscript should be in MS Word document bearing the title of the chapbook and the name of the poet.
11. Manuscript should be submitted by email to with the subject line “Submission – Chapbook 2018 – (Name of the Poet)”
12. The email should have: (a) a short bio of the poet, (b) a declaration that the entire manuscript is an original work and the poet bears the copyright to it, (c) a declaration that the manuscript has not been published as a whole in any format before, (d) if individual poems have been published in any journals/ magazines/ periodicals/ anthologies (print or online) then those details should be provided separately, (e) full contact details of the poet, (f) any disclosures that may be relevant.
13. The winner will be provided 20 printed copies of the chapbook published by Hawakal Publishers, our publishing partner. More copies can be bought from Rhythm Divine Poets. Postage to be borne by foreign/ outstation poets. Rhythm Divine Poets will make the chapbook copies available at their events for prospective buyers.
14. Poets who are longlisted/ shortlisted will be provided certificates if sought.
15. The launch event of the chapbooks will be held in Kolkata.
16. The last date of submission of manuscript is 30th June, 2018.
17. This year our judging partner is Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library (IPPL) who will appoint judges for various stages (longlisting, shortlisting, finale) of the competition. Rhythm Divine Poets will be responsible for monitoring the technical aspects of judging and resolving contentious issues that may arise. Secrecy will be maintained regarding which judge is judging which part of the contest.
18. No participating poet will contact any judge regarding this matter. Each manuscript will be provided a unique number and sent to IPPL judges without any identification mark of the poet.
19. After submission of your manuscript please be sure that you receive an acknowledgement email from Rhythm Divine Poets within a week. If you do not receive it then do email us. 
20. Keep checking Rhythm Divine Poets blog ( and/ or Facebook page ( for periodic updates. 
21. Rhythm Divine Poets will try to maintain the expected timeline of the contest subject to contingencies.
22. By entering the contest the participating poet grants Rhythm divine Poets the exclusive right to publish the submitted manuscript. 
23. The decision of the organizers will be final and binding and no disputes will be entertained.
24. Any violation of the guidelines will disqualify the participating poet. 
25. Rhythm Divine Poets will maintain strict ethical standards in conducting this contest and will expect the same from the participating poets.

About our judging partner:

Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library (IPPL), Kolkata draws on the model of The Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh, Scotland. Conceptualized as a unique national resource centre for poetry, the Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library boasts of a pan Indian outlook and aspires to become a veritable home of creative minds—to bring people and poems together nationally and forge lasting ties with the international writing community, thus building a worldwide audience for Indian poetry, and an audience for international poetry in India. A firm believer in the power of the pen, the Society also seeks to find avenues of exchange between poetry and other forms of visual & performing arts so as to heighten the impact of the arts on contemporary life and society and make poetry and the arts the means of societal uplift and aid as well. The advisory board of IPPL includes eminent poet Prof. Shankho Ghosh (Gyanpith awardee and Sahitya Akademi winner twice), Prof. Bashabi Fraser, Mr. Amalesh Dasgupta, Mr. Goutam De, Mr. Pankaj Roy, amongst others. IPPL is governed by Prof. Sanjukta Dasgupta (academician and poet with five collections of poems) as President, Dr. Sharmila Ray (academician and poet with eight collections of poems) as Vice-President, Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi (academician and poet with six collections of poems) as Secretary, Ms. Ananya Chatterjee (techie and poet with three collections of poems) as Treasurer, Dr. Sutapa Chaudhuri (academician and poet with three collections of poems) as Assistant Secretary, and others.

Previous Winners

Monday, October 30, 2017


My debut collection of poems titled BALCONIES OF TIME is published by Hawakal Publishers and is available online at 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

* Publications!

Read my poems "Heartbreak of the Lost Earth", "Coral" and "The One I Should Not Name" published in The Cauldron, 7th Issue, 2017

Read my review of Prof. Sanjukta Dasgupta's fifth collection of poems Lakshmi Unbound at Setu Magazine

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

* Spring 2017!

My research article "Existential Alienation and the Indian Diaspora: An Approach to the Writings of Anita Desai, Bharati Mukherjee, Sunetra Gupta, and Jhumpa Lahiri" published in CLRI journal. Visit:

My book review of Lopa Banerjee's Thwarted Escape: An Immigrants's Wayward Journey published in Bonobology blog. Visit:

My poems "The Bermuda Triangle" and "The Last Riverine Civilization" published in Tuck Magazine. Visit:

My poem  "A Secret of Forests" published in Oddball Magazine. Visit:

My poem "Autism" (#26) published in Different Truths online anthology on Autism awareness. Visit:

"Workshop on "Songs, Roots, Inheritance: Caryapada to Gitagovinda, Samkhya to Sahajiya"
15th April 2017

On the first day of the Bengali New Year a one-day workshop on “Songs, Roots, Inheritance: Caryapada to Gitagovinda, Samkhya to Sahajiya” was organized by Shoptodina Foundation at Mahabodhi Society Hall, Kolkata.  The workshop saw three presentations starting with the playing of a song from the Caryapadas, the oldest existing text of Bengali literature. The first presentation was by Dr. Tamal Dasgupta who introduced the theme and said that song is the language that has connected human beings since ancient times. Perhaps the Neanderthals got extinct in competition because of the Homo Sapiens’ ability to sing. He went on to explicate from the 3500-year old Hurrian hymn on how the transformation of foraging culture to agrarian culture affected human beings. From Krishna’s flute to Shakti worship at Pandu Rajar Dhipi are all perhaps fertility rituals. He brought focus on Samkhya philosophy and how its development through stages of ancient, classical, Sahajiya, Tantric and other forms saw aspects of duality between Purusha and Prakiti. He also brought in psychoanalysis and logocentrism to explain the materialistic base and tragic vision of Samkhya. His thrust was on the concept that Indian civilization is Samkhya-based and not Veda-based. He then went on to elaborate on how Lakshman Sen’s court poet Jayadeva’s Gitagovinda has Sahajiya philosophy at its root.

Post lunch-break saw two presentations on Kirtan and Baul tradition by Sayantan Thakur and AnirbanMondal respectively.Sayantan Thakur interspersed his presentation with beautiful rendition of kirtans while expounding on the various types of kirtans like Naamkirtan, Lila kirtan, Suk kirtan, Gunakirtan, Dhopkirtan, etc. He said that the two prominent gharanas of kirtans viz. Garenhatigharana and Manoharsaingharana gave the 162 taals used in kirtan. He said that kirtan has six parts – Katha, Sur, Taal, Katang, Aakhor, Doha – and how Gitagovinda’staals are kholtaal and not of pakhwaj. Sayantan Thakur created an atmosphere of serenity through his excellent singing skills and knowledge of ragas. After him the presentation on Baul tradition saw AnirbanMondal elucidate on how Baul originated as an alternative to conventional religion and represented a social revolution. He said that the etymology of the word “baul” is from “batul” which means crazy. He made it pertinent that in the Baul tradition the status of woman was very high and a woman could also be a “guru” and give “diksha” to disciples. The Baul tradition attracted marginalized people across class, religion, social and economic backgrounds.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

* Poetry on Tram and Hosting Nabina Das!

Rhythm Divine Poets went reciting poems on a decked up tramcar around the city on the occasion of International Mother Language Day on 21st February, 2017. The event was part of CIMA, Chitrabani and Rotaract Club of Central Calcutta’s initiative to raise awareness about this eco-friendly mode of transport. The tram had paintings and photographs on display by various artists. The event was covered by Citi Cable and Friends FM. Apart from Rhythm Divine Poets there were other groups who joined the initiative, like Monmarte, as well as individual musicians like Akash Dasupta, Pavlu Banerjee and others. The ride started at Nonapukur Tram Depot around 2:30 p.m. and went all the way to Esplanade Tram Museum where there was halt for refreshment and then back to the depot. At the museum there was more of music and poetry recitation. Poets who recited included Anindita Bose, Amit Shankar Saha, Sufia Khatoon, Urvashi Mukherjee, Akash Sinha, Komal Khaitan and others. Many foreign students in Kolkata on exchange programme from the US too came on board to be a part of this novel ride. Trams have been a heritage of Kolkata but now operate only on a few routes in the city. Rhythm Divine Poets are happy to join this effort of bringing together art, music, poetry and our heritage the tram in an interesting combination that gives an amazing experience.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

* Release of Rhythm Divine Poets Anthology!

Rhythm Divine Poets Anthology Volume 1 (2016) was released by noted Indian poet Sharmila Ray and US poet Neal Hall at Art Rickshaw on 21st January, 2017.

It was followed by a formal book launch at the Kolkata International Book Fair. 

Rhythm Divine Poets also did a poetry event at the US pavilion at the Kolkata International Book Fair.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

* Virtual Reality!

At the launch of the poetry anthology Virtual Reality I spoke on the topic "Virtual Reality: The Literature of Suspending Disbelief."The text of the speech has been published in Different Truths. Visit to read -  

Monday, September 26, 2016

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

* Two Book Reviews and a Poem!

Two book reviews and a poem published. 

“The Disorder of Things: A Review of Kushal Poddar’s A Place for Your Ghost Animals and Understanding the Neighborhood,” Asian Signature, ISSN No: 2456-1584, Vol. 2, No. 3, August 2016. <>

A Review of Igniting Key: A Collection of Poems by Pramila Khadun, Ampat Koshy and Bina Biswas,Vanya's Notebook, 9th August, 2016. <>

My poem "Reconciliation"published in the Semeen Ali edited "Dissent" Issue (No. 68, Jul-Aug 2016) of Muse India <>

Monday, July 25, 2016

* RD at Infi Gaming (LeOFa)

Rhythm Divine Poets performed at League of Fandoms event at Infi Gaming (Salt Lake). Glimpses from the event.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

* At the International Music Day Festival!

Poetry Recitations

Inox, City Centre, Salt Lake

Doodle Room

Yamaha Music Square

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

* At the 7th National Poets Meet

At the 7th National Poets Meet held in Kolkata (Pan Asia Continental Hotel) on 14th May, 2016.

Being awarded the Poiesis Award of Excellence in Literature
by Gopakumar Rashakrishnan and Swapna Behera

On being shortlisted for the Reuel Prize 2016 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

* Report of the seminar on “Towards Classical status for Bengali Language”

Shoptodina Foundation, the brain child of Dr. Tamal Dasgupta, has been doing pioneering work related to Bengal and Bengalis especially through their academic mouthpiece The Journal of Bengali Studies. Under the aegis of this foundation on 15th April, 2016, a seminar was held in Mahabodhi Society Auditorium, Kolkata, titled “Towards Classical Status for Bengali Language”. In the sweltering heat of an April day the heritage structure saw intellectuals from different fields engage in a discussion that at some point in time will prove decisive in gaining the classical status for a language that is a heritage of Bengal. It is not only a matter of pride for the Bengalis that this initiative is being taken; it also opens up logistical and infrastructural facilities for the upliftment and spread of the language which is being compromised in usage due to the constraints of not being the language of currency on a global platform in more sense than one.
L-R: Subodh Sarkar, Tamal Dasgupta and Arjundeb Sensharma
The seminar, divided into two sessions on both sides of lunch, saw speakers express their thoughts on the issue in hand from their angles of vocation and research interests. The seminar began with a very interesting paper presentation with audio-visual aids by Dr. Swarup Bhattacharya on the topic depicting the transition through the ages of the boat of Bengal. Bengal being a major coastal area from where river and sea navigations have taken place since time immemorial has seen boats as central to the livelihood of its people and at a metaphoric level it symbolizes the spirit of Bengal and its classical anteriority. Language is as intrinsically linked with livelihood as nothing else can be. After this presentation Tapoban Bhattacharyya spoke on Bengal’s so-called first monarch Sasanka. He pointed out that at school and college level history books the space dedicated to the rule of Sasanka is being shrunk and given just a cursory mention and thereby a sort of elision is happening that is detrimental to the glory of Bengal.

Raibatak Sengupta followed it up with a speech on the status of Bopdev, who is seen variously as Bengali and Marathi due to lack of any well-researched evidence. The speaker iterated that time demands an appropriation of this legendary figure of history so that the grayness disappears. It was then that Dr. Arjundeb Sensharma made his crucial presentation detailing how proto-Bengali language developed since Sasanka’s time and has directly descended into the modern form that is prevalent now. He gave arguments on why Bengali language should be accorded the status of classical language. Later Dr. Piya Biswas discussed Charyapadas and how they are part of the development of Bengali language from its proto origins (and not exclusively precursors of Oriya language). Anirban Das too argued for the classical status for the Bengali language and presented evidence of the antiquity of this language. Rituparno Chattopadhyay’s speech with the help of a Powerpoint Presentation was on the trade of Bengal and how the seals of Bengal prove the prevalence of a proto language that is the antecedent of present-day Bengali.

The penultimate speaker of the seminar was the Chief Guest himself, the noted poet and academic Subodh Sarkar. He regretted the facts that we live in a country where a language like Sanskrit gets the classical status after Tamil, where there are no speakers to argue for the classical status of an ancient language like Pali, and where Oriya gets classical status but not Bengali yet. He zeroed on the cause that the lack of unity amongst Bengali-speaking people has led to this state of affairs. He blamed the upper-middle class Bengalis who give little importance to their mother tongue and favour English instead. He promised all help if the demand is made to grant the classical status to Bengali language. Dr. Tamal Dasgupta summarized the proceedings and presented his own view point at the end of the seminar. He argued for the need of classical status for Bengali language, and elaborated the stakes that the Bengalis have in this battle, and what they stand to lose if they do not engage into this struggle for classical status. Extensively referencing Suniti Kumar Chattopadhyay's magnum opus ODBL (Origin and Development of Bengali Language) Dr Dasgupta offered a cogent case for the language of Charyapadas being identical with old Bengali. He cautioned against the continuous poaching of Bengal's heritage at the hands of various vested interests, mentioning Jayadeva as a case in point. He further said that everything that stands for the pride and glory of Bengal is gradually getting eroded and it is time that Bengalis realize the precariousness of the situation and take proactive measures to address the issues that are at stake. His speech made it apparent that if the alarm is not sounded today then it might be too late.  

Monday, March 28, 2016

* Rhythm Divine Poets' Anniversary and Woman Scream!

Rhythm Divine Poets group celebrates it first birthday on 12th March at Cocoa Bakery (New Alipore) organized by Kushal Poddar, Sana Mohammed and Swasti Jaiswal.

Rhythm Divine Poets organizes the Kolkata chapter of 6th Woman Scream International Poetry and Arts Festival at Mandeville Gardens on 26th March, 2016 coordinated by Women Poets International -

Prof. Sanjukta Dasgupta in conversation with me in Incredible Women of India e-zine

Lopa Banerjee interviews me and Kushal Poddar in Learning and Creativity e-zine