Poets from India and Bangladesh united by a common mother tongue and a long and unbroken legacy of literary giants right from Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam, have come together to present a unique collection of poetry that plumbs the undercurrents of contemporary Bengali verse. Titled The Great Bengali Poetry Underground (pre-order here), this anthology of one hundred poems by ten poets from the sub-continent offers what could be the first creative record of the subterranean streams of a ceaseless literary tradition which stretches back at least to the first cultural Renaissance of modern India.
`Great art begins underground,’ says novelist Rajat Chaudhuri who has translated the poems and written a lucid and provocative introduction to the book. Singapore based publisher Kitaab which is bringing out this volume in early March is upbeat about poetry. `There is a new audience for poetry that has been growing ever since the pandemic confined us to our homes’ says Zafar Anjum, publisher of Kitaab, `perhaps poems helps us connect better with the improbable times we live in.’