The Kamala Das Poetry Award, 2018
Poet Anna Sujatha Mathai is the recipient of the first ‘Kamala Das Poetry Award 2018,’ instituted by Women Empowered-India (WE), in memory of the firebrand feminist poet Kamala Das (1934 - 2009). This award is a recognition of Sujatha’s lifetime contribution to poetry, her fearless sense of justice that is an empowering force for us, her love and endurance in the face of all odds.
Anna Sujatha Mathai has been writing poetry for many years now. She has five Collections of Poetry in English. She has read them at various venues all over the world. Many have been translated into Danish and Swedish, Dutch and other European and Indian languages. She has also written critical reviews and articles for many magazines and journals, including The Hindu, The Times of India, Outlook etc. Her poems have been widely anthologised. Her main subject has been English Literature from the Universities of Delhi and Bangalore. She has also got a Post-Graduate Degree in Social Studies from the University of Edinburgh. Her work with troubled people has enriched her poetry.
The award ceremeony was hosted by the India International Centre Delhi (at the Kamala Das Complex) on Sept 28, 2018. Eminent poet Keki Daruwalla gave away the award to Sujatha Mathai, amidst the love & good wishes of family, friends, well-wishers. The evening also saw the Delhi launch of Equiverse Space - A Sound Home in Words.
Poetry & Equality
This is the beginning of a new note of optimism in our shared journey towards gender equality, that started with thematically curated poetry readings and discussions since September 2016. WE have held an evergreen seventeen sessions so far, hosted by eminent organisations and wonderful venues. Our heartfelt thanks go out to each and every person who has participated with joy and enthusiasm in WE readings. WE have said this before and must say it again - WE are You; You make WE.
No matter erosions wrought of time/space/ideology/individual perception/ paths, you are an integral part of WE and will remain so.
This inaugural issue of Our Space invites you to reflect on rain and verse, laden with an all pervading magic that resides in each one of us,
Do you believe in magic?
Yes we do. The good-times kind when life is a merry-go-round of pure happiness, but even more, the dark-times kind that appears in the darkest hours, a magic touch of love pulling you out of abysses too deep and too dark to traverse alone.
Filaments, glimpses, tendrils, striations, reverberations, lighted rays and luminescence of its presence you may have felt all around, but it took special effort on your part to put together its whole being almost like a jigsaw created out of awareness, knowledge, sincerity, kindness, curiosity, tender faith and a heart full of gratitude. When it rose up in the shape of a kind loving caring powerful being of infinite tenderness, you knew that in your heart of hearts you'd always been right - fairies and magic do exist!
You just had to keep the faith and light!