English Club of North South University welcomed everyone at the inauguration of 'Pursuit of Poetry', a two-day event held on June 21 and 22 at NSU campus. The inter-university poetry competition involved the participation of North South University, East West University, BRAC University, Daffodil International University and members from Dhaka University Reading Club.
'PoP' began with 68 participants who signed up for it online, via on-the-spot registration, and at their respective campuses. The participants were required to write impromptu poetry within a time limit of two hours. The theme for this year, 'Sound', was revealed just before the event commenced.
The top 30 poems out of 68 entries were chosen and then the best 6 were selected by Maleka Sarwar, senior lecturer at Department of English and Modern Languages and Farzana Mohsin, lecturer and faculty advisor of the English Club. The top 30 participants were invited to the event's second day: a discussion session on poetry with special guests.
The guests for the second day of 'PoP' were Pro-Vice Chancellor of NSU, Professor Dr. A.N.M. Meshquat Uddin as the Guest of Honour and Adnan M.S. Fakir, writer-poet and founder of Finding Bangladesh as the special guest. Rifat Islam Esha, winner of Pursuit of Poetry 2011 and alumni member of English Club, conducted the programme. She congratulated the top 30 on being amazingly talented and announced the names of the best 6, inviting them to recite their poems for the audience and judges.
Subsequently the host invited the guest judges, Farzana Mohsin and guest faculty from the Department of English of Daffodil International University, Nahid Kaiser, for a 'Challenge the Maestros' segment where they were requested to create impromptu poetry based on themes chosen by the participants.
After a session of poems from the judges, the host announced the top 3: Hafsa Islam from BRAC University as 2nd runner up, Asmaul Husna from Dhaka University Reading Club as 1st runner up and Rasha Muntaqaa as the winner. The audience applauded as the winners accepted their gifts and certificates from the guest judges.
The Guest of Honour, on concluding the event said, “Only the correct balance of an inquisitive mind, right temperament and imagination can create poetry. I believe this event to be a great endeavour by the club and hope to see more of such creative gatherings.”
Guest judge Adnan M.S. Fakir said, “Poetry is usually personal, however it should be shared. This event has allowed an outlet to be created and a poet should always look for similar platforms.”
Rasha, winner of prize money of BDT 5000 and much more, was unable to attend the ending ceremony but on being approached later, excitedly said, “It's extremely inspiring to be able to win something of this measure, considering I finished within 15 minutes! My only regret: not being able to see the judges be proud of me in person.”
On the event's completion, President of the club, Kazi Akib Bin Asad explained, “PoP, our club's legacy, wouldn't have been successful without the cooperation of the participating universities. The outcome of the event goes to show poetry is not dead in our society but only needs a platform.”
Nescafe was the beverage partner of the event and the gifts were courtesy of Bookworm Bangladesh. SHOUT was the English media partner of the event.