“Poetry should be free from Royalist Canada's university elites' hierarchy to come down to mass people” - was the resounding declaration by former Parliamentary Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke. Asad Chowdhury said, “…it is the poets' voices both classic and modern that have held humanity high above all sectarian communalism and will forever do so.”
In observance of World Poetry Day 2018, the two veterans, George Elliott Clarke and Asad Chowdhury came on stage together for the first time. The program was organized by the Bengali Literary Resource Centre (BLRC).
Supported by Toronto Arts Council at Albert Campbell Library auditorium, it was divided in four sessions. After the welcome speech by BLRC Secretary Fayzul Karim, and presentation by Arka Bhattacharjee, the panel discussion on Canadian poetry started with George Elliott Clarke as the Chair. Present speakers were Sujit Kusum Paul, Subrata Kumar Das, Parvez Chowdhury and Surajit Roy Majumder.
The post-tea talk on Canadian Poetry session was chaired by poet Asad Chowdhury with Delwar Elahi and Dr. Badal Ghosh as panelists. Asad Chowdhury concluded with his valuable remarks on a poet's subjective feelings and expressions depending on the individual reality and the choice of language.
Before the vote of thanks, the audience had another prized session of recitation from classic Bengali poets rendered by Toronto based artists.