Five Bangladeshi poets shine in Sweden | The Daily Star
12:09 AM, October 31, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:23 AM, October 31, 2013

GÖTEBORG BOOK FAIR '13

Five Bangladeshi poets shine in Sweden

">Muhammad Samad speaks at the event. Muhammad Samad speaks at the event.

Five Bangladeshi poets-- Nirmalendu Goon, Ruby Rahman, Muhammad Samad, Mrittika Goon and Anisur Rahman -- recently took part at the Göteborg Book Fair '13 in Sweden with their publications. They also participated in two seminars under a segment named 'Vignette Voices from Bangladesh'. The fair has become the largest literary festival in Scandinavia and the second largest book fair in Europe after the Frankfurt Book Fair.
One of the seminars focused on Bengali poetry dating from Rabindranath Tagore till today. The other seminar focused on contemporary Bangladesh as a highly productive literary country. Despite political turmoil and economic adversity, Bangladesh has produced hundreds of literary magazines annually, as well as published thousands of books of creative literature. Newspapers present volumes of literary supplements every weekend.
The books published this year, included both, prose, poetry, and a new translation of Rabindranath Tagore's “Gitanjali”. Noted Swedish poet Kristian Carlsson has undertaken the new translation of “Gitanjali”. Carlsson has also translated a book titled “Bengali cloud”, which comprises 80 poems by 17 poets from Bangladesh.
The fair also included a number of publications of Bangladesh -- “I Raise My Voice Beyond This World Poesy” by Nirmalendu Goon, Ruby Rahman, Muhammad Samad, Anisur Rahman and Mrittika Goon. (Edited by John Y. Jones),“Poetry, or Else” by Anisur Rahman, “Free Word on Escape”, an anthology that includes poetry, conversation and prose by Taslima Nasrin and Anisur Rahman, “Six Seasons” by Anisur Rahman (translators Kristian Carlsson, Magnus Dahlerus and others).
Nirmalendu Goon belongs to the generation of writers that emerged in the 1960s. He is in the ranks of poets who have never detached themselves from the masses. His poetry reflects his experiences of the Liberation War (1971). Goon was one of the most prominent young poets in the post-liberation period. Since then, he began experimentation on language and poetic form. Over the years, the poet has developed a signature style, distinguished by simple language, powerful syntax and subtlety.
Ruby Rahman is a poet who earned recognition in the 1970s. She is also known as an experimenter and innovator in her chosen literary medium, particularly in her use of interior monologue. Her poetry is noted for its lyrical and symbolic qualities. Most of her poems are connected with time and its passage, the physiological journey of human beings, love, dream, respect, freedom, secularism, history as well as the difference between external and inner time.
Muhammad Samad is a distinguished poet emerging in the 1970s. His sharp vision and passion, reflected through verses, have enriched Bangla poetry. For inspiration, Samad veers towards patriotism, political and social aspects in our society, romanticism and nature. His poems also focus on people's woes, wants and desires. His selection of words and phrases has fetched him many admirers. Samad was in the ranks of the poets post the mid-'70s who sought to begin a movement that would encourage noticeable form and content.
Author and journalist Anisur Rahman writes in both Bengali and English, and debuted in 2003 with the poetry collection “Empty Glass”. Due to several years of political reprisals in Bangladesh, he currently lives in Uppsala, Sweden, where he was also a guest writer 2009-2011.
Mrittika Goon debuted with a poetry collection, “Aamar Akashe Brishti”, in 2012.
At the conclusion of the event, the poets recited poetry and took part in a discussion session at the Uppsala Theater. They also visited Wik Folk High School and Voksenåsen in Oslo.

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