Washington D.C. [USA], Oct 17 (ANI): Indian poet Abhay K. received a warm welcome in the United States (US) during his recent visit to Washington DC, Boston and New York, signifying the growing literary ties between India and the US.
During his visit to Washington DC in September, he was hosted over breakfast by Robert Hass, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry and the poet-laureate of the US (1995-97). Hass gave him a signed copy of his third collection of poems 'Human Wishes' while Abhay K. presented him a copy of '100 Great Indian Poems', apart from his own poetry collections 'The Seduction of Delhi', 'The Eight-eyed Lord of Kathmandu' and 'The Prophecy of Brasilia'.
They also discussed the role of poetry in bringing the effects of climate change, ecological crisis and environmental pollution to the attention of the new generation.
Abhay also met Tracey K. Smith, winner of Pulitzer Prize for poetry and current poet laureate of the US. During his brief conversation with her, he proposed the idea of a World Poet Laureate at UNESCO, on the lines of United States Poet Laureate at the Library of Congress, to which she expressed her admiration and support.
During the visit, he was invited to record his poems at the Library of Congress in Washington DC in 'The Poet and the Poem' series by poet and playwright Grace Cavalieri, who has been conducting this radio programme since 1977. The prestigious programme has featured major American poets.
This is for the first time in the programme's 51 year history that an Indian poet was invited to record his poems. During his visit, iconic 'Busboys and Poets' bookstore in Washington DC hosted a reading for him, along with poets Indran Amirthanayagam, Simon Schuchat and Venus Thrash. On the invitation of Washington Area Literary Translators Network, he gave a talk on his experiences with translating poems.
During his visit to Boston, he was invited to read at Boston University where he was joined by Boston based poets Ben Mazer, Philip Nikolayev, Ed Meek, Sassan Tabatabai, Mary Buchinger, Sara Afshar and Cat Dosset. The programme was hosted by poet and editor Zachary Bos. On this occasion, Abhay K.'s poem 'Mustang' - published by Boston based magazine Hawk and Whippoorwill - was printed on a specially designed yellow broadsheet for distribution.
In New York, he was invited by Matwaala - a group of South Asian origin poets - to read his poems at Asian American Writers Workshop, along with poets Meena Alexander, Ralph Nazareth, Usha Akella, Zilka Joseph, Vikas Menon, Varsha Saraiya-Shah, Vivek Sharma and Pramila Venkateswaran. He was hosted for lunch by Vijay Seshadri, winner of Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2013, who signed his book 'Wild Kingdom' with remarks "To World Poet, with admiration" for Abhay K.
Abhay has seven published collections of poems to his credit. His poem-song 'Earth Anthem' has been translated into over thirty languages and its first line 'Cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl' was recently quoted by Christian Science Monitor editorial board as an image of Earth in par with iconic 'The Blue Marble' and 'The Pale blue dot'.
Abhay, whose poems have appeared in over sixty international journals, has read at poetry festivals across the world. In recognition of his literary excellence, Abhay was conferred with the prestigious SAARC Literature Award in 2013. (ANI)