Thursday, May 20, 2010

For better or verse

The small café on the first floor of a bakery was solemn only in its silence. Else, the smiles on the faces of the people filling up the tables told of a joy that one finds only among like-minded people. The lectern was taken by a young man and as he recited his piece, young and old sat in rapt attention. When the applause came, it was evident it was from the heart. Whoever said no one has time for poetry these days mustn’t have heard of this group.

Sure, it’s still popular  among certain circles but does petry pay? “Reading  your poetry to live audiences, private poetry readings, sale of published poetry, and reading at large Hindustani poetry platforms where it is tradition to pay invited poets,” are some of the ways to earn, says Amit Dahiyabadshah, the founder of Delhi Poetree, under whose aegis regular poetry reading sessions are held. He is also a well-known poet, who has collections such as Last Will of the Tiger, Bhiksha, American Face, Mitti, Chidiya and Script Arabic to his credit.

He adds that earnings can range from just travel expenses plus Rs 1,000, to Rs 2.5 lakh per reading. Poets have been known to make decent money by writing for cinema and television too, Javed Akhtar and Gulzar, for example.

Full report here Hindustan Times

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