Menka Shivdasani- Mumbai, India 2017

Organizer: Menka Shivdasani






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  1. The 100 Thousand Poets for Change event at the Kitab Khana book store in Mumbai, now in its sixth year, takes place a little later than usual, between October 26 and 29, 2017. This year, Cappuccino Readings, Women Empowered – India (WE) and AVITOKO Room Theatre have joined Menka Shivdasani to partner the event. Here are the details.


    • With the global movement 100 Thousand Poets for Change having entered its seventh year in 2017, the popular poetry festival at Kitab Khana returns. This year, it is being held between October 26 and 29, 2017.
    • The event, curated by Menka Shivdasani and co-presented this year by Deepankar Khiwani, includes programmes presented by Cappuccino Readings, Women Empowered (WE), AVITOKO Room Theatre and a special session for children conducted on Sunday morning (11.00 a.m. onwards) by Rati Dady Wadia.
    • The poetry readings will be accompanied by musical performances by Madhusudan Kumar and Natural Streets for Performing Arts Foundation.
    • Veteran theatre personality Alyque Padamsee will participate in the inaugural programme on October 26.

    With the global movement 100 Thousand Poets for Change having entered its seventh year in 2017, Kitab Khana, the popular bookstore in Mumbai, gets set to host its poetry festival for the sixth time. The four-day event, curated by Menka Shivdasani and co-presented this year by Deepankar Khiwani, takes place on October 26, 27, 28 and 29, 2017, with the generous support of Mrs Amrita Somaiya, Director, Kitab Khana, and her team.

    Joining in the 2017 programme will be Cappuccino Readings, hosted by Anjali Purohit (October 26); Smeetha Bhoumik’s Woman Empowered (WE) on October 27 and Vibha Rani’s AVITOKO Room Theatre (October 28). The popular Sunday morning event for children, conducted by Rati Dady Wadia on October 29 (11 a.m. onwards) will feature poems written by schoolchildren in Mumbai, representing various schools and organisations such as Writers’ Bug, Fun ki Pathshala and Young Writers’ Nook.

    The global movement, 100 Thousand Poets for Change was founded in the United States in 2011 by Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion, to highlight issues related to peace and sustainability, with a focus on local concerns. “Local issues are still key to this massive global event as communities around the world raise their voices on issues such as homelessness, global warming, education, racism and censorship, through concerts, readings, lectures, workshops, flash mobs, theater performances and other actions,” say Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion. The Global Event Day in 2017 was September 30, but the movement has now grown to include round-the-year multi-disciplinary activities that feature mime, music, theatre, art and photography, among several other creative pursuits. All events form part of the Stanford University’s permanent archives; the University refers to this as the ‘largest poetry reading in history’.

    “Kitab Khana is more than a bookstore; it is a place for writers, poets, artists, and different minds to meet and discuss many ideas and different things. We are very happy to participate in this event and become part of a larger global community of ideas and thoughts,” says Jagath T, COO, Kitab Khana.

    “I have been associated with this movement since it began in 2011 and am delighted to find that support has been growing over the years,” says Menka Shivdasani, who has been organising programmes for 100 Thousand Poets for Change since the inception of the movement. “In the first year, we organised an event at the Mumbai Press Club and a workshop for tribal children in Bandanwadi in Raigad district. Over the last six years, Kitab Khana, the popular bookstore in South Mumbai has whole-heartedly supported the event. Various other organisations have also lent their support to previous editions of the festival and this year, we are happy to welcome Cappuccino Readings and Women Empowered, which is celebrating its first anniversary. The movement has also helped to build a global community of artistes who share the common language of peace and sustainability, and many of us met for the first time at a world conference in Salerno, Italy, in 2015. ” In a previous edition, a contribution was also made to Nana Patekar’s Naam Foundation for drought-hit farmers, with generous support from those who attended the events.

    This year, a second book of poetry by children in Mumbai will be launched, on October 29. The first of these books, The Music of the Spheres, featuring poems written specifically for the 100 Thousand Poets for Change in Mumbai, was released in 2015, through an initiative spearheaded by Rati Dady Wadia.

    Mumbaikars who wish to send in their poems on themes of peace and sustainability for possible inclusion on the global site may send in their work to

    For further details, contact:

    Menka Shivdasani, Rukhsar Lokhandwala,
    Curator, Event and Communication Officer,
    100 Thousand Poets for Change, Mumbai Kitab Khana
    Email: Tel: 022 – 61702276/ 77/78/ 79
    Mob: 9820101507

    The 100 Thousand Poets for Change Mumbai poetry festival at Kitab Khana
    October 26, 27, 28, 29, 2017


    Thursday, October 26, 2017 (5.30 – 7.30 p.m)
    Imagine Peace, Imagine Change: The inaugural programme is hosted by Anjali Purohit of Cappuccino Readings. Veteran theatre personality Alyque Padamsee shares work by his favourite poets. There will also be a sitar recital by Madhusudan Kumar and multilingual poetry from the poets Hemant Divate, Ankita Shah, Deepankar Khiwani, Menka Shivdasani, Ranjini Rao Debnath, Arjun Rajendran, Anju Makhija and Smita Sahay. “Cappuccino Readings is very happy to add its voice to the 100 Thousand Poets for Change because it is only when we imagine the possibility of a better world that we can come together to effect that change,” says Anjali Purohit.

    Friday, October 27, 2017 (5.30 – 7.30 p.m.)
    Language, WE Converge: The second day features a session on the theme of diversity, hosted by Smeetha Bhoumik of Women Empowered (WE). “Diversity can be interpreted in myriad ways, just the way it is experienced it in our country – a co-existence of languages, cultures, religions, regions and assimilation of the new and unknown,” says Smeetha. Participating poets are Jayashree Hari Joshi, Imroz Alam, Rochelle D’Silva, Mrinalini Harchandrai, Lina Krishnan, and a performance band comprising Ishmeet Nagpal and Ramya Pandya. There will also be a musical performance by Natural Streets for Performing Arts Foundation (NSPA), with Suresh Kala (vocals) and Asit Sakpal (guitar).  

    Saturday, October 28, 2017 (5.30 – 7.30 p.m): Vibha Rani of the AVITOKO Room Theatre (ART), a film/ theatre actor, folk presenter, poet and corporate trainer, presents ‘Women, War and World: A Hymn of Womanhood’. The programme includes: Awaruddh – A play performance by AVITOKO Room Theatre Varanasi Chapter (Script- Pratima Sinha, Direction – Sumit Srivastava, Performance – Yashveer Chaudhary); Warrior Women, a musical poetry performance by AVITOKO Room Theatre Kolkata Chapter (Artistes- Urmimala Banerjee, Pami Saha) and Virasat- Poems of legendary poets of Hindi – Gorakh Pandey, Dr. Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’, Sumitra Nandan Pant, Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan with some folk songs of Mithila. (Artistes: Ashutosh Singh, Gulaal, Dimple Kharbanda Kapoor, Veena nagar, Rekha Babbal, Vibha Rani). Hosted by Qais Jaunpuri and designed by Vibha Rani.  

    Sunday, October 29, 2017 (11 a.m to 1.30 p.m.)
    The Miracle of Life: Schoolchildren in Mumbai share their poems on the theme of ‘Miracles’. This programme is conducted by Rati Dady Wadia, former Principal of Queen Mary School and a well-known educationist. Participants include children from Greenlawns, Breach Candy; Greenlawns, Worli; J.B. Petit High School for Girls and Queen Mary School. Other participating organisations include Fun ki Pathshala, Young Writers’ Nook and The Writer’s Bug. One of the highlights of the event will be a play written and directed by well-known children’s author Katie Bagli. A book of poems written by children for 100 Thousand Poets for Change in previous years will also be launched.

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