We are delighted to welcome author and poet Sonnet Mondal to the 2018 Fairway Galle Literary Festival.
Sonnet Mondal (India) is the author four books of poetry, and editor-in-chief of The Enchanting Verses Literary Review. His most recent book, Ink and Line, was co-authored with Sukrita Paul Kumar.
He has read, and represented India, at festivals in Macedonia; Cork, Ireland; Istanbul, Turkey; Granada, Nicaragua; and Slovakia. His poetry has been translated into Hindi, Italian, Slovenian, Slovakian, Spanish Turkish, Macedonian, Bengali and Arabic, and published across Asia, Europe, Australia and North America.
His recent works have appeared in the Kyoto Journal, Irish Examiner, World Literature Today, Mcneese Review, Palestine Chronicle, Drunken Boat, Indian Literature, Asia Literary Review and Two Thirds North.
A guest editor of Poetry at Sangam in 2017, Sonnet is the curator of the Odisha Arts & Literature Festival, India.
Winner of the 2016 Gayatri Gamarsh Memorial award for literary excellence, Mondal was one of the authors of the ‘Silk Routes’ project of the IWP, University of Iowa, from 2014 to 2016.
Sonnet’s poems in Slovenian translation by Barbara Pogacnik, were aired at the Literary Nokturno program of the Public Radio & Television of Slovenia in 2016 and most recently he was included in Sahitya Akademi’s Modern English Poetry by Younger Indians edited by Sudeep Sen.
To Syrian Children
– A poem by Sonnet Mondal
You all are culpable – for wending your way to schools
for going to hospitals, for playing in open spaces and
for keeping at your dreams within a country in rags.
Yes, you never knew that you would be going down with
a fever that would burn your fleshes into a universal
white fume – blooming in newspapers.
But, liven up the carcasses now. You wanted to be
in suits like Putin or Obama; look what have you ended up with —
a sweat of literate talks in a ground of experimentation.
The handsome presidents have osculated you goodbye.
Now burn yourself completely, or they would light cigarettes
out of you, blaming you for the cancer rampant in air.
Don’t let yourselves counted — history will be framed without you.
You won’t smell good like those dead woods and leaves, so
vanish with the fumes and transform yourself into water —
it would fulfill your hope –
of staying away from fire
and desire to wash blind eyes.
The Unborn ones, please retreat to your mother’s womb
The mouths of guns are shouting outside.
Wait till they have the ear to celebrate your first cry.
Mondal led an Indian cultural delegation to the Ars Poetica International Festival, Slovakia in November 2016 and read at the 2017 edition of the Cork International Poetry festival, Ireland. A Writer in Residence at Sierra Neveda College’s MFA in Creative Writing program, Mondal represented India at the 10th year anniversary edition of the International Istanbul Poetry and Literature Festival.
Prior to this, Sonnet has read at the Struga Poetry Evenings, Macedonia in 2014, conducted poetry workshops at the Uskudar International Poetry Festival, Istanbul in 2015, delivered talks at the International Young Writers’ Meet, Istanbul in 2016 and was a part of the International Poetry Festival of Granada, Nicaragua, in 2016.