Celebrating Woman Power

Sunil Sharma
Welcome to this special edition of Setu that celebrates woman power!
March is the month when women get recognized and felicitated as sources of creativity, strength and compassion, and, for their natural nurturing and motherly instincts, quiet sacrifices and silent achievements, despite societal barriers in their paths as the other half of humanity, by a grateful world.
We thought of recognizing their wide-ranging contributions to society as institution-builders in our own humble way through highlighting an incredible spectrum of their heart-felt writings.
Hence, the current issue, another blockbuster. This time, featuring 312 top-notch poems by 110 women poets from 25 nations selected and presented carefully by the eminent Indian poet-editor Padmaja Iyengar-Paddy, also director of a monumental annual endeavor called Amaravati Poetic Prism that has already garnered critical global attention and acclaim for being unique in nature and scope.
Padmaja did a fantastic job at a short notice! Like the earlier guest editors Scott Thomas Outlar and Gopal Lahiri who equally did a great job of bringing out special editions on Western and Indian poetry in February and January respectively.
The overarching themes: Women, Power and Creativity.
And women poets responded with gusto to them.
Here, you will find a variety of moods and voices as invigorating as the Homeric dawn!
The female writing that questions and resists the modes of repression and domination unleashed by a capitalistic-patriarchal-caste complex.
They are lyrical, subjective, analytical, probing. Through poetry as the chosen medium, they articulate their lived realities, fears and hopes---and lies of a system that tends to deny them autonomy, agency, volition, sexuality and pleasure.
The women---professional or home-maker---are still spouse-dependent in marital home or parents- driven in their existence as unmarried persons.
They cannot dream, dress, love or marry, as per their individual inclinations or choices and are circumscribed from the beginning to the end by a male power figure and oppressive male ideology, retrograde in outlook, in the new millennium.
This is worst kind of enslavement for the species that gives birth, nurtures and raises families, according to the best value-orientation across civilizations and cultures and makes huge investments in the rearing of children and running of successful households, sans any complaints, last many ages.
Through this exclusive literary project, Setu brings into focus interiorities, subjectivities, fractured selves and identities from different cultures, time and space. Poetry is the space from where they recover bits of histories and submerged voices and a more just and democratic future is re-imagined and re-inaugurated.
In fact, it is women writing back their anxieties and reclaiming lost territories.
The writings are female, feminine and feminist---not in this order but there.
It is a conscious and political act of resistance against structures of wealth, power and gender construction---a complex that is heavily tilted in favour of the male.
The featured poets of great talent and eminence unmake the male world and re-make a just world.
You will definitely enjoy these signature poems representing varied places and experiences. The common thread---subtle or obvious---is that a bird has been un-caged by the simple gesture of writing.
Setu expresses gratitude to this Sisterhood of global nature and to Padmaja for delivering a carnival of voices in a world going rightist and producing untruth as the sole truth. These stand out as the interrogating voices. The truth that emerges is quite often disturbing--- like the real art.
The rest of the edition has been kept very simple due to the sheer number of the poetic pieces typical of the Exalted Female Order, in obscurity earlier, but now, in full view.
Please enjoy!
Sunil Sharma,
Setu, English, India


  1. Dear and respected Dr. Sunil Sharma. Thank you for providing me the great opportunity and for honouring me with the Guest Editor role for the 'Women, Power & Creativity' section of Setu, March, 2019! It has truly been an uplifting and enriching experience for me to put together diverse female, feminine and feminist voices through poetry in this section through 315 poems of 111 women poets fronm 25 countries! My heartfelt kudos and respects to the Editor-in-chief Dr. Anurag Sharma and to you for streaming live this bumper edition in record time, despite your own academic and Anurag ji's professional preoccupations! Bravo! Thanks again for having me here!

    1. Thanks and welcome madam Paddy. Your support, much appreciated!

  2. Dear Sharma ji, The special issue of Setu is before me. I have just started going through the pages and it would keep me busy for the rest of the month. I wonder at the huge effort by you and your team in bringing forth the bumper issue without delay. My congratulations to you, Anurag ji and the entire team.

  3. Thanks sir for your best wishes and support. We try to serve a good cause in our humble way. Women need respect. Their works are important document.


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