Guest-Editorial: Voices Within 2021 (Gopal Lahiri)

Gopal Lahiri: Guest Editor
Poetry can reach across borders, cultures, and even time itself so that inner voices can be heard. Poets can use words to envision a way in which commoners can still come together and can still heal in this pandemic time and in doing so in a way that is not erasing or neglecting the harsh truths of life.

For this edition of Voices Within-2021’, I am thankful to Dr. Sunil Sharma, the editor of the English Section of Setu, the bilingual literary journal, published from Pittsburgh, USA, for giving me again the opportunity to guest edit like previous two years, the special poetry section titled ‘Voices Within’ wherein the best poems of the young as well as established Indian Poets writing in English are included.

‘Voices Within-2021’ brings poetry of various types and textures and the poets share through verse the feelings, ideas, beliefs and doctrines, each with a different interpretation, collectively, paint a large canvas of the contemporary poetic space. Poems are abstract as well as thought-provoking, capturing the precious moments of our life.

We all tend to believe that poetry can keep us out of trouble between catastrophes. In poetry, one allows uncertainty and indistinctness of multiple scenarios to cohabit at times. It may be noted that whatever its pain, the universe is also awash in beauty. 

The response for Voices Within-2021 by ‘Setu’ like earlier years, is overwhelming. I am thankful to all the poets who make efforts to send their best poems. It’s a difficult task to select the best of the best poems amongst many. 

This collection reflects radical connection across cultures and language that brings voices of hope and resilience, energy and compassion, love and grief. Most of the poems are aligned with the desired poetic elements and are accepted for publication but unfortunately not all poems can be accommodated. A few of the Bios are edited to make them crisp and concise.

Like last year, Voices Within-2021 validates the culminations of distinctive voices, and stamps the poems with a convincing and captivating command of tone, texture, style and technique. More than anything else, the sixty-two poets included in this collection have written poems that shed light, inspire life and foster a sense of collective purpose,

So in a face, so in a shapeless
flame, Angels affect us often. (John Donne)

Gopal Lahiri

62 Poets in Voices Within 2021

1. Amanita Sen
2. Amita Ray
3. Aneek Chatterjee
4. Ayaz Rasool Nazki
5. Basab Mondal
6. Basudhara Roy
7. Boudhayan Mukherjee
8. Chaitali Sengupta
9. Gayatri Lakhiani Chawla
10. Gayatri Majumdar
11. Geetha Ravichandran
12. Glory Sasikala
13. Inam Hussain Mullick
14. Ipsita Ganguli
15. Jagari Mukherjee
16. Jayanti Manoj
17. Jharna Sanyal
18. Kanwar Dinesh Singh
19. Kallol Chowdhury
20. Kavita Ezekiel Mendonca
21. Ketaki Datta
22. Laksmisree Banerjee
23. Madhumathy R
24. Manjula Asthana Mahanti
25. Milan Mondal
26. Minal Sarosh
27. Nabanita Sengupta
28. Naina Dey
29. Neera Kashyap
30. Nikita Parik
31. Niladri Mahajan
32. Nishi Pulugurtha
33. Paramita Mukherjee Mullick
34. Parneet Jaggi
35. Piku Chowdhury
36. Pradeep Biswal
37. Pranab Ghosh
38. Purabi Bhattacharya
39. Rajesh Chowdhury
40. Rajorshi Patranobis
41. Rituparna Khan
42. Rupsa Mukherjee
43. Sabarna Roy
44. Saima Afreen
45. Sangeeta Gupta
46. Sanjeev Sethi
47. Sanjukta Dasgupta
48. Sanket Mhatre
49. Santasree Chaudhuri
50. Santosh Bakaya
51. Sekhar Banerjee
52. Satbir Chadha
53. Shamayita Sen
54. Sharmila Ray
55. Soumik De
56. Sushanta Bhattacharya
57. Tangirala SreeLatha
58. Urna Bose
59. Utpal Chakraborty
60. Vandita Dharni
61. Vijay Nair
62. Vinita Agrawal
* Voices Within 2020 *

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