Cross-Stitched Words by Chaitali Sengupta

Chaitali Sengupta

Chaitali Sengupta
I've loved poetry all my life and I guess it has its roots in all those bedtime 'rhymes' my grandfather engaged me with. However, I was, unfortunately not so finely attuned to his 'rhymes' and ‘songs’, in which he took almost a childlike pride; my fascination, even then, was with the words. Later, when I published my first poem in The Statesman and The Asian Age, my tryst with words began.

         “Cross-Stitched Words” is my first collection of poetry in a prose-poem form, it is a culmination of years of scribbling my thoughts in journals, fed by life experiences. It mourns loss, celebrates Nature, and empowers the readers to seek solace in self-discovery and introspection, reminding them of their moments of personal significance.

It was at the enthusiastic encouragement of a close associate of mine that I sent the manuscript to the New England book festival. I myself did not know about this particular book festival as it is held in Boston, USA. I learned later that the mission of the New England Book Festival is to honor the best books of each holiday season, as determined by the festival’s panel of publishing industry-culled judges. Each entrant work is judged by a panel of industry experts using the following criteria:

1) General excellence and the author's passion for telling a good story.
2) The potential of the work to reach a wider audience.

On 21 December 2021, I heard that my work has received an HONORABLE MENTION in the poetry category this year. I was quite pleasantly surprised. Along with 7 other Honorable mentions in the Poetry category, this year the winner was Elizabeth Reinach's Tom the Cat and the Runner up was Josue Gonzalez's work Paradise Taken. I thank Bruce Haring and the panel judges of the New England Book Festival for this honor given to my debut collection. I congratulate all the winners and those who won the honorable mentions.

My thanks to my readers who have read my works and to my writer friends who have encouraged me to write. I also thank the editors at Setu who brought out this collection. Without the help from all of you, this would not have been possible!

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