Poetry that Resonates: Dreich Planet no 1 “India”

-Sunil Sharma

Selfdom is its own document: linguaphiles decipher it
(From “Postil” by Sanjeev Sethi, p. 40)

In a place surfeit with anthologies of every orientation, Dreich Planet #1 “India”, released last October, is a stand-out winner for the overall concept, design and execution.

And, a refreshing departure from the usual!

The line above, serving as the epigraph of this brief commentary, pretty much captures the general tone of this book of some fantastic voices, carefully chosen by a highly-visible poet as guest editor!

Slim and beautifully-produced, this selection of the 24 poets from India comes as a perennial source of sheer delight---sensory, linguistic and aesthetic in its overall effect---in an age of deficit attention and short memory.

Sanjeev Sethi
Curated by Sanjeev Sethi--- already a literary institution; playful and radically inventive; setting higher benchmarks for the creative community--- it is a smart mix of the new and established signatures. As a chapbook of contemporary poetry, it inaugurates a novel trend: Dissemination of serious writing through collaboration between a top-notch journal of one country and a much-admired poet from another, thereby creating universal values and alliances, timeless in appeal.

Scotland and India connect via powerful poetry through this anthology.

Dreich Planet, “India” opens up fascinating landscapes---inner and outer--- for the reader looking for quality content in a saturated market.

Sanjeev is published in every part of the world and has come to enjoy a global readership for his distinctive style, discipline, idiom and unique poetics.

This makes him eminently suitable for the job of bringing together some happening voices.

When Sanjeev makes a careful selection of poems broadly representing the contours of lived realities in shifting timelines and cultural geographies, it becomes news and time to celebrate! 

Within the yellow covers can be found compressed, an entire universe of exciting songs; a universe made up of stars, galaxies and stratospheres; co-created by the participating poets and the interconnected visions of the respective editors.

The finished product is---breath-taking in its range and impact!

Talking of the experience, Sanjeev says, “It was exhilarating! The idea of making a collection for a journal with high reputation and an editor willing to explore new possibilities.’

Sunil Sharma
The Afterword outlines commissioning editor Jack Caradoc’s mission: “Ideas are the most precious commodity in the world. The idea for Dreich Planet was germinated in the fertile brain of my esteemed friend and acclaimed poet Sanjeev Sethi. Sanjeev had asked if I’d be interested in devoting an edition of Dreich Magazine to poets from India. Which watered my brain into creating a new series of chapbooks. ‘Dreich Planet’ (as the former would take forever to fit into the magazine’s busy print schedule.) The poems here were selected and edited by Sanjeev Sethi and include a small cross section of Indian poets, some in scattered corners of the planet, some closer to home. It is always a joy to collaborate with Sanjeev and we hope you will enjoy the selection of poems presented here.”

Amplifying the idea, Sanjeev adds, “I began working on the project with a happy heart. Selecting 24 poets from the roster of available talent wasn’t demanding. The poems reached posthaste, and I was on to making the final cut. It was plain sailing. I enjoyed the process. Hope the readers relish the poems.”

Now, the poet wants to do more of such interesting collections for others as well, happy with the result achieved.

Talking of initial reticence, Sanjeev shares: “All this while I was wary of taking up an editing assignment. When offers were made, I would politely refrain from taking them on, but after this experience with Jack Caradoc, I’m ready for more such assignments.”
Indeed, we, too, look forward to such exclusive alliances; alliances that bring stimulating content to the the target audience in an innovative and meaningful way!

The front page sums up the spirit of the enterprise beautifully: Made in India and Scotland from Words. (Emphasis added)

Ideas, thoughts, words, images, idioms---essential grammar of fine writing---fusions that cast spells by the poets well-known for their individual works---an impressive line-up here, each distinct and fresh, capturing moods and sensibilities, for discerning readers!
Quoting few poets will be an injustice to the remaining ones.
It is a sublime bouquet, made up of all the parts, for you!
More power to Jack, Sanjeev and Poetry!
***

Sanjeev Sethi has authored seven books of poetry. His latest is Wrappings in Bespoke (The Hedgehog Poetry Press, UK, August 2022). He has been published in over thirty countries. His poems have found a home in more than 400 journals, anthologies, and online literary venues. He is the recipient of the Ethos Literary Award 2022. He is the joint winner of the Full Fat Collection Competition-Deux, organized by The Hedgehog Poetry Press, UK. He edited Dreich Planet #1, an anthology of Indian poets for Hybriddreich, Scotland, in December 2022. He lives in Mumbai, India. Twitter @sanjeevpoems3 || Instagram sanjeevsethipoems

2 comments :

  1. Thank you, Dr. Sharma, for the terrific article on Dreich Planet # I India. You have always been supportive. Heartfelt thanks. Warmly, Sanjeev Sethi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pleasure and honour, all mine. Thanks for the opportunity, dear Sanjeev!

      Delete

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