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Serious literature buffs have an exciting weekend with Lekhana 2014

LEKHANA: A Literary Weekend, is back starting today. Hardcore literature enthusiasts and writers can look forward to interesting sessions like quantum poetry, tips on getting published and queer writing by renowned writers like Lakshmi Holstrom and Line Maria Lang. Organiser, Arshia Sattar of Sangam House, tells us more.

How did the idea come about?
Lekhana, a gathering of people interested in reading and writing, is an obvious extension of Sangam House, the international writers’ residency program that we run. We spend a lot of time there talking to each other about writing. Lekhana is the same thing on a larger scale and in a more public space.

How will it help literature enthusiasts in the long run?
Young writers get to listen to and talk with more established writers, older writers get to hear fresh new ideas and voices and idioms. Readers find new books to read, they get to engage with writers closely. It’s all good, really.

How is it different from other commercial literary fests?
Well, we’re not a ‘lit fest’. We do not have commercial sponsors. We spread the word on social media, we don’t have a PR machine. We stay as local as possible – and that includes Sangam House writers from all over the world who are resident at the time. We choose a weekend when we can all talk to each other, Sangam House writers and Bangalore writers. Everyone is equal and we focus on writing rather than on Bollywood or spirituality or music.

What are the biggest challenges writers face today?
Every writer needs to be read. That has always been the challenge and always will be – to get your work out to readers. And perhaps to other writers as well. I imagine Valmiki and Vyasa had the same concerns – who’s going to listen to my story and how do I get it to them?

Till January 12. At JDP Le Jardin, opposite Cubbon Park, MG Road. January 10-12.
Details: facebook.com/LekhanaBangalore

Rashmi Rajagopal

 

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