In a unique endeavour, unprecedented in the literary history, in size and scale, Indian diplomat poet Abhay K. has succeeded in creating the first-ever poetry atlas on the capital cities of the world.
Titled "CAPITALS", the poetry anthology has poems on 185 national capital cities contributed by 173 eminent poets from every continent, including Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, Pulitzer Prize Winners Mark Strand, Vijay Seshadri and T.S. Eliot Prize winner George Szirtes.
In his introduction to the anthology, Abhay K. writes- "As a frequent traveller, I often felt the need of a poetry atlas on world capitals but I could not find one. So I decided to create one for my reading pleasure. It seemed impossible to create a poetry anthology on the capital cities as I didn't know many poets from Africa, Latin America. It took me three years to complete it."
Published by Bloomsbury, the anthology is ordered alphabetically- Africa, Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe and has index of poets and capitals cities to help the reader find out a poem on the capital city of one's choice. It takes the reader on a journey like never before, as Kwame Dawes takes one to a night in Accra when the crescendo of drums finally overcomes the gunshots, or Mark Mcwatt drifts down memory lane in the suburbs of Georgetown. One can feel the raw emotion as Salah Al Hamdani laments of what has become of Baghdad.
Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, a highly regarded Indian poet notes -"As the world shrinks and border fences go up, and travel becomes both easier and more difficult, CAPITALS looks like the book to have to see what the poets in Moroni or Tegucigalpa are doing, I cannot think of a better place to begin."
Widely travelled author and former UN Under Secretary General of the United Nations Shashi Tharoor feels- "CAPITALS marries word and verse to elegance and fire, transporting history's ghosts and tomorrow's hopes in an inspiring journey of the soul."
CAPITALS will be formally launched at the Jaipur Literature Festival on 21st January 2017 by renowned British poet Ruth Padel. Later it will be launched at the India International Centre, New Delhi on 27th January 2017 at an event organized by the Poetry Society of India. Its London launch is scheduled on 1st February at the SOAS, University of London. The Poets House, New York is organizing a reading from CAPITALS at its venue on 5th January 2017.
Abhay K. is the author of six collections of poems including The Seduction of Delhi. His poems have appeared in over two dozen literary journals including Poetry Salzburg Review, Asia Literary Review and have been translated into Irish, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Slovenian, Portuguese, Mandarin and Nepali. He received the SAARC Literary Award 2013. His Earth Anthem has been translated into 28 languages.
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