Eeshita Azad’s ‘Elegiac Songs’ reading and book signing event

by Alvee Khan

Performance poet Eeshita Azad’s book ‘Elegiac Songs’ reading and book signing event was held at Jatra Biroti on February 28. Published by Journeyman books, the book had been officially unveiled at the Boimela in Bangla Academy premises on February 18.
Eeshita Azad is a communications specialist and an arts event organiser with a career spanning over 15 years in New York, London and Dhaka. She was the former head of arts at British Council Bangladesh and currently working for Bengal Group Limited as the director of creative planning. Since 2006, she has been performing her poetry.
The event was graced by the presence of eminent personalities such as Sara Zaker, Syed Badrul Ahsan as well as young writers such as Rifat Islam Esha, Tyeb Ahmed etc. Various young poets and their presence enlightened the event.
At 6:30 pm, the event started by showcasing an audio visual. Afterwards, Syed Badrul Ahsan gave a speech and spoke highly of Eeshita’s bold approach towards poetry. He also added that several poems reminded him of metaphysical poetry of the 17th century poets with contemporary rhythms. He wished her best of luck and hoped that her attempt would encourage more young poets to publish their works.
The book has a selection of her English poems, divided into five sections – wistful, playful, hopeful, truthful and a fool. This collection reflects her personal experiences throughout her life and puts them in a social context. Each part has different artwork to go with them. These illustrations set the tone for the section. The readers get engaged towards the poem through her clever use of literary devices as well as subtle and obvious use of analogies and anecdotes. The poems are personal, but relatable. They can make the audience feel emotional in an effortless way. According to Eeshita her poems are cathartic and they come to her in a candid manner.
Afterwards, Eeshita read some of her poems from the book such as the Jump, Dragon-tongued, Death Wish and Words etc. However, this session had an interactive twist as she made some of her friends and underlings write a poem in response to the poems she recited. The crowds loved the segment and appreciated the whole arrangement.
The evening went on as Eeshita described her views and answered questions from the audience. She described her internal conflict regarding the publishing of such personal poems to a wider audience. She signed books afterwards as the event came to an end.
Poem lovers will be able to get Elegiac Songs at Arannya, Batighor, Bengal Boi, Pathok Shomabesh and many other bookstores.

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