Bhubaneswar: Spoken Word Poetry, a form widely known in the west, was one of the most beautiful art forms picked up by the youth in India. Spoken word is a word-based oral poetry, supposed to be a performance with all the intonation and voice inflection, unlike traditional poetry where poems are simply read out loud. It has now caught the fancy of the younger lot in Bhubaneswar, too.
Cipun Mishra, a 23-year-old engineer from Odisha, currently working in Bangalore, is on a Spoken Word Tour Odisha, conducting workshops-showcase-open mic sessions in seven cities of the state. A brilliant poet himself who’s been a part of various poetry events in various states of India, he now wishes to propagate and spread the experiences he’s had as a spoken word poet.
The first workshop was in Bhubaneswar, which he conducted in collaboration with the Bhubaneswar Poetry Club, at Bakul Library. Next workshop is to be conducted in Cuttack today in the evening. Talcher, Dhamra, Sambalpur, and Rourkela are the other five cities he’ll tour in the next few days.
He is doing it for free, traveling on his own expenses, collaborating with other poetry groups in the city, with the objective of spreading the art of spoken word poetry.
He says, “I am doing these workshops to prove a point. The point is that performing art needs to move into cities where it is not as popular. The point is that performing in a popular hub is brilliant, but art is about spreading it, not limiting it to your zone of comfort. The point is that one person is enough to make things happen. The point is that the spoken word scene needs you, and you have said “Let someone else do it” or “What can I do alone” for far too long”.
This year saw a plethora of open mic events in the city, like the ‘My city my voice’ event by Atraski, storytelling event by Half Baked Beans, Unzip, an open mic on Women’s Day, Shaam-e-sharad, which was a Hindi poetry event with a well known performer from North India as the guest. Bhubaneswar Poetry Club renamed from Bhubaneswar Poetry Slam to Club conducts Ars Poetica every month and similarly, Sambhasha organizes baithak, a poetry meeting which focuses on Hindi and other regional languages. YourQuote started Open Mics in Bhubaneswar during June this year, too.
Spoken Word and Open Mics definitely seem to have a bright future in the city with people like Cipun Mishra and groups like BPC and Sambhasha.