This ‘school of poets’ aims to bring the voices of budding poets in the limelight through a vibrant and interactive online portal.
From the time he was a young boy, Ankur (26), loved visiting several local literature events in his neighbourhood in Sumerpur, Uttar Pradesh. While attending various lit fests, he noticed that there was no platform for budding poets like him. After completing his BTech in computer science, he wondered how he could showcase his poetry in a recognisable space.
In May 2016, he launched Kavishala, a space for his own poetry. After receiving about 50 to 60 requests from various amateur poets, he decided to expand Kavishala further. In July 2016, Kavishala was open to all those who wanted to upload their poetry.
“We have platforms like ‘Rekhta’ and ‘Kavita Kosh’ but they are far from the reach of common poets. That's when I thought, "Why can't new poets share their excellent work online?” says Ankur Mishra, founder of Kavishala.
That idea has certainly benefitted various poets.
“It is hard to believe that in the time of Dhinjak Pooja and Honey Singh, youth is not only showing interest in poetry but also creating pleasing and beautiful poems. Kavishala is basically a workshop of poems which is playing a crucial role in arousing interest in poetry as well as in beautifying it. Kavishala’s efforts are undoubtedly recognisable.”- Aseem Trivedi (Cartoonist, Poet)
“It is really a surprise that in a country where there are a large number of poetry lovers and writers, there was no suitable platform for new poets. After being connected to Kavishala I could reach a larger audience both through an online and offline medium, for which I am really thankful to them.”- Danish Mohd Khan, poet.
Being a techie worked to his advantage, since he could develop the website and the app with no hassle.
“Since I am involved in running an IT services startup ‘Foreantech’, I maintain the Kavishala website and app. Sometimes, the Foreantech team helps me manage Kavishala offline as well as online.” says Ankur.
Kavishala is a platform for new and young poets, where they can write, share and discuss their poetry online as well as offline. It mainly caters to Hindi poets though there are a few English poets too. The website and the app facilitates the coming together of poets who can share their poetry, connect with others, read poetry and gain insightful feedback on their work. Apart from this, Kavishala also conducts meetups at different places such as Jaipur, Delhi, Lucknow, and Hyderabad. According to Ankur, Kavishala has attracted a fair amount of people, nearly, 2000 plus active poets and over 16,000 published poems.
Though they aren’t facing any major challenges through the online portal since they have the skills and resources to solve any technical issues, there are quite a few issues regarding their meetups. “We are able to solve any online challenge since we have web and social media teams but we face problems when it comes to funding, space, and venue for an event.” says Ankur.
These, however, are minor obstacles and Kavishala is doing well much to Ankur’s surprise.
“We have published two books with more than 150 poets so far. Apart from that we have seen an increase in the number of people attending our meetups. There were only eight-nine poets who came to our first meetup. We have so far conducted 9-10 which has seen participation of 100 people and more. The joy of sharing and recognising each other’s poetry is the success that Kavishala aspired for and has achieved in a short span of time.” he adds.
In order to sustain Kavishala and the new poets on board, Ankur has come up with a detailed plan for the next few years. On the anvil are a literature festival in March next year and series of workshops where new poets can learn about how to improve their skills in terms of content and representation.
“We will be approaching producers, directors and lyricists to see if they could use some of the work our poets have done. We might open up this platform to other languages as well, and in other countries where we have poetry lovers. “says Ankur.
They also intend to conduct book promotions and display adwords on their site to gain more revenue.
Kavishala also plans on launching its own store where tees with printed customised poetry excerpts will be available.
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