Carnival of Poetry (COP) is a monthly event organized by Migrant Writers of Singapore and supported by Sing Lit Station to establish bonding among the international community of poets and poetry enthusiasts. This event aims to celebrate the universality of literature, especially poetry, as a medium to communicate, unite, and celebrate humanity.
The COP March session was held on the 26th with the theme Who Am I. The theme chosen was heeded to celebrate International Women’s Day which falls on March 8th every year.
For that special celebration, we had 6 special poets who are generous and willing to share their amazing writing pieces. The opening reader was a young mother who shared her two writing pieces – the audience couldn’t help but to shed tears. Very touching lines by Ila about her mother and daughter were beautifully written and touched the audience, especially the piece about her daughter; a very strong line that I keep on my mind is “I am here with you and you are here with me”, it’s complete and breaks all the language barrier they have.
The second reader is a beautiful woman with a burning spirit in her eyes – Payal Morankar. I was impressed with her poem “The Best Present”. No, it’s not flowers or a diamond ring, it’s simple, the best present is how people (which in her poems is her childhood friend) call her by name (when I write this part, I get goosebumps) – this is what women still face until today in some parts of the world where gender equality is only left on lips or a piece of paper. Especially married women, who just lost their identity (name) and I can feel the joy when I hear the poem being read because it happened to me too.
Our third reader is Nur Afintin, Afi for short, a domestic worker from Indonesia who has been working in Singapore for almost 10 years. She shared two poems in English and Bahasa Indonesia. She shared the struggle that she had been through but it doesn’t make her stop pursuing her dreams because she believes that “her struggle and the process will not betray the results”.
The next reader we had was Abby Reyes, a very enthusiastic woman. Lots of things that we can learn from her, one thing that I vividly remember is that she write one of her poems shared that day only on her way to the event place and only finished when she reached and sat in the venue, hilarious!! I praised her for the words she chose/used in her poems; one message that bumps me also for all women outside there that are somehow in bad or not good condition, as a woman we must “fight with dignity”.
Coming to the fifth reader we had that day is Ayu Candi Sari. Ayu also shared her two writing pieces; one of them is “Seed of Life” – and please don’t be deluded by its title, it’s not about the seed that will grow into a plant; it’s about the most perfect creation cracked from a tree “herself” widely us as a woman (human), what an impressive line!
Last but not the least, we have this beautiful girl away from India, Layeba Humanity. Even though she physically wasn’t there at the moment, but still she delivered such a beautiful message through her writing.
I can write more and more about the March 2023 session that I have been moderating, it was super exciting especially when we talk about “Who Am I” and who we are as a woman in our society and circle of life. Having these amazing ladies is a bonus, they have huge energy and temendrous positivity despite every obstacle their face in their life. Through writing, they speak the unspoken words, through writing they screamed out their heartbeats.
This is not the first time I have been moderator of Carnival of Poetry, it has always been a pleasure to me, and with this opportunity, I want to say thank you to Migrant Writers of Singapore for such a wonderful event, and to Sing Lit station for its endless support, to the COP team and for all the readers who humbly accepted our invitation.
See you in the next Carnival of Poetry session with fascinating themes and more guests to share their voices.
Indah W. Yosevina