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Unique book donation drive in Kolkata to create library

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Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library (IPPL) is modelled on the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh. It is a registered society which tries to bring poetry to the heart of the nation. IPPL celebrated its Book Donation Day on 26th May, 2018, where books were solicited to be donated to the library located at ICCR, Kolkata. It was a unique experience because it was not only book donation that happened on that day but also book donors, mainly poets, also read from their works. There is one process of building a library where books are procured from accrued funds. There is another process where a library is built through donation of books.

The latter process brings the human element into the making of a library. The day saw poets writing in English and Bengali and poetry lovers come together at the library premise to recite and donate their own books as well as their favourite poets’ books to the library. Close to a hundred books in English and Bengali languages were collected. Apart from IPPL members like Gautam De and Amalesh Dasgupta, some poets who attended the event were Anjana Basu, Mallika Bhaumik, Amanita Sen, Sufia Khatoon, Ipsita Ganguli, Ruth Pal Chaudhuri, Anik Samanta, Rajarshi Chattopadhyay, Nikita Parik, Biswajit Chattopadhyay, Arunava Chattopadhyay, Trishna Basak, and many others. Member poets like Amit Shankar Saha, Ketaki Datta, and Nishi Pulugurtha too donated books and read out from their works and those who could not attend like Sharmila Ray sent their books to be donated to the library.

Sutapa Chaudhuri, the Assistant Secretary of IPPL and a poet herself, was overwhelmed by the response to the call for book donation and thanked all the book donors. IPPL intends to have a designated section of the library dedicated to contemporary poets of Kolkata, where poets from in and around Kolkata writing in English, Bengali and other languages will have their books displayed. These contemporary poets who will come to reside in spirit on the shelves of this library will give the readers a sense of nearness when they touch the books touched by the poets themselves. These poets will know that some of their words have found a sanctuary where future generations will interact with them and make the library a living entity.