Kohima: Based on Kohima PenThrill The publishing house released its 54th publication titled “Our Petals” on Monday, a collection of 40 poems by two friends – Vizosienuo Shuya and Chozila L Sangtam.
The duo, who met at a National Cadet Corps (NCC) camp, decided to collaborate because of their shared love of poetry. The poets describe their collection of poems as a book that deals with various topics, sparked by different events and feelings.
The book was published by Dr. Theyiesinuo Keditsu, popularly known as Mekhala Mama, who is an assistant professor at Kohima Science College.
At the book launch ceremony held at Ura Academy in Kohima, Vizosienuo Shuya, who made his debut as a poet, said that it took more than a year for the two poets to concretize their collaboration.
She shared how the two had no competition between them as they worked on the book, as both did their own thing and supported each other along the way, adding that her co-poet is a “superwoman” and a expressive person who was great to work with.
As for Chozila L Sangtam, 24, she said, “We are both individuals with different personalities, but the love of poetry has united us.
The poet who has already published a book in 2020, shared the challenges of how people have not valued the work she has done as an author, even asking her to get a government job for the financial security.
“But something inside told me I could do what I do. So I worked harder every day and tried to become a better writer. I also realized that being positive is important because it helped me do my job with so much ease,” he said.
She has encouraged other young Naga to worry less about what others may think of them and to come out of the shell of worrying about what others think, as this only destroys the ability to be. creative.
Promoting poetry for new voices
Editor, author and journalist Vishü Rita Krocha said the publication of “Our Petals” is another humble attempt by PenThrill to promote poetry as it is made with the belief that new voices represent the hopes, aspirations, the struggles and happiness of today’s youth.
“I think poetry may very well be the roadmap for the future that many young people aspire to have,” she said.
Recalling how she remembered her first publishing venture in 2008 which spawned ‘Echoes of Spring’, which she co-wrote with her sister Agnès, she said: “I think there has a certain joy in collaborating on something as beautiful as this collection.
Krocha, a poet herself, said poetry tells people’s stories, connects them to our roots and culture, and also helps people discover themselves, whether a person writes it or reads it. Adding that great poetry always enriches an individual’s experience, she said, “I think we also turn to poetry for comfort and to draw strength if not to savor the pleasure of reading.”
Why should women write?
Dr. Theyiesinuo Keditsu, while addressing the gathering as a special guest, commended the poets for the collaborative work of poetry. While it is brave and dangerous for a poet to share space with another poet, she praised the sheer collaboration between two women who produced great work without competition and supporting each other.
Calling the work a “feminist piece”, she highlighted why it’s important for women to write. For her, society looked at femininity with silence while masculinity with speech, a society where women were brought up and forced not to say or do certain things.
That’s why, she says, writing is important for women because it’s a way for women to speak up and enter the public space.
For women, the forgotten half of humanity, she said that writing is the only way to make women exist, to assert themselves and to create a place for themselves.
As women were also trained to write according to the standards set by men, she said that as a feminist educator and poet, she takes up the challenge of teaching her students the standard way of writing that has been transmitted by men in an academic way. , while imparting knowledge on how women can write from a feminist perspective.
In the current age, she said it’s also important for men to understand the imagery of women and the new language they use to express themselves in their own feminist terms.
Keditsu, who is also a poet and author, credited Krocha and PenThrill for giving voice to poets as it is a real struggle to get poems published. While people find prose easy to understand and accessible, she said the merit of poetry is its inaccessibility as it challenges people to think and imagine.
The release of the book was presided over by Vimeyiekho Vitso and began with prayers from the pastor of Meriema Baptist Church, Reverend Keduolhoulie Shüya.
A special issue was presented by Kihikali H Rotokha while the closing prayer was delivered by Kohima Intercollegiate Evangelical Union Secretary Chhaya Bisukarma.
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