Celebrating National Poetry Month and 100 years of Oxford Bookstores, U.S. Consul General Melinda Pavek visited the centenary old Oxford Bookstores at Park Street, Kolkata, today to interact with 25 student leaders from city high schools (Birla High School, Sushila Birla Girls’ School, Army Public School, South City International School, Modern High School for Girls) who participated in the poetry workshop curated by the American Center Kolkata team. Mrs. Maina Bhagat, Director Oxford Bookstores, welcomed Consul General Pavek, and gave her a brief tour of the iconic bookstore. C.G. Pavek then joined the National Poetry Month program, and addressed the students, before they presented their original poetry presentations in groups. Consul General Pavek, along with Mrs. Bhagat and James Moore, Deputy Director of the American Center judged, scored the presentations, and gave feedback after each presentation.
Consul General Melinda Pavek said, “Today is a day of celebrating relationships that continue to grow, blossom, and bear fruit. As Oxford Bookstores celebrates its centenary year, the United States and India are celebrating 75 years of an important and multi-faceted bilateral relationship, enhanced by the people of both our nations. Be it students, diplomats, artists, writers, businesspeople, politicians, journalists, or leaders from civil society, religious institutions, charitable groups – all of us have the potential to make a daily difference during this momentous time in history. Poetry is a crucial bridge that connects. We can think of a poem as a vessel that contains our emotions, from those felt and forever lost to those yet to be explored. The voice of a poet allows us to hear the experiences of others and meld it into our own feelings and experiences.”
Speaking at the occasion, Maina Bhagat, Director, Oxford Bookstores, said, “We are delighted to collaborate with the American Center Kolkata, to celebrate National Poetry Month, April 2022. The initiative, a creative participation of students in a workshop titled ‘There’s a Poem in this Place’ held at our Heritage Bookstore, resonates strongly. Such events remind us that Poets have an important role to play in our culture, and that poetry matters.
We warmly welcome Melinda Pavek, Consul General of the United States of America in Kolkata and James Moore, Deputy Director of the American Center, and look forward to working together in the months ahead, as the bookstore celebrates its century in Books with a wide spectrum of literary events.”