Tuesday, April 26, 2016

All-Shakespeare Poetry Session to Commemorate the 400th Death Anniversary – Apr 22, 2016



We had eight regular readers and a guest, Joe's son Reuben, who was visiting from USA. The first time we had an all-Shakespeare session was on May 9, 2009 at Talitha's suggestion:

Thommo, Reuben, KumKum, Zakia

 Sonnets and plays were the source of inspiration for readers at this 2016 event to commemorate the 400th death anniversary of William Shakespeare. The Bard is better known in India than in Britain according to a recent survey:

 Zakia, KumKum, Priya

From polyamory and anti-Semitism to the madrigal poetic-musical form and Original Pronunciation, the discussions were open-ended and contemporary. Which demonstrates how relevant Shakespeare continues to be 400 years after his death.

Thommo, Ammu, Shoba

 For a tour of Shakespeare's 400th anniversary being celebrated in Stratford-upon-Avon, consult BBC at

Joe & Gopa


 We missed Talitha, and five other readers who were absent for unavoidable reasons. But here we are at the end, smiling with our guest, Reuben, who took many of the pictures at this session. 



Priya, Thommo, KumKum, Reuben, Ammu, Gopa, Shoba


Friday, April 1, 2016

Commemorating Shakespeare's 400th Death Anniversary on Apr 23, 2016



Cobbe Portrait of William Shakespeare, ca. 1610, Artist unknown, oil on panel. Collection of Archbishop Charles Cobbe (1686–1765)

No poet has figured oftener on this blog than William Shakespeare (WS). His sonnets, his plays, and his long poems have been the subject of numerous readings at KRG.
Twice we have celebrated his birthday (Apr 23, 1564) with all-Shakespeare readings. And on his 450th birthday we sponsored a week-long celebration in Fort Kochi which is recorded in eight posts on this blog in April 2014. There were workshops in acting, a one-man Shakespeare play world premiere, excerpts from his plays by college performers, lectures, a puppet show and Elizabethan singers.



Each age will re-discover WS and find that resonance which makes him the Universal poet expressing the thoughts and sentiments of humankind everywhere. Poetry may undergo elemental changes from Symbolism to Post-modernism to Existential drift, but such are the varieties of truth a poet expressed four centuries ago in incomparable language that they will be resurrected and told four hundred years hence, with the same verve and novelty that they held for viewers at the Thames-side Globe Theatre in the sixteenth century.

Reconstructed Shakespeares Globe Theatre, London
This is a personal tribute to the poet who has gripped my imaginative life for over half a century. In this exploration I intend to look at the way Shakespeare treats death in his works, for it is the common end to which all humankind arrives after the journey of life. Nothing could be more appropriate on his 400th death anniversary. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Talitha Farewell Dinner — Mar 28, 2016


Talitha at the TVM Literary festival, Nov 2011


Talitha at a KRG reading in Thommo's house, Sep 2013

KRG members gathered to say goodbye to Talitha Mathew, one of our earliest members. Her husband Satish, a true friend of the Kochi Reading Group, has put in his papers with Harrisons Malayalam and they are returning  to live in their home at Thiruvananthapuram (TVM).


Kavita organised a dinner at the Cochin Yacht Club to say adieu – but we hope to see them again on future occasions when they come to Kochi. Talitha is not retiring and will continue her work, though from TVM as base.


Pictures taken on the occasion are interspersed here.


You can read more below.