The leading spirits at the beginning were Paul George ('Bobby') at whose bookshop, Just Fiction, the sessions used to be held; Indira Outcalt whose enthusiasm for literature kept it going with the participation of several keen Kochi readers of English literature; and the late Manjoo Menon, grand seigneur of matters cultural in Kochi. Here is a news item from The Hindu newspaper about the early origins of the group reported by Priyadarshini Sharma:
The picture on the archival website of The Hindu is badly distorted. Here is the original picture
In various sessions we have also recited poetry translated from German, Marathi, Bengali, Oriya, and Sanskrit.
DC Books on Chittoor Road (opposite the YMCA) in Ernakulam have offered a cosy corner of their large bookstore for our reading sessions; we shall be meeting there henceforth. Our reading group is small, having 12 members now. We focus at alternate sessions on Poetry & Fiction. For fiction events we all read the same chosen novel and come together to read extracts and discuss. For Poetry each of us chooses a poet and tells something about her/him and recites a couple of poems. There is plenty of enriching discussion that follows. At the recent session on July 18, 2008 we had poems from Kipling, Keats, Arnold, Dylan Thomas, Carol Ann Duffy, Sitakant Mahapatra, Kahlil Gibran, and Barbara Reiher-Meyers. A report will be posted here later with some pictures.
Our next meeting is on Sept 5, 2008 at 5-30 pm and we are going to be reading from Michael Ondaatje's novel, Anil's Ghost.