World Poets Day: Meet Madhu Raghavendra, man behind Open Mic Poetry culture in Guwahati
Madhu Raghavendra, the man behind India's largest poetry movement in India - Poetry Couture - has recently shifted and he’s set on the path to evolve the poetry space of Guwahati. Apart from being an internationally acclaimed poet, Madhu is a social activist and an art event curator.
Formally a senior consultant to the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, and Deputy Policy Lead at the Knowledge Partnership Program, Madhu quit his job in 2016 to dedicate all of his time in curetting poetry events across the country and make it sustainable.
His works feature in anthologies like Modern English Poetry by Younger Indians by Sahitya Akademi, 100 Poems are Not Enough by Waking BookFairs, and Map Called Home by Kitab, Singapore.
Madhu is the founder and curator of Poetry Couture, one of India's largest pro-bono poetry initiatives. Poetry Couture is a collective that aims at gathering fresh and budding poets across major cities of India and organize recitations for them with eminent and veteran poets attending these events. The initiative has organized many significant events across India in cafés, colleges and public and private institutions in English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil and Urdu. Poetry Couture also collaborates with organisations to use poetry as a tool to advocate human rights.
The initiative collaborates with some of the leading literary festivals in India, along with various organizations to use poetry as a tool to advocate human rights. Poetry Couture was awarded the Microsoft Create to Inspire Fellow Award 2015.
In northeast India, Madhu has conducted Arunachal Pradesh’s first Open Mic Poetry at Coffee Tribe, Naharlagun, Arunachal Pradesh’s first Performance Poetry Workshop at State Central Library, and started Open Mic Poetry culture in Guwahati and Tripura. He has also conducted Performance Poetry Workshop at the first edition of Guwahati Grand Poetry Festival and was an invited poet at Government of Meghalaya’s 18 Degree Festival in Shillong.