Towards a portal for the verse of the unheard

  • Who to listen to?
    • Rural women poets
    • Poets who spend the bulk of their lives trying to eke out daily wages, yet find time to write
    • University students whose primary focus is a career but who still have an inexplicable urge to write poetry
    • Unlettered poets
  • Guiding rails
    • Aim for the poetic lull behind the noise – the statistical asymptote – of unheard voices; here is where databases, categorization and visualization come in
    • Chime with global and historical well-lit poetry of oppression/dissent:  Latin American;  black (esp. Africa and US); feminist; Bhakti etc.
    • Work with mainstream poets, esp. regional ones, without highlighting their work
    • Along the lines of A.K Ramanujan’s collection of Indian folktales and P.J Sainath’s people’s archive of rural India but for verse
  • Where to look for?
    • Rural spaces where marginalized poets speak
    • Universities
    • Katchi abadis
    • The unlit mushaira/gathering of poets
  • Who to work with?
    • Regional poets with social justice sensibilities
    • Social justice activists with poetic sensibilities
    • Academics with social justice and poetic leanings
  • Challenges
    • Creating effective quality filters which are open to the myriad voices without damping them down
    • Identify the spaces in ‘Where to look for?’
  • Nuts & bolts
    • Blog/wiki for poetry collection
    • A platform for data collection via browsers and phones using the tools I have built (if blog or wiki is not up to the task)
    • An incremental portal that learns its categories from the data collected

New Visualization/Portal Ideas

  • Bhakti, Race & Gender: black poets esp. US (Audre Lorde, Gwendolyn Brooks), feminist poetry; early South Indian movements/saints/poets all the way till fifteenth century North Indian Kabir, try and put their work Indian/regional/global historic context, esp. that of movements and dissent
  • Towards a portal for the verse of the unheard
  • Visualize Hamza Alavi’s work
  • Making complex math and physics concepts accessible to 12 year olds
  • Medical/public health portals in regional languages