Indo-American Arts Council holds successful week-long Literary Festival

Actor and author Deepti Naval, center, with other writers and authors at the November 12 and 13, in-person events of the Indo-American Arts Council’s Literary Festival, held in NYC. Photo: Kripa Prasad, ITV Gold

The Indo-American Arts Council, IAAC, held its Literary Festival Nov. 7-11, and Nov. 12 and 13, 2022, featuring numerous famous writers and artists. The Festival was conducted both online and in-person. The virtual sessions were hosted from Nov 7-11 and in-person talks took place on Nov. 12 and 13, in New York City at the Caelum Gallery where speakers included Priya Kumari and Raza Mir. Padma Shri recipient journalist Barkha Dutt was also scheduled to attend.

In Its 8th Year, the IAAC Literary Festival offered an intimate interaction with the leading minds and works of authors and poets writing about the Indian experience, organizers said in a press release.

Section of the audience at the IAAC Literary Festival in-person events Nov. 12 and 13. The online and in-person events took place from Nov. 7-13. Photo: still videograb from ITV Gold footage

Close to 100 people could be seen at the in-person events, listening to the intimate in-person sessions, a video from ITV Gold showed.

The live Poetry Panel was headlined by Arundhathi Subramaniam and moderated by poetry curator, Dr. Ravi Shankar.

Actress and writer Deepti Naval also attended to showcase her book, “A Country Called Childhood.”

Actress and writer Deepti Naval at her book reading during the IAAC Literary Festival in NYC Nov. 12 and 13, 2022 Photo: Kripa Prasad, ITV Gold

“I want the book to be a ‘back to childhood,’ (memory) for everybody,” Naval told ITV Gold during the event.

Preethi Urs, director of the Festival, called the event a “huge” success, and the first after the COVID pandemic. She urged everyone to watch it online and to come back for next year’s program.

Rakesh Kaul, vice chair of IAAC, noted that the team had put together more than 40 authors and poets from all over the world “and their stories take you on a journey that is wondrous.”

The Festival was a grand finale of India @75, celebrating India’s 75th year since independence, organizers noted.

Sculptor Raj Shahani, whose creations were on display, told ITV Gold the sessions at the Festival were “very educational” and that everyone should follow IAAC to keep up with such cultural events.

The writers’ series also included a dedicated Children’s Literary Panel on November 8, 2022 which showcased readings of “When Blackbirds Fly”by Hannah Lalhlanpuii and “Jamlo Walks” by Samina Mishra.

For two days running, some 20-plus authors and poets came to celebrate the Festival. Organizers said it was “fabulous” to see them engage the audience and have the close interactions. “There was something for everybody,” they said, including for children.

The series of online events featured ten writers including Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi; London-based restaurateur and Netflix’s “Chef’s Table” star, Asma Khan with Michelin Chef Vikas Khanna – author of the world’s first “phygital” (physical and digital) cookbook; plus, actress, dancer and choreographer, Rukmini Vijayakumar.

All in-person sessions were free and included breakfast, lunch and wine.



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