The British Council, in partnership with Monsoon Letters, has successfully launched Muse Masters – the first ever performance poetry contest in Bangladesh!
More than 750 young poets from across Bangladesh participated in this nationwide bilingual poetry contest. The top 20 poets participated in a two day basic performance poetry workshop facilitated by Inua Ellams, performance poet from the UK.
The national competition was judged by renowned poet Kaisar Haq; Rubana Huq, Editor Monsoon Letters; and Eeshita Azad, Head of Arts at the British Council. The top three contestants: Shazed ul Hoq Khan Abir, Syeda Samira Sadeque, and Sadaat Mahmood were rewarded with an exposure visit to the UK.
The prize giving ceremony took place at the closing ceremony of the SAARC literary Festival on the 28th February 2014. Mr. Nurul Islam Nahid MP, Honourable Minister for Education, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and eminent writer Samaresh Majumder handed over the awards and certificates to the winners.
Poet Kaiser Haq said:
'A thriving literature depends on new talent; and this contest has helped us beam the spotlight on some exciting new voices. It is a delight to welcome them into the international poetic tribe.'
In Bangladesh, the British Council aims to use this programme to create strong bi-lateral engagement with the UK, connecting poets and providing the opportunity to learn from each other’s literary traditions, fostering collaborative working, inspiring the creation of new projects and showcasing joint work.
AHM Mustafizur Rahman, a poet who participated in the competition and workshop said:
'The workshop gave the platform for budding poets from different walks of life to come together under the umbrella of poetry. Allowing them to exchange ideas, realizing that they aren’t alone in their love of the art. Monsoon Letters also gives an added incentive with their support and lastly, the British Council must be applauded for conducting and organising such an event.'