Indian English poet Sonnet Mondal has been invited to perform at the twenty-ninth edition of the Genoa International Poetry Festival, Italy, to be held from June 9th to June 19th this year. Sonnet will be performing at Doge’s Palace in Genoa on the 9th of June and will be performing at a poetry and music concert at Doge’s Palace Museum on the 12th of June, along with Slovakian poet Martin Solotruk and Soren Ulrik Thomsen from Denmark.
The Genoa International Poetry Festival is the biggest and oldest poetry festival in Italy. Over the years, the festival has presented Nobel Prize winners Czeslaw Milosz, Derek Walcott, John Coetzee, Gao Xingjian, and Wole Soyinka to other poets and artists such as Lou Reed, John Giorno, Juan Gelman, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Mahmoud Darwish, Adonis, Alvaro Mutis, Manuel Vasquez Montalban, Yusuf Komunyakaa, Mario Luzi, and many others.
Author of eight collections of poetry, Sonnet Mondal’s acclaimed books include Karmic Chanting, released in 2018, Ink and Line in 2018, and most recently, An Afternoon in My Mind in 2022. An Afternoon in My Mind, published by Copper Coin, has been described by critics as "mystical in its tone and a book of a million moments.
One of India’s most travelled poets of the contemporary era, Sonnet has been invited to several poetry and literature festivals, including Struga Poetry Evenings in Macedonia, the Cork International Poetry Festival in Ireland, the Berlin International Poetry Festival in Germany, and the Istanbul International Poetry Festival, among others. He led the Indian delegation to the Ars Poetica Festival in Slovakia in 2016, the same year he was awarded the Gyatri Gamarsh Memorial Award for literary excellence. Later, he represented India in the tenth anniversary edition of the Istanbul International Poetry and Literature Festival and was a part of the Indian delegation to Ukraine’s Lviv International Book Fair in 2019.
Speaking about the significance of poetry, Sonnet said, "Since the beginning of time, poetry and poets have transcended national boundaries and played a significant part in igniting discussions and discourses that have shaped a country's literary history. The literary responsibility of a poet towards society is to uphold the truth and temper it with imagination, and I believe that this kind of writing has a far more significant function to play than the lightweight news articles we see daily. Our cultural theory is shaped by what is written as poetry, and our cultural theory is what convinces future generations that we exist and that it is significant. Such is poetry's significance."