Monday 7 February 2011

Caferati's Fifth Annual Poetry Slam at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (formerly Prince of Wales) museum garden
Sunday, 13th February, 2011
7.00 pm.

Caferati's Annual Poetry Slam made its debut at Kala Ghoda in 2007 (the first in India, actually) and has returned every year since then, to much enjoyment from its faithful audience and participants. This is its fifth edition.


There are no required themes. (Since it's the eve of St Valentine's Day, we suggest you bring at least one love poem.)

We’re proponents of free speech, but please understand (1) that we must abide by the laws of the land, and (2) that there may be children present in the audience. Please don’t bring poems that could get the Festival in trouble with the law.


For initial submission via email:
11.49 p.m., 11th February, 2011. (We may extend this deadline, but don’t count on it.)
To respond to the invitation to the Slam:
10 a.m., 13 February, 2011.
On the day of the Slam, 13th February 2011:
Report to the sound console at the venue by 6.00 p.m, and ask to speak to one of the Literature volunteers. Please show all five of your poems to the volunteers.

How our Poetry Slam works
Even if you know how a conventional Slam works, please read this section. There are more than a few tweaks.

Before the Slam:

Each poet must have ready at least five poems.

To be invited to compete in the Slam, you must submit one poem via email. (See address at the bottom of this post.)

The organisers/judges will short-list poets from the entries. Selection criteria will be the quality of the writing and how well, in the judges’ opinion, those poems lend themselves to performance.

The selected poets will be informed of their selection only via email. Their participation will be confirmed only once they reply to that email and confirm that that will be able to perform at the Slam and that they will come prepared to perform five of their poems.

At the event:

Participants in each round will perform in random order.

After each round, the judges will vote, and the competitors with the lowest points in that round will be eliminated, until we have a winner. The exact number that will be eliminated in each round will be decided depending on the number of participants selected to compete in the Slam, and will be announced before the performances start.

Scoring will be cumulative. Those who survive each round will carry their points with them. Elimination in each round will be based on total scores up to that point. In case of a tie, the totals from that specific round will be used as a tie-breaker.

Rules and Conditions

Submit only one poem via email.

The contest is open to anyone over the age of 16, except families of the organisers and the judges. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been published or not, whether you’ve performed before or not.

Since the main event is live on stage, selected participants must be prepared to travel to the venue (at their own expense), from wherever they are, to perform their work.

Entries must be your own, original work.

Entries can be in Hindi, Marathi, Urdu and English

Each poem must take no longer than two minutes to perform. Time on stage will be kept strictly, and you will be cut off if you exceed the limit.

Participants selected for the Slam can, on stage, read from a written version, recite from memory, declaim, shout, or sing their words. They can stand still, gesture, pace, jump and up and down, stand on their heads, whatever. They will be judged on both the quality of the words they perform and the performance itself.

No costumes, musical accompaniment, or audio visual aids allowed. It's just you and your voice

There is no entry fee.

Submissions remain the intellectual property of the entrants, but by submitting an entry, you give the the Kala Ghoda Association, the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival and its Sponsors, and Caferati permission to use your entry, with acknowledgement, but with no payment to you, in their websites, as part of Press Releases (where they may be reproduced by media organisations), and in a possible special booklet or CD featuring the best of the Festival.

The decisions of the jury are final and binding, and no correspondence will be entertained regarding the jury’s decisions.


Caferati’s editors will evaluate initial submissions.

On the event day, there will be a panel of 6 judges.

The expert panel:

(to be announced)

The Audience Panel:

Three randomly chosen members of the audience will join the experts to help judge each round.


Prizes worth approximately Rs 3000 (first place), Rs 2000 (second place, and Rs 1000 (third place).

Winners will be announced at the end of the contest.

How to enter

Email editors AT caferati DOT com with the subject line Kala Ghoda Poetry Slam 2011.

Please include:
Your name
Your age
Your telephone number (preferably a cellphone you carry at all times)

Sunday 6 February 2011

The Essential Indian Books survey / the Readership survey

Would much appreciate it if you could post links to these on your blog. I'm trying to get at least a few thousand responses, and a link from you would help big time.

If you prefer to Tweet, you can use and

Click here to go to the surveys.

Essential Indian Books

Informal Readership Survey

Or you can take them on this page, below.

Do please pass the URLs on to friends as well. The more people we get to fill this out the better the results will be.

Many thanks!