“The third Bengali literary conference in the world” held in the United States
“The Bengali Third World Literary Conference,” organized by the North America Bengali Literary Society (NABLS), was held on Zoom. The event attracted expatriate Bengali literature enthusiasts from all over the world. Seminar speakers included expatriate writers and academics from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. Topics included “Women’s Empowerment in Bengali Literature”, “Immigrant Bengali Literature in 50 Years Since Independence”, “The Life and Literature of the Immigrant Bengalis: Synthesis, Assimilation and Adaptation”, “The Role of social media and publishing in the dissemination and promotion of Bengali immigrant writers “and” The role of epidemics and pandemics in great literature “.
“Fifty Years of Independence” and “Women’s Empowerment” were the key themes of this year’s conference. The opening session included a videotaped message from London-based columnist and author Abdul Gaffar Choudhury, who wrote the lyrics to “Amar Bhayer Rakte Rangano Ekushey February”. Ekushey award-winning writer Padak Jyotiprakash Dutta and award-winning Bangla Academy writer Purabi Basu, conference organizer, made opening remarks. The remainder of the session included poignant reminiscences of four freedom fighters currently living in the United States. Mahbub Hasan Saleh came from Belgium to recite one of his poems. The session was moderated by Canadian poet Dilara Hafiz.
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A 430-page anthology of Bengali poems, short stories, essays and a one-act play, “Hridbangla”, has been published online and in print to commemorate the conference. Expatriate Bengali writers from 15 countries on five continents contributed to the anthology.
NABLS was founded a few years ago with the aim of promoting Bengali literature beyond the borders of Bengali speaking regions, and to improve understanding and goodwill between expatriate Bengali writers and aficionados of Bengali literature. . They organize a literary conference and publish an accompanying literary anthology every year. The first conference was held in Atlanta. Subsequent conferences have taken place online due to the pandemic.
On October 10, a musical evening closed this year’s conference, which included a multitude of seminars, short book introductions and separate sessions of authors reading their poetry and prose.
The organization announced that next year’s conference will be held in Los Angeles.