Welcome to Poetry Month 2018 at No Water River!
Please take a moment to peruse the how-to below, and then dive in! Happy writing — and thank you for helping to build our collection(s)!
Remember: The Community Collections are open indefinitely, so you can visit each post at your leisure to add your poem!
transports readers to an India of the past with her inspiring stories of fierce female freedom fighters. Please welcome novelist …
A note on today’s post: Although Supriya does not write poetry, I was so struck by her debut historical novel, AHIMSA (which means “non-violence”), that I just had to contact her to see what we could come up with for Poetry Month. I’m so pleased that she obliged. I highly recommend checking out her artifacts page, where she shares the story behind the novel, including pictures of her great-grandmother with India’s first prime minister and one of the letters her great-grandmother received from Mahatma Gandhi.
Here are more notes from the author regarding the real-life inspiration behind AHIMSA:
“Anasuyabai Kale, my great-grandmother, was a freedom fighter who fought for victims of violence, for women’s rights, successfully commuted the death-sentences of some young men arrested during a riot, was jailed for her participation in the movement, and later went on to become a two-term congresswoman after independence. It was her determination and persistence that made me want to write AHIMSA.
“AHIMSA itself is not a verse novel, but there is a very famous epic poem mentioned in it that kids have to memorize in school in India. It’s about a queen who fought against the British in the 1800s, and the poet who wrote it was a female freedom fighter in the non-violent resistance against the British in the 1900s.”
Supriya has shared with us this excerpt from her novel that contains the poem about freedom fighter Rani of Jahnsi.
Choose a strong woman from history and write a poem about her life or the event she is most known for.
COMMUNITY COLLECTION 19: STRONG WOMEN
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Supriya Kelkar was born and raised in the Midwest and learned Hindi as a child by watching three Hindi movies a week. Winner of the 2015 New Visions Award for her middle grade novel AHIMSA, Supriya is an author and screenwriter who has worked on the writing teams for several Hindi films, including Lage Raho Munnabhai and Eklavya: The Royal Guard, India’s entry into the 2007 Acadamy Awards. She was an associate producer on the Hollywood feature Broken Horses. Supriya is represented by Kathleen Rushall at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
Follow Supriya on Twitter @soups25, on Instagram @Supriya.Kelkar, and on Flipgrid.
Discover more about the author and her books at www.SupriyaKelkar.com.
In 1942, after Mahatma Gandhi asks Indians to give one family member to the freedom movement, ten-year-old Anjali is devastated to think of her father risking his life for the freedom struggle. But it turns out he isn’t the one joining. Anjali’s mother is. And with this change comes many more adjustments designed to improve their country and use “ahimsa”—non-violent resistance—to stand up to the British government.
First the family must trade in their fine foreign-made clothes for homespun cotton, so Anjali has to give up her prettiest belongings. Then her mother decides to reach out to the Dalit community, the “untouchables” of society. Anjali is forced to get over her past prejudices as her family becomes increasingly involved in the movement. When Anjali’s mother is jailed, Anjali must step out of her comfort zone to take over her mother’s work, ensuring that her little part of the independence movement is completed. (from Amazon.com)
Real-life inspiration + letter from Gandhi
UPCOMING BOOKS BY SUPRIYA!
THE MANY COLORS OF HARPREET SINGH (PICTURE BOOK, FALL 2019)
THE SANDALWOOD PYRE (MG NOVEL, SPRING 2020)
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CALENDAR OF POETS ~ APRIL 2018
Check out the poetry video library!
Excerpt from AHIMSA copyright © by Supriya Kelkar.
Copyright on community collection poems held by authors indicated. All rights reserved.
Other post content © 2018 Renée M. LaTulippe or as indicated. All rights reserved.
Women in silhouette by Dennis Magati; Chalkboard by Markus Spiske; both via Pexels (no attribution required)
Good Morning Supriya! I just ordered your book for my middle school library. Thanks so much for dropping in today. I love historical fiction….non-fiction too but a little bit more fiction 😉
I’m currently listening Padma Venkatramen’s A Time to Dance. So, reading Ahimsa will be a nice follow up.
It’s so hard to choose a woman from history. I admire so many. But, I just finished to Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. I am in awe of her story and the poetry of that book. It’s one that I”m glad I have to listen to over and over.
Historical fiction is my favorite thing to read, Linda. I’m so glad you got the book for your library! I think you and your MG students will love it. 🙂
Thanks for your prompt Supriya, and for your strong voices in your books!