On December 22nd Riyang Books and the Loden Foundation hosted an informal evening of poetry in Loden’s new office space in Thimphu. Despite the bitter winter cold and the fact that the event happened on a Saturday night, nearly 40 poetry lovers and aspiring poets attended.  The event was prompted by the visit to Bhutan of poet and anthropologist Adrie Kusserow who was in Thimphu to run a workshop on media literacy for youth with BCMD (Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy).  Adrie started the evening off by reading a poem that she had written about Lama Shenphen and his work in Thimphu with young addicts. Then she read some of her older poems but also several from her newest collection, “Refuge” which is based on her recent experiences in South Sudan.

We then opened the floor up to others willing to share their work and were surprised at how many brave people took to the stage. While some came prepared, several others spontaneously decided to use their smart phones to read poems they had written and posted onto blogs or facebook.  The range of poetry that was read that evening was particularly heartening.  Dr Karma Phuntsho ( Loden’s founder) read several poems in classical Tibetan that he was inspired to write by his time in Paris. Established local author Gopilal Achraya read a descriptive poem written through the voice of a young boy growing up in Merak, eastern Bhutan. Several young people shared candid poems of love, longing and heartbreak.  Nick, a young American BCMD volunteer shared some of his rap. Many other attendees made it a point to tell the organizers that they looked forward to other literary events.


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Other Important Links:

Adrie Kusserow’s poem about Lama Shenphen :
The website for The Loden Foundation:
The website for Teesta Rangeet, a poetry journal based in Sikkim that recently published some of Adrie’s work, they also accept poetry submissions: