Toto Funds the Arts 2012 winners for Creative Writing

 

Click here to see the original post, which also lists the winners for music and photography.

CREATIVE WRITING IN KANNADA (one award, Rs 25,000) (no. of applications: 89)
The three jurors were: Vivek Shanbhag (fiction writer and editor of Deshakaala), M. S. Ashadevi (critic and teacher of Kannada literature) and critic, short-story writer and novelist K. Satyanarayana.
There was no long list.  There were three applicants on the short list.
Short List
Sushrutha Dodderi (Bangalore), Kavya P. Kadame (Hubli), Dr Kanaada Raaghava (Bangalore)
The award went to Kavya Kadame for her poetry.
Jurors general remarks:
““This year’s entries came from various parts of Karnataka with diversity of themes and sharp articulation. Contrary to the common belief that the short story form in Kannada is richly vibrant and highly experimental in nature, poetry gained dominance in these entries. Even those writings that qualified for the final round were mostly from the genre of poetry—they displayed skill and maturity.
            It’s a rare opportunity to read the writings of youngsters, and the Toto Award provides a sneak preview of new writings in Kannada.”
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Remarks on Kavya Kadame
About Kavya’s poetry, the jurors said: ““the most fundamental marker of genuine poetry is the love of language. If language makes for the body of the text, it also becomes the voice. If novelty can be termed transformed perception, it is inevitable that language becomes its partner. The poems in this anthology draw the reader’s attention for these very reasons. The manner in which the poems cobble together ideas and forge unanticipated dimensions, determines that ‘search’ forms their core concern. The most commonly noticed ‘hurry’ to grab everything and to thereon wallow in the illusion of success is absent in these poems.  The youthfulness and spontaneity of the poems do not take away from it the dignity of emotions. The collection, therefore, heralds the arrival of a true poet.“
CREATIVE WRITING IN ENGLISH (two awards, Rs 25,000 each) (no. of applications: 178)
Supported by Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions’ Art Grant
The three jurors were: poet, short story writer, novelist and Books Editor of The Caravan, Anjum Hasan; poet and editor of Almost Island, Vivek Narayanan; and poet Sridala Swami.
Long List
There were 29 applicants on the long-list.  They were:
Aditi Rao, Sharanya Manivannan, , Samhita Arni, Joshua Muyiwa,  Sriya Narayanan, Amita Basu,  Kaushik Viswanath, Rohan Chhetri,   Trisha Bora, Nandan Rosario, Pali Tripathi, Meghna Srinivas, Sushumna Patel, Manasi Subramaniam,  Deeptesh Sen, Anushka Jasraj, Rishiraj Verma, Tashan Mehta, Pervin Chhapkhanawala, Adithya Pillai, Kamayani Sharma, Varsha Seshan, Tanvi Srivastava, Madhura Birdi, Praveena Shivram, Shalim M Hussain, Chanakya Vyas, Prashant Prakash, Ramneek Singh
Shortlist
Five applicants made it to the shortlist. They were:
Rohan Chhetri (New Delhi), Sriya Narayanan (Chennai), Ramneek Singh (Bangalore), Kaushik Viswanath (Chennai), Joshua Muyiwa (Bangalore)
Awardees
The awards went to Ramneek Singh and Joshua Muyiwa. Ramneek received the award for his play The Cage of Sparrows , while Joshua won his for his 9-part poem The Photographer and the Poet.
Jurors general remarks:
“We did not try to evaluate the entries based on any single set of criteria or prescriptions; rather, we were interested in the pieces that were able to define their own rules, be distinctive, original and confident in their vision of the world and of literature.  In this sense, we must also have been influenced by some entrants’ ability to choose the best, and only the best, of their own work to send.
We considered four plays, of which one has won the TFA prize. Another was promising, but we thought it was somewhat derivative. Many of the stories allowed a random series of thoughts and observations to masquerade as short stories; more often than not, stories with potential were ruined by trite or abrupt endings. The poetry entries were promising and in another year might have fared better.”
Ramneek Singh: The Cage of Sparrows shows huge performative potential. The scenes are well-paced and the characters memorable. It was not hard to hear the Punjabi and the Hindi inflections behind the words of the dialogue. There’s a strong sense of place – of rural Punjab – and the recent history of the people. This is a sophisticated script, very absorbing as a piece of writing, but also clearly meant to be watched.”
“With stagecraft more frequently taking on the techniques of cinema, it was not surprising that the judges thought this read more like a film script than a play; this is not a bad thing and perhaps even indicates a new direction in writing for the theatre that answers a demand for something beyond the proscenium stage.”
Joshua Muyiwa: The Photographer and The Poet sequence is a fearless and ambitious piece of work. It is allusive, certainly; elusive a lot of the time, but always deeply felt, the intelligence of the poet shining through every poem. There’s a carefully choreographed progression of a relationship between two people and between the history of photography and the gaze of the poet. Not only does the poet refrain from making these ekphrases merely a series of descriptions of images, s/he also manages to sustain a difficult set of questions and propositions through nine poems.  There is something of Roland Barthes and Anne Carson in these poems.
‘By virtue of our choices we become photographers or poets’, the poet says in the last poem, with the merest hint of mischief: as these poems show, it is possible to claim the photograph through the poem and be either and both at once.

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