Poet, essayist and translator Taposh Gayen started his writing career in the late eighties. Apart from writing poems in Bangla and translating literary works from English, he also writes on literary issues for local and foreign literary journals and periodicals. He has to credit six collections of poems.
In a recent interview with New Age, he talked about the Amar Ekushey Book Fair, his works that are available at the fair and more.
New Age: Tell us about your new book that has been published eyeing the Amar Ekushey Book Fair?
Taposh Gayen: My latest book Kaler Kheyay Swapnamay Shareer got published at this year’s Amar Ekushey Book Fair. This book is an experimental work where I have tried to encompass historical analysis, storytelling and poems. I have attempted to portray 11 great personalities of Bengal in the book. I would like to coin the term prose-dream-poetry series to describe the work. I hope the book will get accepted by readers.
New Age: How many of your books are available at the book fair?
Taposh Gayen: In the past 12 months, three of my books got published. Besides Kaler Kheyay Swapnamay Shareer, two other collections of poems titled Anasakto Ekmutho Jol and Adrishyatay Drishyaman Amra are available at the book fair. I penned Anasakto Ekmutho Jol in Dhaka almost thirty years ago while Adrishyatay Drishyaman Amra has been written during the pandemic.
New Age: Booklovers, authors and publishers from across the country congregate at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair. What can be done to make the fair more lively?
Taposh Gayen: Although a lot of people visit the book fair, not many go there to buy books. The book fair could be made livelier in many ways and we are aware about the things that are needed to be done. We have to take steps to develop the habit of reading. Steps should be taken to design an education system that will promote reading habit among students.
New Age: Sales of books usually take a nose dive after Amar Ekushey Book Fair. What steps can be taken to improve the situation?
Taposh Gayen: We need to develop a system that will help us track how many copies of a book were published, sold and where one can purchase the remaining copies. Everyone, including authors, readers or publishers will benefit from it. I have published six collections of poems till date and I am sure that readers will not be able to find any copies of my first three collections of poems in the market.
New Age: Tell us about the impact of Covid on the Amar Ekushey Book Fair.
Taposh Gayen: Having witnessed the turnout, the current Covid situation does not seem to have a significant impact on this year’s Amar Ekushey Book Fair. However, I would like to stress the fact that we have failed to create an educated readership.