Toronto’s Bengali literary community gathered December 3 in Crescent Town for the first-ever Bengali Writer’s Conference.
Organized by the Bengali Literary Resource Centre (BLRC), Toronto poet laureate Anne Michaels addressed the crowd, which included dozens of notable Bengali poets, novelists and creators.
“Literature is our hope, language is our strength,” said Michaels, noting Bangla is one of around 150 languages spoken in Toronto. “Language and literature create the community… We want the community to grow and the writers play an important role in it.”
The conference, which included sessions and author readings, was also an opportunity to launch the inaugural issue of the bilingual (Bengali and English) literary journal BLRC Sahitya Potrika, featuring contributions by about 67 Bengali writers living in Canada.
BLRC describes itself as “a newly formed non-profit organization recognized by the Government of Canada.”
It aims for symbiotic relationship between Bengali and Canadian writers with “dreams to reach Bengali literature and culture to the Canadian people and to popularize Canadian literature and culture to the Bengalis living in Canada and across the world.”