Book Launch of Two Anthologies – Contemporary Short Stories of the SAARC Region, 2011 and Poems from the SAARC Region, 2011


SAARC Cultural Centre organized the book launch of the two Anthologies, Contemporary Short Stories of the SAARC Region, 2011 and Poems from the SAARC Region, 2011, on 25 September 2012, at 11.00 am, at the Colombo International Book Fair. The book launch was organized under the patronage of Hon. Neomal Perera, Deputy Minister of External Affairs, Sri Lanka.

Poems from the SAARC Region- 2011 is an anthology of poetry presenting a rainbow of 115 poems of South Asia and echoes its distinct cultural identity from South Asia, bringing together contemporary poets from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Contemporary Short Stories of the SAARC Region, 2011 is one of the SAARC Cultural Centre’s initiatives to promote regional literature and to make it accessible to a wider readership. This volume brings together 26 short stories from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Mr G.L.W. Samarasinghe, Director, SAARC Cultural Centre, delivering his Welcome address emphasised, that these two initiatives of SAARC Cultural Centre are aimed at further strengthening the cooperation among the people of the SAARC member countries by providing a pan-regional platform for the established, as well as promising poets and authors from South Asia.  These two anthologies would not only provide a novel experience to those who want to explore South Asian poetry but also as a reference tool for literary critics, academics, and students of culture.

Eminent Author, Mr. Daya Dissanayake addressed the gathering on “Role of Literature in South Asia”.  Quoting Prof. J.B. Dissanayake he mentioned that “language separates man from beasts”. Commending the herculean task of translation and selection, of works generated by authors in the SAARC Region he proposed to publish two or three poems of SAARC writers in newspapers as a tribute to South Asian literature in general and their artistic talent in particular.

Addressing the gathering at the Book Launch Hon. Minister Neomal Perera stated that the two anthologies are a great thrust for regional cooperation. Asia being one of the largest market places in the world, there is huge potential for growth, may it be trade, literature or art he added further. The Hon. Minister congratulated the SAARC Cultural Centre and Vijitha Yapa Publishers for the great initiative in promoting literature.

Mr. Vijitha Yapa who is the co-publisher in his vote of thanks emphasized the importance of SAARC in promoting cultural cooperation and expressed his pleasure of being part of collaborative effort of promoting SAARC literature.

Over hundred invitees graced the book launch.

The two anthologies are available for sale at Vijitha Yapa bookshops.