Dear Partners and Friends of Kalam:
Its 2009 and we have some news from Kalam…
For five years we’ve been working in Kolkata with you to build the culture of critical thinking and creative writing among young people in slums, red-light areas, shelter homes, railways platforms, and other unique neighborhoods. We’ve had an exhilarating time working with teenagers who’ve brought poetry from street corners to the page and into the public imagination.
After many adventures — poetry workshops, public readings, literary magazines, footpath poetry campaigns, neighborhood journalism workshops — we at Kalam are bringing our efforts to an end, in the form that they exist now. Due to Kalam’s financial and structural realities, we are suspending Kalam’s active programs and direct services for youth. We also closed our office this month. Although, we will no longer have a physical address and presence, we are committed to finding new ways to continue Kalam’s work and spread the culture of writing among youth.
For one, we are excited about publishing the curricula Kalam developed over the past few years on poetry writing and neighborhood journalism and sharing it with educators, NGOs, teachers, youth activists in India. Stay tuned for details about the launch and distribution of Kalam’s curricula. Secondly, we want to be in conversation with you to think about new and different ways to continue the important work in creative literacy for young people. I invite you to get in touch with ideas, concerns, questions, and imaginings. I’m available at email@example.com
I am grateful and proud of all the people who have been, and are, a part of Kalam’s changing avatars. I am excited about collaborating with you again on new projects of creative literacy, youth work, and beyond.
Happy New Year.