If Only in Spirit by Shayona Panth       Nurturing the Next Gen by Suparna Ghosh

Some events give that extra pleasure which make them memorable. For my work to be selected in the very first iteration of NEXT, an Ontario wide Art Competition sponsored by the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto, was one such occasion. Of course, to be selected in their third exhibition, N3XT, during very trying times of 2020, was special, considering that it was a national competition. The extra pleasure came from the fact that both I, and my daughter, Shayona Panth, were selected by five independent jurors.

The physical show is on until January 6, 2021 at the Club by appointment only, after which it will be online. The following description is from the Arts&Letters Website:

N3XT is the third installment of a juried art competition that was founded in 2016 to promote emerging visual artists.

N3XT offers benefactors, patrons, and artists an opportunity to participate in a unique experience that unites the visual arts from all across Canada.

Ambassadors have been selected to champion N3XT in different regions of Canada. Their mission is to liaise with local arts communities to promote N3XT and encourage artists to explore new and innovative ways of expressing unity in their art.

We become what we behold
Marshall McLuhan
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Whispers of Ancient Sounds

I disagree with T.S. Eliot – this year, April was not the cruelest month after all. The floods receded from my walls, the days grew longer and their grey edge faded. My lost thoughts in bits of paper were found. And a video presentation by me evoked an expat’s musings from across lands and borders and other incarnations, real or imagined. It was inspired by the event sponsored, yes, in April, by the League of Canadian Poets, and the 2020 National Poetry Month, with the theme of “A World of Poetry”.

The video was presented virtually on Facebook’s ArtBarPoetryReadingSeries page on a Tuesday. The Art Bar is the longest-running, poetry only weekly series in Canada and has a special place in my history: in 1991, I was one of the founding members of the Art Bar in Toronto.

For this reading, I searched through my collection of poems from Sandalwood Thoughts and Occasionally and plucked and wove poems which conjure disparate voices of poetry from a diverse world, where memories are sketches of grief and laughter.

Founder of the Ontario Poetry Society, Bunny Iskov’s words encapsulate the essence of my poems:

Suparna Ghosh writes her poetry with a paint brush, creating wonderful works of art vibrant in colour and in form. Her lines will cling to you, and you will embrace them for a long time.

Writer, anthologist and recipient of the Order of Canada, John Robert Colombo, who was one of the founders of the League of Canadian Poets, stated:

Both her (Suparna’s) paintings and her poems are rich in extraordinarily bright and vivid colours and rhythms, so they illuminate and enrich the traditional landscape of Canadian art and literature.

Please visit suparnaghosh.com/about for further information.

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Poetry in Union: Railway Lines and Valentines

I was one of seven writer-poets to participate in “Poetry in Union: Railway Lines and Valentines” between 12.00 pm and 6.00 pm on February 13th, 2019 in the West Wing of Union Station.

This event is a partnership between the League of Canadian Poets and Union Station, Toronto. It is based on the success of The Poet is In, which takes place in New York City annually. We wrote personal poems on the spot for passengers and visitors who stopped by to say hi. The poems were not masterpieces, but I hope, an honest reflection of our brief  conversations.

Poetry in Union: Railway Lines and Valentines, a public art experience.

At this event, seven of Toronto’s strongest, most diverse and most talented poets will provide personalized poetry on request to reflect participants’ own experiences and stories. This is a unique opportunity to interact directly with an artist to create a romantic valentine’s gift, or to celebrate a friend, experience, or key moment to be celebrated.

This Valentine’s Day–themed interaction is the perfect way to add a touch of art, poetry, and romance to the daily lives of commuters and travelers in Toronto. In addition to original poetry, commuters will have access to free treats and hot chocolate, romantic gifts, spoken word poetry performances and live piano.

Join our live-writing poets Dominique Bernier-Cormier, Ronna Bloom, Michael Fraser, Suparna Ghosh, Jessica Hiemstra, Kate Marshall Flaherty, and Rajinderpal S. Pal. The event will also feature an introduction from Toronto’s Poet Laureate, Anne Michaels, and spoken word performances by  Lara Bozabalian and SPIN El Poeta.

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Another Chapter

A vibrant space has shut its doors. Gallery Hittite was a welcoming place for artists and art lovers, warm, inviting, inclusive, without the arrogance and stuffiness of most galleries. The highlight for me and my daughter Shayona was that both of us were a part of their Christmas show in a unique way. Shayona painted an interpretation in dazzling colours of my black and white sketch below and we exhibited the works together.

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Each of us sold some in the gallery, although lovers did not always translate into buyers, and, after three decades, the curtains were drawn.

Sara Claglar and Anna Zinato, thank you for the memories.


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Ghazal:Visual and Musical

You may have already seen a two-minute snippet of a video based on my album, Occasional Ghazal.

For a fuller visual and musical experience, do watch (and share) the three short videos I just-published, totaling seven minutes. My affair with this magical classical Indo-Persian form of poetry continues.


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Some events 2018

Art Bar

August 21, 2018, 8 pm, Art Bar, longest running poetry series at the Free Times Café

320 College Street (at Spadina), $5 at the door. Join three of the original Art Bar poets:
Allen Sutterfield, Pascal Dennis, Suparna Ghosh


Heartwood LCP


Poems for the Love of Trees

Thursday, September 20, 2018, 6 – 9 pm, at High Park Nature Centre.
Join local poets, including me, and poets across Canada in celebrating the launch of a League of Canadian Poets anthology.


Gallery Hittite, 107 Scollard St. in Yorkville, 416.924.4450
August Group Show, August 3rd to August 18th, 2018, open Wed to Sat, 12 to 6 pm

My pen and ink drawings with daughter Shayona’s painting of Cats

Timi cats Me Bl Wh.7


Arts and Letters Club Summer Show ending August 31, 2018

Ascending Landscape.JPG


Valentine show in January and February, 2018 – oh, already happened. But a recent memory.

Tree Vigil.jpg   With Eyes Wide Open
Tree Vigil                                                With Eyes Wide Open

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A Few Responses to Occasional Couplet…

Some comments on Video, Occasional Ghazal – Couplet:

John Robert Colombo, author, anthologist, Order of Canada

The video comes as a complete surprise.

I find it faultless. I also find it deeply moving and full of juxtapositions that seem unpredictable and yet inevitable. The words take on extra meanings.

And you look beautiful…

George Vanderburgh, publisher of my book, Occasionally:

JRC sent me the link to this couplet. I have already watched it, and it is haunting.

Robyn Knapp:

Ruth sent this video on to me. You really are a remarkable woman of many talents. I enjoyed listening to your recitation of the couplet and then seeing your movements creating the atmosphere that underlay the singing. To me it was very moving.

Marie Adams:

Thank you for sending the lovely video to me.  It is very moving.  Your recitation, the singing and beautiful scenes were so well choreographed. You are a beautiful and talented woman!

Ruth Colombo, poet:

An exquisitely beautiful video – so many layers of sensibility and so many appeals to the emotions.

Barbara Wright, author, editor:

It is very beautiful, in many ways and I have shared it with my friends on Facebook.

Rosemary Aubert, author, painter:

Wow. This is remarkable. Thanks for sharing. By the way, you really look beautiful!

Anne Tait, producer, author:

It’s lovely, Suparna, illustrating so well your memorable couplet – “even the breeze is an intrusion when you and I meet”. Well done!

DC Chambial, editor Poetcrit, poet:


Ratna Ray, Singer, Song writer

Oh – wow, uniquely Suparna! One and only Suparna!   Great video.

Anne Forsythe, songwriter, poet

This piece has swept me away on a magical carpet.

… Your opening line is one of the best lines of poetry I have ever read and now, have heard- “Even the breeze….” A classic.

 Yet, the mood of the ghazal has been captured by this video -sultry, evocative, sensual-embellishing your words with image.

 I have to mention the sailboat, of course, a strong image in my own memory bank. This is an entire narrative in one quick clip. Unforgettable art will take the viewer/ listener to their personal story and thus grows a narrative; thus empathy for the creator is enhanced. Something ‘more’ is understood. A threshold has been crossed…

Joseph Berkovits, lawyer extraordinaire:

That was truly magical. Thank you so much for posting this beautiful work

Michelle McCarthy

My most beloved ghazals are laments for what is gone, for what is longed for, and are also an acceptance of reality. They transcend pain and embrace beauty. Suparna’s presence in her narrated couplet draws you in to the experience of loss and transcendence; and anchors the juxtaposition between East and West, traditional and modern.

Evocative visuals of the force of nature and of her own environment; glimpses of sorrow and stoicism in her choreography. Her paintings seem to have been made for this integration. The musical accompaniment is sublime. The vocals sound like a heart on a desert wind.

I once asked Suparna why she didn’t feel the need to return to India. She replied that India resided within her, and she resided in Toronto. She integrates that truth with this beautifully executed multi-media invitation into her soul.

Meena Gupte, singer

Suparna it is really beautiful. Out of this world.  Zindagi ban gayi. 

Pratima Mehta, dancer, social activist

You have quite a few admirers! Count me among them. Really loved the video and the contents


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Occasional Ghazal Couplet




This video is based on a couplet from the album Occasional Ghazal, written by Suparna Ghosh in English in traditional Indo-Persian style, and translated by her into Hindi/Urdu. The music is composed and sung by Azalea Ray. Paintings are by Suparna Ghosh.

Occasional Ghazals…

Long after reading them, some poems linger. Like the scent of a lover. What has always stayed with me, at the forefront or in my periphery, is a ghazal. Integral to my senses. Occasionally, I sing a ghazal in Urdu, to myself, to a friend, to a mate or a memory, and an ache rises within me. Sing it for a love, to a god or a spirit. It is a perfect poem.

A ghazal is separate from other forms of beautiful poetry just as an abstract painting is distinct from a realistic one.

An amalgam of couplets, each separate and complete, yet linked together and entirely harmonious. In all its mystical, mournful, romantic and maudlin glory, it rises like a structure, yet remains fluid in rhythm, like a slow moving river. Internal rhymes woven in exactly the same pattern, each taking its cue from the first couplet, yet, uncontrived, unimpeded, natural.

Embracing the tenets which bind it, yet never a slave to what defines it.

The video will illustrate my intense affinity with this poetic form.

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A Song Dares

A song dares

There are no words
no strings no bows no tune

but there is a song
that undulates
in my blood
and rides waves
of amber and ember
in and out
of ice and icicles
and wandering relics

in the alluvial reefs
a poem swims

These are the lines I recited from Occasionally, a collection of verses, during a wonderful interview with Nancy Bullis at CIUT FM radio. It is what I still love, scattering words and splashing colours, giving form to thoughts or thoughts to forms, chiselling or smudging. It’s what I do, what I have done and will do.


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Reversion Raven Rose Tree

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