History Hour 27 – “History in the Making: Goa through Poetic Eyes 1987-2007” by Dr. Brian Mendonca – Thursday, 21st December 2006.

Since his first poem ‘Requiem to a Sal’ (1987) describing the cutting down of a Sal tree near his home in Vasco, Brian Mendonca has tried to keep pace with Goa’s development. In his articles like ‘Fugitive: On the Run’ ( Goa Today, August 2001) and ‘Goa : Prince of Tides’ (Goa Today, June 2004) Brian continues his sustained enquiry of himself and of change in Goa. In the presentation Brian tries to join the dots and map a socio-cultural landscape of Goa in the making. He lingers on the themes which have inspired his poetry on Goa over the last 20 years, viz. Its religious rituals, travels, its architectural heritage, the polarity between the rivers and the sea, the railways, insanity, influx, and suicide to mention a few. Mixing memory and saudades he provides a poetic-history of a Goan community in transition.  

Brian Mendonca did his BA at St Xavier’s College, Mapusa in 1986. Hailing him as a fresh new voice in Indian English poetry, the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, published a slew of his poems in Indian Literature (May-June 2004). His self-published collection of 50 poems on Goa entitled Last Bus to Vasco: Poems from Goa (2006), freeze on a page, vignettes of a Goan way of life which are slowly being erased. The collection was showcased by the National Book Trust, New Delhi at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2006. Brian has read his poems on Goa across India from Kathmandu to Hyderabad and from Jorhat to Bhuj. He is a keen guitarist and anchors English programmes on AIR Delhi. Brian Mendonca did his doctorate on insanity in the Gothic novel from CIEFL, Hyderabad. He works in Delhi as an editor for a leading publisher of children’s books.

Dr. Brian Mendonca

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