Sri Chinmoy Poetry Festival

in a garden-like meditative setting

The Sri Chinmoy Poetry Festival is a real festival traditionally held every summer in New York City. The first Festival was held in 2009. The 2020 focus is Voices of Hope shared here since we had to forego meeting together this summer. The Festival’s focus is the spiritual poetry of the great “student of peace” for which it is named but it encompasses a broader exploration of life through the arts. Read More


Praise for Sri Chinmoy’s Poetry


Professor Anisuzzaman

Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman (University of Dhaka) praises Sri Chinmoy. “The spiritual quest of Sri Chinmoy turned him also towards the creative artsmusic, painting and poetry. The verses collected in Premaloker Kanan, and the English version of the same by Sri Chinmoy himself under the title, The Garden of Love-Light (produced as a single bilingual volume), reflect the deep emotion and introspection of their creator. In diction, metaphor and metre they remind the reader of the tradition of Bengali mystic poems, yet the mark of Sri Chinmoy’s individual thoughts and feelings is obvious. His message of humanity and love in this time of strife and stress will surely inspire the readers to walk the path of peace and friendship for all.”

Professor Bassabi Fraser

Praise for Sri Chinmoy Poetry by Professor Bashabi Fraser“The title The Garden of Love-Light encapsulates what lies within – a warm, refreshing poetic space that has the resplendence of a rainbow, replete with imagery and a cadence that stays with the reader like a deeply moving raga, long after its rendition. The collection is a musician’s inspiration, a painter’s reverie, a philosopher’s illumination and a devotee’s restorative delight. Its bilingual presentation, with its East-West bridge-building expansiveness, is imbued with a love of humanity and a universalism that make the reader feel Sri Chinmoy’s presence as a truly sustaining force.”

Professor Bashabi Fraser, Director, Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland

Janaka Alan Spence

“Premaloker Kanan (The Garden of Love-Light) is an early collection of poem-songs by the great seer-poet Sri Chinmoy, and that makes the scale of its achievement all the more remarkable. This new edition brings together for the first time Sri Chinmoy’s original Bengali verses and his own English translations, and the effect is thrilling. Not mere transliterations, the English versions have a quality and character all of their own, and stand alone as poems in their own right, reimagined, made new. Like all of Sri Chinmoy’s subsequent work (and his poetic output was vast) they are instructional, uplifting, inspiring mantric in their power. Imbued with a rare lyricism and innate musicality, they speak to the searching mind and the crying heart. “

Professor Alan Spence, Professor Emeritus, School of Language and Literature, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, The Edinburgh Makar/Poet Laureate of the City of Edinburgh

Poet Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye photo by Ha LamIn these days of endless bad news, with the “cord of wild restlessness” wrapping ’round us daily, it is easy to feel deeply hungry for “infinity’s lustre” – calming, abiding images and invocations to hearten our spirits. No matter how religious one is or is not, the essential luminosity of Sri Chinmoy’s spirit and fervor feels compelling, refreshing and profoundly hopeful. His poems are always attentive to a deeper call, awakening and stirring his readers. They help us be more silent “in the grove (of our minds)” as well as better witnesses with our own words.

Naomi Shihab Nye, Poet, novelist and songwriter

Professor Kusumita P. Pederson

Kusumita P. Pederson, Professor Emerita of Religious Studies, St. Francis College, New York

The publication of this collection of Sri Chinmoy’s early poems is an occasion for rejoicing, especially in this dual-language edition. His Bengali lyrics, with his own translations into English, are an essential part of his extensive body of work. These are mystical poems of unique depth and power. I first encountered them more than forty years ago, and they remain ever new and fresh in their capacity to move and illumine the reader.

Sri Chinmoy - Poetry Festival Inspiration

Seer Poet and Inspiration Behind the Poetry Festival

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2019 Festival Highlights

The Sri Chinmoy Poetry Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary on Friday, August 23rd with poetry, music and more.

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2018 Festival Dedicated to Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Festival honored the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through poetry, music and song. The Universal Declaration was spearheaded through the United Nations General Assembly by Eleanor Roosevelt 70 years ago in December 1948.

2017 Festival Highlights

The 2017 Festival featured a celebration of the 2nd edition of “Happiness, The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry.”

View Some Scenes From the Inspiring and Beautiful Evening.

2016 Festival Highlights

The 2016 Festival was held in an idyllic outdoor setting last August with an international audience of over 700.
Presenters Included:

  • Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury

  • Professor Neelima Shukla-Bhatt

  • Vocalist and Musician Debashree Bhattacharya

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Reggie Harris - 2011 Festival Participant

Poet Reggie Harris of Poets House, a national poetry library and literary center located in New York City.

Madhurima Judith Light - 2011 Festival Participant

  • Actress and Broadway Performer

  • Inspired the Audience with a Reading from My Lord’s Secrets Revealed

  • A Poetic Conversation between the Supreme Father and His sweet children

Ed Hirsch - 2010 Festival Keynote Speaker

  • Best-Selling Author and Poet

  • Extraordinary Communicator of all that Poetry Has to Offer

  • Former Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets

The Garden of Love Light Book in Bilingual Edition

140 classic poems written Sri Chinmoy between 1948 and 1974 now published in a bilingual edition of the two languages in which it was written.

Introduction by Professor Karunamaya Goswami, Principal of the Cambrian Center for International Studies in Bangladesh.

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Poems by Sri Chinmoy

I shall collect flower-poems
From the garden of Light.
Therefore, I am flying in the sky
With the southern wind.
I have no one with me.
All alone, endlessly I am flying,
And I am all lost in the beauty of teaming clouds.

~ Sri Chinmoy

More Poems by Sri Chinmoy

Your Favorite Poems

Here is a gathering of favorite poems submitted by our readers.

“Let’s remake the world with words”

Let’s remake the world with words.
Not frivolously, nor
To hide from what we fear,
But with a purpose.

keep reading this poem

Let’s,As Wordsworth said, remove“The dust of custom” so thingsShine again, each object arrayedIn its robe of original light.

And then we’ll see the worldAs if for the first time,As once we gazed at the belovedWho was gazing at us.-Gregory Orr, Concerning the Book That Is the Body of the Beloved, Copper Canyon Press, 2005. submitted by Sharani Robins, East Providence, RI, USA