ISLAMABAD, Jan 9: They are in love with spoken words that have rhythm and reasons if not essentially rhyme. And these young passionate writers reinforce belief in the power of the word.

Their poems at a literary reading hosted by Desi Writers Lounge — an online platform for poets and writers — Sunday night at Kuch Khaas sounded more powerful than political speeches and they were more honest than any lecture. They spoke of love, they spoke of growing up and they spoke of murder. A few bold recited their poems before an audience and for some shy it was their first time - Desi Writers Lounge was their voice.

The reading was the first of its kind event that saw attendance from writers and poets alike, the editors of the online biannual production Papercuts — a collection of poems put online by young writers — and members of the editorial board not present for the event were able to share their thoughts via video clips.

The gathering put spotlight on some of the best works of the young writers of this community - working normal jobs and entrepreneurs - that aimed to encourage and motivate literary interests. The objective of the reading was to promote the upcoming issue of Papercuts and bring the writers together to give them the opportunity to share their work with a wider audience.

Listeners were ensnared by what the young poets had to say. Whether it was about Salman Taseer's brutal murder penned in 25 to 30 minutes by a young poet or a teacher at a private school, Nadine Murtaza's 'Growing up in Islamabad' to Eshal Saleem's 'The Heroine that never was'; the listeners appreciated their ability to communicate their thoughts so well.

Editors read out poems for those who could not make it for the event while some from around the world were heard through video clips. Verses flowed like water and energy and impacted thinking long after guests mingled for coffee. Their poetry was not hard to figure out. There were no hidden messages in obscure wording and phrasing and the young writers were clear and to the point. It was a nice mix of personal experiences and even fantasies.

“And a good enjoyable read awaits readers who appreciate beauty of words online,” said one of the founders of Desi Writers Lounge, Osman Khalid Butt.

Considering the roots of how it all started, Osman Butt said: “It was a chance encounter of likeminded writers on Orkut when Facebook was not so common. It became a place of constructive critique, debate, discussion on write-ups contributed by a few members. Before we knew, the efforts saw our own new website,” Butt explained.

After six years, 350 plus writers and poets contributing from South Asia and beyond and six volumes of Papercuts published the Lounge.

“The Lounge is about published and unpublished writers who are regular people and not full-time poets and have readers comment and appreciate. Above all, it's about pushing writers out there who have never had a voice before,” said Butt.



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