August 29, 2009, Jamaica, New York. The first Sri Chinmoy Poetry Festival brought Sri Chinmoy's poetry to life before an international audience in an outdoor setting on Saturday afternoon, August 29th in Jamaica, Queens. Guests included Sudhahota Carl Lewis, legendary Olympian of Track and Field.
Dr. Alan Spence, renowned Scottish author and artistic director of the International Aberdeen poetry WORD Festival introduced Sri Chinmoy's poetry. Dr. Kusumita Pedersen, Chair of Religious Studies at St. Francis College in New York, lectured on Sri Chinmoy's poetry drawing upon on an article she presented about Sri Chinmoy's philosophy at a conference at the University of Vienna in July 2009. Other presentations included readings from United Nations SRC Society of Writers and the Progress Forum.
From Bangladesh, Tapan Modak performed Sri Chinmoy's songs as well as Bengali creative artists Mithun Ahmad and Mumu Ansari. Additionally, performance artists and musicians from Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Scotland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Sri Chinmoy is known to the world as a deeply mystical poet. He came from the great tradition of Bengali poets and, throughout his 76 years in the physical, completed 120,000 poems in both Bengali and English.