Kohima: Dear God, a collection of 58 poems written by a 35-year-old teacher, Neitele Mero, was officially published by Reverend Dr Neingupe Chiero, Senior Pastor of the Baptist Church of the Town of Pfutsero (PTBC), in the town of Pfutsero, in Phek District, Nagaland, Friday evening.
The launch of Dear God marked the 40th book by Nagaland-based PenThrill Publication House since its debut in 2013.
At the launch, Mero, who has been writing since she was 15, said writing has always been a cathartic experience for her. “I find comfort in relieving my pains and dwelling on my joys by writing imaginary letters to my Journal, to myself, to others and especially to God,” she said.
She said the poems in the book are excerpts from the pages of her diary written over a decade. She added that a few, especially the first ones, are as old as 2006 and others as recent as 2020. “It is my prayer that the book brings healing, pleasure, peace and joy to the readers,” said Mero. .
Neitele Mero currently teaches at Baptist Theological College in Pfütsero and enjoys nature, gardening and DIY. She holds an MA in English Literature from Nagaland University and a BA in Christian Studies (BCS).
In publishing the book, Senior Pastor Reverend Dr Neingupe Chiero said the book contains simple and beautiful lines that cover many deep thoughts. He said that Dear God will provide insight into the poet while congratulating Neitele Mero on her first book.
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Editor Vishü Rita Krocha, who virtually addressed the assembly, said: “This is the first time that we have launched a book at Pfütsero and I couldn’t be more excited that PenThrill has come closer to home. me because I am also from the Phek district.
Krocha hoped that this would be the start of many reading trips in the town of Pfütsero and throughout the district. Despite comments that “poetry doesn’t sell,” she said that never stopped the publication from publishing collections of poetry.
Looking at the interest among the state’s emerging poets, Krocha said, “I believe poetry is here to stay with us. I would go so far as to say that poetry is our way of life.
Although the Nagas originated in the oral tradition of literature, she said depending on how the ancestors lived and transmitted stories, there has always been a “strong element of lyrical expressions.”
“Our ancestors sang for almost every occasion – when they plowed the land or received a bountiful harvest, when they celebrated a festival or the birth of a newborn baby as well as when they mourned the death of a being. dear in songs, ”said Krocha.
By writing poetry and preserving the oldest form of literature, she looked forward to the legacy of storytelling that was brewing in the old traditional Naga houses.
Saying that the last book of poetry published in Kohima became a bestseller, she said that for a collection of poetry, this is something that has never happened before.
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“Money was never our end goal – in our early years of publishing, there were times when I didn’t have enough money to print the book we were working on; or times when certain book titles have been sitting on the same shelf in bookstores for years, but that was never reason enough to stop me from pursuing my dream of publishing the works of young aspiring Naga writers ” , said Krocha.
With the release of Dear God, Krocha hoped that literature and reading culture in Nagaland could develop. “May we preserve our stories – and if we do so with all sincerity, our stories will live on for our children and their children, for many years and generations to come,” she concluded.