REMEMBERING EUNICE De Souza, the poet, the critic and the teacher, the students of St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, will hold a poetry reading session this Thursday. The session is a part of the college’s inaugural for its annual theatre festival, Ithaka, a fitting tribute to the poet who founded the theatre festival in 1990.
“Eunice holds a special place in every student’s heart, irrespective of whether they were taught by her or not. Her works in poetry have been a commentary on community and could be related to by the readers. The team of Ithaka wants to commemorate the work of the founder of the theatre festival,” said Isha Jain, the student head of the festival. The festival is now in its 28th year.
Eunice, who held a master’s degree in English literature from Marquette University in the USA and a PhD from the University of Mumbai, taught English at St Xavier’s until her retirement in 2000. She went on to become the head of the department and was revered among students.
“Even after she had retired, she was still talked about among student circles. She has left a legacy among her students and it is this legacy that we want to celebrate by reading her poetry,” said Agnelo Menezes, principal of St Xavier’s. “She always taught in a manner that English got de-anglicised and the commonest Indian could appreciate Shakespeare,” said Menezes, who was once a student of Eunice. An economics professor, Menezes often makes references to Charles Dickens and Shakespeare in his teachings.
Eunice’s poems will be read by students of the college on November 16 between 2.30 pm and 4 pm.