Writing requires passion and persistence whether it is prose or poetry. While prose writing requires much research, poetry, on the other hand, compels poets to tap into their inner feelings, innate thoughts and hidden longings. By using the right words, metaphors, symbols, and allegories, they construct such sentences and phrases that induce readers to introspect.One such rising and an aspiring poet is 19-year-old Laiba Sehrish Nawaz, who recently launched her debut book, a collection of poems, titled Abduction from the Lethe. The launch event was part of ‘Literary Evenings Volume 1’ hosted by Daastan Publishing and ‘Words & Metaphors’ in collaboration with Peshawar 2.0 at Basecamp Peshawar on February 24. While Daastan is envisioning to bring a revolution in the publishing industry of Pakistan and has been introducing new authors through its Mera Qissa platform, ‘Words & Metaphors’, a storytelling and poetry slam platform, co-founded by Sidra Amin and Dr Hira Nazir, envisions to bring together artists from all over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to talk about their stories, poetry, and art. Peshawar 2.0, on the other hand, is a youth-led social enterprise aimed at building a startup community in Peshawar. Strategic partners of the launch event included Basecamp Peshawar, The Ancient Souls, Harf Nagar and MOI Writes.Literary Evenings also included KP’s first ever Poetry Slam Competition where competitors presented their insightful and creative poetry in front of the audience and the Guest of Honor, Dr. Nasir Jamal Khattak, who is a professor at the English Department of Peshawar University. The poetry Slam Competition was won by Wafa Farooq for her poem ‘A life I almost lived’ while the second and third position was clinched by Adil Yousuf and Kayenaat Hameed. The event was attended by over 50 creative artists from over five cities. 19-year-old Laiba Sehrish Nawaz is an aspiring poet who recently launched her debut book, a collection of poems, titled Abduction from the Lethe. The launch event was part of ‘Literary Evenings Volume 1’ hosted by Daastan Publishing and ‘Words & Metaphors’ in collaboration with Peshawar 2.0 at Basecamp PeshawarDr Nasir Jamal Khattak, during his thought-provoking speech, urged the audience to realise and touch their inner potential to achieve greatness and advised them to always remember and keep close to heart their roots, history, and culture. The Poetry Slam Competition was adjudicated by Dr Hira Nazir and Ms. Norah Arif, a lecturer at Islamia University.“Abduction from the Lethe” is a collection of poetry meant to drag us out of that river of forgetfulness and embrace the rendezvous with the good and evil. It entangles you in the golden locks of life, strangles you with the chains of stagnation, breathes love into you that once set you free and lastly pour in the lies that drowned you. This poetry and prose book is aimed at the revival of the belief that we all go through life differently, but for better or for worse it is a part of us that should never have been forgotten. Laiba Sehrish Nawaz said, “The purpose of poetry is to enable readers to realise that ups and downs, success and failure are part of life. Quitting is not an option for we should keep moving forward after a defeat, for it is in that downfall we find the power to realise our potential and rise up stronger than before. If we make an effort, our dreams are just two steps away from becoming a reality.” Daastan founder and CEO Syed Ommer Amer said, “Laiba Sehrish Nawaz, KP’s youngest author, is not an ordinary girl, she is an epitome of resilience; a warrior who shattered the very concept of ‘log kya kahengay?’ (what will people say?) by chasing her passion. She is now an example, which is quoted in everyday conversation in almost all households of Peshawar. She proved that a person with resolution and persistence has the power to change destiny and achieve dreams. Often people ask me that why you are doing this? I merely smile because giving someone a reason to live and fight for is something which I call my pursuit of happiness.”Words & Metaphors co-founder Sidra Amin said, “The event has been a step up for us in bringing opportunities to young writers and poets of Peshawar, who otherwise lacked such platforms, unlike other cities. The event encouraged people like Laiba Sherish Nawaz who have had so many things at stake at such a young age to come forward and own their world in the way they want to. We are aiming to make Peshawar a hub of quality literature and this is our first step.” Dr. Hira Nazir, another co-founder of Words & Metaphors said, “Literary Evenings is just the beginning of a new wave of literary revival in KP. Such events will strengthen literature and art in the province and help youngsters display their talents. Moreover, through these initiatives the culture of slam poetry and spoken word will get its due focus in the province. Laiba’s book is testament to the fact that nothing is impossible in front of determination and passion and there is no power mightier than that of words.” The writer is a columnist. He can be reached at email@example.comPublished in Daily Times, March 4th 2018.