Monday, 19 September 2016

eSkylark- Issue 5/2016: Poet-of-the-Month Phinder Dulai



A Voice of the NRI - Diasporic Poets

Editor: Yogesh Patel

Consulting Editor: Dr Debjani Chatterjee, MBE

The main focus of Skylark Publications UK is to support the Word Masala Foundation

ISSN 2397-1878 (printed and digital)/ Issue 5/2016

We are very proud of our successful award ceremony at the House of Lords on 22nd June 2016. Dr Debjani Chatterjee has written a very engaging report, which has been published by many newspapers and magazines across the world.

  l  Indo American News l   The Hindu  l  Asian Lite   l Muse India l
Asian Voice

Good qualities are appreciated in whomsoever they are found.
 Uttararaamacharitam (Bhavabhuti)
Director: Yogesh Patel
Suite 6, Riverside House, 196 Wandle Road, Morden, Surrey SM4 6AU, England
Patrons: Lord Parekh and Lord Dholakia

Previous award-winners can be found at


WM Special Citation  Award winners:
Sweta Vikram

This issue is dedicated to our latest Word Masala Award winner
Phinder Dulai

Publishers Winning
Word Masala 'Champion of the Diaspora Poetry' Award

Arc Publications
Eyewear Publishing
Emma Press
Faber and Faber

HopeRoad Publishing
Limehouse Books
Nine Arches Press
Valley Press

Our special thanks to
Eyewear Publishing for agreeing to publish
one of our Word Masala Award-winning poet Usha Kishore

We are also grateful to Nine Arches Press, Emma Press and Valley Press for considering our recommendations

Opportunities for publishers and magazines
All equal opportunity publishers and magazines are welcome to submit a brief for the consideration of our prestigious accolade which puts them on the map with a proof that they are working hard to support BAME agenda. Our ward is not a token, serious enough it will scrutinize your genuine efforts. We award publishers' and magazines' positive steps in including South-Asian diaspora poets in their publishing programme.

We work on projects, select and solicit writers and poets for their quality and help publishers and magazines achieve their equal opportunity status.
Please contact us if you think we can help you achieve this.
Working with us will benefit you at no extra cost!

We are proud to have following prestigious magazines, newspapers and independent presses as our partners and supporters
Asian Lite
The Book Review
Asian Voice
Sahitya Press
Core Publications UK
Sixties Press


Guest Editor: Saleem Peeradina

Phinder is the Vancouver-based author of three books of poetry, the most recent of which is dream/arteries (2014) which contains “soul-journ to the end of the pacific,” the centerpiece of his poetic achievement. A story that waited a hundred years to be exhumed, it describes the journey of the Japanese ship Komagata Maru carrying 376 Sikh, Muslim, and Hindu migrants from Punjab who were refused entry into Canada and forced to return to India. Many indignities were heaped on them by the locals while the ship was docked in port.
The selection offered here is broadly illustrative of Phinder’s style and preoccupations in his verse.

“Presence” is an intimate poem that straddles two worlds of literary experience – one is an ephemeral lightness of being disconnected from one’s past, and the other is the weight of the historical past that weighs on the troubled present.
Phinder uses the Imagist approach to language to bring the reader to a place of solace and knowing embodied in Mataji conferring her blessings on her grandchildren.

Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting Phinder at the Matwaala poetry festival in Austin, Texas, where he presented an audio-visual reading of the Komagata Maru series. I felt his work deserved wider recognition.

Saleem Peeradina

Saleem Peeradina's latest collection of poems, Final Cut, is published by Valley Press. See below for the links to its reviews.

Phinder Dulai 
a room brims

with ideas
we catch
scratch back
step back

consider another weave
and “other” narrative
each broken piece, our soul healed
by the iridescent fall light

walk toward no conclusion
or pronouncement

to drift in silence to the floor of the maple tree in late autumn
un-owned nor repatriated
dreaming toward its own veined humanity

both are inexplicably linked

grandmother’s soft and fleshy palm
placed on forehead
her head tipped forward brushes against your brow
offers a word
jhindé raeho
continue to live

Phinder Dulai

Phinder Dulai’s critically acclaimed poetry collection dream / arteries (Talonbooks) was published in 2014. He is the author of two previous books of poetry: Ragas from the Periphery (Arsenal Pulp Press, 1995) and Basmati Brown (Nightwood Editions, 2000). Dulai lives in Surrey, BC, Canada and comes from a Punjabi background. Dulai has been touring dream / arteries since 2014, and has toured in both Canada and the USA, giving readings at universities, festivals and reading series. He currently works as a consulting editor for Talon Books and Curator of the Floor 9 Arts Salon for the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada in Vancouver, BC. Dulai was a co-convener on Sound Thinking Symposium 2015 entitled Voicing the City In/verse: Reading Surrey and the Super- Suburb; and has collaborated on a sound installation called The Grove – A Spatial Narrative with artists Carmen Papalia and Andrew Lee for the Surrey Art Gallery. His most recent work has been published in TripWire Journal, Canada and Beyond, Dusie, Canadian Literature and Cue Books Anthology. Dulai is a co-founder of the interdisciplinary contemporary arts group The South of Fraser Inter Arts Collective (SOFIA/c). Recently, Dulai was awarded the Word Masala Award by the Word Masala Non-Profit Foundation in London, England. He will travel to England in 2017 to receive the award.  

Poet's corner

Poetry continues to move me towards a meaningful life. There are reasons for writing a poem; I convey through words, through form and the under-pinning science of the art - information, possible ways of experiencing the world if you were to live behind my eyes and senses. I do this in hopes that we (you the reader and I) arrive at this place of solace and knowing; that there are deeper connections of grieving and mourning from the horrors of the past, that we can span across generations and oceans in a kind of stand-in for a lost communion – and as my Mataji so often said and loved to do with her grandchildren – to place a palm on a child’s head and say those words.
Phinder Dulai

Please encourage our poets

For example, why not contact a featured poet above for an interview, poetry reading, speaking engagements, or even to write a review?

Contact Phinder Dulai from this link:

If you do something to encourage our poets featured, at your library, radio or TV station, or an organization, or a magazine, please DO NOT FORGET to let us know, so that we can tell others how you helped our poets. Add a brief note on yourself and your project or activity too.

Books by the Poet-of-the-Month

Talon books
ISBN 9789889706081

To order, please click on the name below:

  Read Reviews at

Other books by the poet:

Basmati Brown:

Ragas From The Periphery:

Please benefit from our review group

Word Masala Foundation initiative runs a review group which helps diaspora poets with reviews. Past winners are expected to help with this, but above all, it is open to anyone to come forward to offer such support.

These poets are commendable and unselfish in helping this review group: Saleem Peeradina, Reginald Massey, Yogesh Patel, Debjani Chatterjee, Usha Akella, Usha KishorePramila VenkateswaranMona Dash.and Kavita A Jindal.

Yogesh Patel reviews Two books launched at our House of Lords Award celebrations

1. Saleem Peeradina's Final Cut in the Book Review:


2. Bobby Nayyar's Glass Scissors:

Read Saleem Peeradina's review at World Literature Today here:

Authors are requested to contact the editor to join this group. They and their publishers may also offer discounts on their books.

We welcome everyone to help us with reviews, NOT JUST diaspora poets and critics.

Magazine promotion

The Book Review


The Book Review is a non-political, ideologically non-partisan journal, which tries to reflect all shades of intellectual opinions and ideas. The views of the reviewers and authors writing for the journal are their own. All reviews and articles published in The Book Review are exclusive to the journal and may not be reprinted without the prior permission of the editors.

Published by Chandra Chari for The Book Review Literary Trust, 239 Vasant Enclave, New Delhi 110057. Printed at National Printers, B-56, Naraina Industrial Area Phase-II, New Delhi 110028

Word Masala recommends The Book Review. Please subscribe to it at

Individual: Rs. 1500 / $75 / £50
Under the Radar


Under the Radar magazine is at the heart of operations at Nine Arches Press.  It is a lively mix of the best up-and-coming and established poets and writers, as well as reviews and articles. Under the Radar is a place for readers and writers alike to make new discoveries.

Take out a great value four-issue subscription!

Poetry Editors: Jane Commane & Matt Merritt

Reviews Editor: Maria Taylor


The first poet to receive this AWARD at the House of Lords
is an  emerging voice to watch with one collection already under her belt
Mona Dash
Find out more about Mona from her interview with Jaydeep Sarangi
Also read her latest short story on page 121 in Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts: 
Please, purchase this book at the prepublication price of £9.99 plus postage.  You will be supporting future publications by our diaspora poets. Your support is vital.

Poetry in Translation 

This feature is now open for submission.

  • Please note that poetry in translation may only be submitted by Indian diaspora poets.
  • We do not normally accept work from literary translators resident in India.
  • We prefer work by expat poets from all languages.
  • If poems are in copyright, you must have permission.
  • Diaspora poets may translate their own poems and submit them.
  • All translated poetry must be accompanied by brief (50 words) biographical details of the poet and  the translator 
The following anthology just published features poetry translations of many diaspora poets past and present:

The WM poetry audio archive at our website

If you are a published poet from the diaspora, and write in English, please send us the audio file of your best poemread by you. We are building an archive that will eventually be transferred to one of the UK's prestigious institutions. 
Visit us at

Required reading this period

Tanay by Sachin Kundalkar
translated by Jerry Pinto


8 October 2016
Free poetry workshops at Barking Learning Centre as part of Barking and Dagenham Library services Pen to Print project. Open to all levels of experience. Led by Anna Robinson (Into the Woods and Finders of London – Enitharmon Press). The workshops are fortnightly. Email Lena Smith for further details:

9 October 2016
An intense writing workshop with writing exercises led by publisher and poetry editor Katherine Lockton. We will look at ways to write an urban poem and how we can respond to cities. We will also look at what we can learn from well known poets as well as poems that have previously appeared in South Bank Poetry Magazine. We will focus on writing new material. Participants will come away with a body of creative work from the day (3 or 4 first drafts.) A limited number of places are available to ensure the tutor has ample time for each student. All levels welcome.
12:30pm– 5.30pm
Where? Westminster Cathedral, The Hinsley Room, Morpeth Terrace SW1.
Book via:

Contests without fee

Deadline October 31 (must be received by this date). Recommended free contest from the Society of Authors gives top prize of 1,000 pounds for a short story (5,000 words maximum) by a resident of the United Kingdom, Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland who has had at least one short story published or accepted for publication. Authors must have serious writing ambitions, and the financial circumstances of the writer will be taken into account. Previously published work accepted. Entry form and list of previously published work, including publisher and date of publication, must be submitted along with the short story.
Tom-Gallon Trust Award

Sponsored by:
Society of Authors

Guidelines URL:

Deadline November 1, 2016. The Encounter is an annual three-day public cultural event in the heart of New York City. The Encounter's poetry contest invites all poets writing in English to submit up to three poems (maximum 30 lines each), related in some way to the theme, Reality Has Never Betrayed Me. Prizes of $300, $200 and $100 will be awarded to first, second and third place poems. The winners will be invited to read their poems on the NYE stage during the Encounter January 13-15, 2017. The first place poem will be printed in the program.

 Submissions Requests

Nine Arches Press
Please visit:

Watershed Review is now open for Fall submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and art at:

Wild Age Press seeks fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry for a special Black Lives Matter issue guest edited by Katrina Otuonye.




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Printed copies of our winners' anthology and of this magazine are available at:
The Poetry Library
Level 5, Royal Festival Hall, London SE1 8XX

 Your help is important to us

As the Foundation's work is a non-profit venture, it is constantly evolving. Word Masala welcomes local poets and authors to join hands in making it a meaningful stop for all our creative talents worldwide.
Please email Yogesh if you can spare some help. Remote help or suggestions are welcome too.
Good luck!

Yogesh Patel

Thank you once again to those who wrote back, appreciating this thankless non-revenue initiative. Please add us to your contacts and address book.
Should you think this is not a worthy endeavour, then please unsubscribe by sending a polite email indicating which email address we have used. Please note Word Masala and Skylark have no monetary interests in any suggestions here, and do not take liability for any action taken by you. You must research any suggestions contained herein, and assure yourself accordingly.
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