Friday, 29 January 2016

Eskylark January 2016



A Voice of the NRI - Diasporic Poets

Editor: Yogesh Patel

Consulting Editor: Dr Debjani Chatterjee, MBE

गुणाः पूजास्थानं 
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 Please note, where possible, we recommend our Award-Winning poets for various awards

ISSN 2397-1878
 (printed and digital)/ Issue 1/2016

We are starting a fresh volume for 2016 with our new ISSN 2397-1878

For November and December 2015 we published an anthology presenting 
the Word Masala Winners of 2015 

The ISBN is 978095560840033

Please order it at

If you cannot afford to buy this book to support us 
                      please let the editor know f you wish to receive a review copy free in a PDF format.
BIG THANK YOU to those who bought it and have donated extra.

A major award celebration of our winners is planned on
22nd June 2016

The House of Lords

6.30 pm - 830 pm


This event will be a meeting of minds from among the selected major players in the publishing industry, editors, librarians, poets, event organizers, and many others. Many have already confirmed the attendance already.

                        please contact the editor NOW.

 We have added a new partner to help us raise funds
Please support by joining them and doing all your online shopping through them. It costs you nothing extra while you would shop normally at eBay, Amazon, and many more places. By going via our partner, the retailer contributes to help the project, but at no extra cost or loss of any of your discounts.

Please help by registering at
or go to


Advertise your related services and products to fund this project and more poetry collections like the one below

While visiting our website, do not forget to explore our advertisers there.
Each click adds to a fund in support of our cause.

Support is growing for 
The first poet to receive this AWARD is

An  emerging voice to watch with one collection already under her belt
Find out more about Mona from her interview with Jaydeep Sarangi
If our friends from India, like Ajit Panda and Jagdish Mahapatra, from Scotland, like  Suman Giri and from Wales, like Reginald Massey in Wales can subscribe to this initiative,
then surely all others can too. Please do so now.
The collection is yet unnamed, but we invite you to suggest the title. Please check details at our website.
Are you a reputed artist? Please suggest a design and send your painting so that we can promote your work too.
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. 
Please buy it yourself, and we will also appreciate your recommending it to your followers in any relevant social media and blog to help this initiative.
Please order DIRECTLY FROM for a special postage free order as subscriber to this e-zine.

Alternately, buy at our website postage added, which allows you to enter our competition. Please order

A volunteer professional sub-editor or an intern
with in-house 
editing experience is required.
Please let us know.

A printed copy of the anthology and this magazine is available at 
The Poetry Library
Level 5, Royal Festival Hall, London SE1 8XX
T: 02079210896
The library is a hub of activities engaging in readings and workshops. Join it free to support it.
Remember they have an e-catalogue too! So borrow books from your armchair.
Attention, All Libraries!

If you wish to receive a printed copy of each issue of this magazine, please send us £10 for  2016
to contribute to the postage. 
Please also look at our website for books we are recommending.
Ask for our 2015 catalogue of the year's chosen ten books.

To download the PDF version of this issue please click this link
or write to editor(at)

Previous award winners can be found at
They are:
Dr Debjani Chatterjee, MBE
Dr Shanta Acharya
Usha Akella
Reginald Massey
Daljit Nagra
Saleem Peeradina
Usha Kishore
Meena Alexander
Sweta Vikram

This Month's Award winner is
Pramila Venkateswaran

1.   Editorial 
2.   Poetry in Translation: Raghuveer Chaudhary, Winner of the 2015 Gyanpeeth Award 
3.   A Crowdfunding Initiative
4.   A Review Group:
     The Word Masala Award for the Best Poetry Reviewer of the year 2015 
5.   Audio Archive
6.   Word Masala Winners of 2015
7.   Poet-of-the-Month: Pramila Venkateswaran
8.   Books by the Poet-of-the-Month
9.   Contact the Poet-of-the-Month for readings, interviews, etc.
10. Required Reading in this Period
11  Events Listing
12. Contests without fee
13. Unsolicited Submission Requests 
14. Marketing your Book
15. Help this NON-PROFIT project?


I have always admired Pramilla’s work. Hence, when Saleem Peeradina, a past winner of the Word Masala Award, proposed her name, I was thrilled to explore more of her recent poems. Her statement may tell us of her feminist approach, but this can be misleading. Her subject matters are a far-flung net in a sea of possibilities. The concrete poem selected for this issue shows that she is indeed a poet embracing a wider rumination.

What an original title! 
Is There a Fish in Your Tomato?
 Great poetry always transcends the desiccated husk that can be a poem of description. It teases us with metaphors and similes; It playfully engages us in making fresh discoveries and finding new meanings and poetic joys. Here a poet creates a comic connection with identical genes enjoyed by a tomato and a fish as a result of a scientific experiment. Pramilla leads us from the creative games of science to the games of illusions with a poetic muse tossing our taste buds to the tang of fish within a bite of a tomato and at the same time suggesting a sexual connotation with one word - ‘cleavage’. A genius is at work! The word ‘Each’ plugged in at the top can be a straw to draw the essence from a pot that is tomato or just something from which a tomato hangs happily ever after. Each one with its own destiny, a fish in nectar. Yet this concrete poem also evokes an image of a hand grenade, a warning for the times we live in when men’s political or religious adventures end up in war. Perhaps, the poem's ending hints at waiting to blow up as a grenade. But not quite so; the poet throws in the word ‘cultivate’, which suggests optimism. Pramilla truly lives up to her promise in her statement ‘I use humour, myth, dialogue to get to the heart of a poem, play with words to make them sing.’ Please, don’t forget to write to tell me at what level you have enjoyed this poem.   


Pramila Venkateswaran  

Is There a Fish in Your Tomato?

This is a concrete poem and is presented as an image. If your email doesn't download it, you definitely will be missing something in ignoring this poem. Please download the PDF format or go to our website.

Pramila Venkateswaran
Pramila Venkateswaran, poet laureate of Suffolk County, Long Island (2013-15), and author of Thirtha(Yuganta Press, 2002) Behind Dark Waters (Plain View Press, 2008), Draw Me Inmost (Stockport Flats, 2009),Trace (Finishing Line Press, 2011), and Thirteen Days to Let Go (Aldrich Press, 2015) is an award winning poet who teaches English and Women’s Studies at Nassau Community College, New York. Recently, she won the Local Gems Chapbook contest for her volume, Slow Ripening. Author of numerous essays on poetics as well as creative non-fiction, she is also the 2011 Walt Whitman Birthplace Association Long Island Poet of the Year. For more information, visit

Books by the Poet-of-the-Month

To order please click on the name below:

Thirteen Days to Let Go

Sharp yet soft with resonance, poignant, and weighty with personal and social layers. Each poem was a snapshot of grief and the pain of human relationships- imperfect as they are-- its all we have. Simply beautiful! The book could have been just a litany of thirteen days.-Usha Akella, Poet & Cultural Ambassador, City of Austin & Founder, The Poetry Caravan
Excerpts from South Asian Review (
-In Thirteen Days to Let Go, Venkateswaran conducts us through the prescribed Hindu rituals following the death of her father, that seek to satisfy the spirit of the dead person.

-Other poems in this slim volume include “Swimming in Walden Pond,” in which Venkateswaran describes her dip thus:
I am upto my neck in philosophy,
My toes touching its shifting floor.
In “Sighting Hawks,” she goes “hawk-tipsy” reeling down Kansas roads. It is a pure lyric, the best in the tradition of Hawk poems. In “Field Trip to the Cochin Synagogue,” she muses on the irony of seeing Muslim girls in a Jewish temple. In “Above Kerala,” she captures the lush landscape in all its fecundity.  This is her fifth book, and it shows Venkateswaran at her best – a sure-footed, even-handed poet who has grown steadily over the years. A remarkable achievement, thoughtful and delightful at the same time
Saleem Peeradina
To order, please click on the name below:

Behind Dark Waters

This impressive volume of poetry is framed on a cosmopolitan, global scale and fleshed with intelligent and compassionate observation. Although, there is the odd, once-in-a-while ode to nothing in particular, most poems in this second anthology of Venkateswaran's are anchored firmly in mythologies that may be traditional or contemporary, ranging from the Ramayana to the saga of Aung San Suu Kyi. Furthermore, each poem is powerful with fluent lyricism and I found myself reacting to the tonal reverberations of seemingly simple lines long after the physical act of reading. Consider for instance, "...loss weighed like a gold coin/in the bottom of your chest" with its pithy coupling of emotion (chest = heart) to economics (chest of treasure).
-From a review by Prathim Maya Dora-Laskey (from SAWNET bookshelf)

Poetry in Translation 
2015 Gyanpeeth Award Winner Raghuveer ChaudharyI wish to congratulate my dear friend, 
Raghuveer Chaudhary, 
on receiving the 2015 Gyanpeeth Award 
for Literature,
one of the 
most prestigious literary honours for a writer in India. It is an award that encompasses all Indian languages. 
Although not of a diaspora poet, Raghuveer has been at the heart of encouraging diaspora writers and poets on his many international visits. He wrote a preface to my very experimental and acclaimed short story collection in Gujarati. The collection was made possible only with his ‘continuously goading' me, as he wrote, especially, because my writing is very sparse. 
My short story collection in Gujarati published originally by R R Sheth & Co, Mumbai, is out of print now, but I can make it available in PDF to our Gujarati readers who sould donate £5 to Gujarati Literary Academy through its current president Vipool Kalyani by writing to him In any case, as a founder, I encourage them to join the Academy if they haven’t already done so. Thanks.-YP
Here is a very short poem by Raghuveer 
The Outcome
I planted my volition
In the tillage
But, regrets,
A city sprang up from it!
(One of the Seven Muktak from Tamasaa by Raghuveer Chaudhary, translated by Yogesh Patel)

Please benefit from our review group

To be fair to all small presses struggling everywhere, I bluntly ask,
if you can't spare time for other poets, why should they over you?
Word Masala has set up a review group. Please join it 
 Congratulations to

Saleem Peeradina

for winning
The Word Masala Award 


the Best Poetry Reviewer of the Year 2015

Like Reginald Massey Saleem has been most helpful in reviewing books by our poets. He hassuccessfully placed reviews in many different publicationsHis reviews are always in-depth and written with his readers in mind. Above all they exhibit quality writing. Saleem stands above others because unlike some successful poets who expect others to review their books but fail to reciprocate, he spares time for this important contribution out of the goodness of his heart. The award is well deserved.
These poets are commendable and unselfish in helping this review group:Debjani Chatterjee, Usha Akella,  Reginald Massey, Usha KishorePramila Venkateswaran and Mona Dash. Please join them.
Authors are requested to contact the editor to join this group and offer discounts on their books.

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

Here is a list from Independent for some of 2015's finest poetry, though no South-Asian poet makes the list!
Authors Ali Smith, Neil Gaiman and Joanna Trollope have led a wave of “tremendous support” for CILIP’s legal fight for libraries as its campaign petition tops 7,000 signatures


Poetry Please BBC Radio 4
May I insist that you help with this?
Please ask the poet to send a copy to the unit to help your choice. Need help? tell us.

Poets, please organize this with your friends, relations and readers.
Tell your social media friends.
Be proactive.
 BBC Radio 4 welcomes your suggestions for poems for possible inclusion in the programme. "Don't forget to tell us why you'd like to hear the poem... is there a special reason or memory associated with your request? Email us using the form  and also tell us whereabouts you're from. Alternatively you can write to us at Poetry Please, BBC Bristol, BS8 2LR or call 03700 100 400."  

Contests without fee

Christopher Tower Poetry Competition 2016 | Closing Date: 19-Feb-16

All UK students, between 16-18, are encouraged to enter the 2016 Christopher Tower poetry competition. This year's theme is 'WONDER' and the judges are Alan Gillis, Katherine Rundell and Peter McDonald. First prize £3,000; second prize £1,000 and third prize £500. In addition to individual prizes, the students' schools and colleges also receive cash prizes of £150 and the three prize-winners are eligible for a place on the Tower Poetry Summer School. Three or four commended entries will receive £250 each. The names and schools of those longlisted will also be published on the newly redesigned Tower Poetry website. The entries will be judged this year by poets Alan Gillis, Katherine Rundell and Peter McDonald.
Entry Fee: £0
Contact: For entry and further information see:

 Submissions Requests - Without Representation by an Agent

We will consider picture books, early readers, middle grade novels, novelties, and informational books for all ages. Although we are not searching for YA fiction in particular, we would consider projects that tied in with the subject areas in which we are publishing. We are mainly publishing single titles but are open to series ideas.
Tilbury House publishes picture books that nourish and cultivate a child’s imagination.

Marketing your book

Want genuine royalty free photos for your books & projects?
Be EXTREMELY careful in using any web photos. What may look on the surface to be royalty-free, quite often has restrictions.
SO WORD MASALA will help poets in avoiding possible legal problems.
Want a genuine royalty free photo for your book cover? 
No problem. will help
if arranged through us.
Contact Yogesh at Skylark & WM
and be safe in using photos.

Can you help this project? WHY not?

Start by supporting us
by ordering a mug or a t-shirt with a poem:
We also have backpacks available with a poem by Yogesh Patel, Dr Debjani Chatterjee and Saleem Peeradina. If you can donate one of your poems for this fund raising venture (your rights reserved), please contact us. They have to be for an occasion.

Do you want merchandise featuring work by other poets or your own poems? Even in 
Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, or any other world languages? No problem.
To order contact me direct with your PDF of a poem in the language you want. We can also help if you need help with the artwork.

As this project is for all us, is a non-profit venture in nature, and constantly evolving, Word Masala welcomes local poets and authors to join hands in making it a meaningful stop for all our creative talents worldwide. We are especially keen to see the poetry film genre taking on a new and exciting poetic direction. 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.
(c) Word Masala & Skylark Publications UK
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