Wednesday, 17 February 2016

eSkylark -Feb 2016 ISSN 2397-1878 (printed and digital)/ Issue 2/2016



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, EnglandPatrons: 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 2/2016

Please support us by buying the following book
Word Masala Winners of 2015
The ISBN is 978095560840033
Please order it at
or buy at Amazon (albeit, you make them richer)

BIG THANK YOU to those who bought it and have donated extra.

At the invitation of Lord Parekh and Yogesh Patel

A major award celebration of our winners is organized on

22nd June 2016

The House of Lords

6.30 pm - 830 pm

This extra-ordinary event is by invitation only

A special guest speaker: Zata Banks of PoetryFilm

Internationally renowned, Zata Banks is the director of PoetryFilm, the research art project and screening series founded in 2002. She will inspire us with a talk on
'The creative opportunities at the intersections of poetry and film.'

Book Launch: Collections by Saleem Peeradina and Bobby Nayyar

Poetry reading by our winners

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

AND ARE SERIOUS ABOUT SUPPORTING BAME LITERARY TALENT,                 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

When 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 like Ajit Panda and Jagdish Mahapatra in India, Suman Giri in Scotland and Reginald Massey in Wales can subscribe to this initiative,
then surely all others can too. Please do so now.

The collection is as yet unnamed, but we invite you to suggest a possible 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 a subscriber to this e-zine.

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

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

Printed copies of our winner's anthology and of this magazine are 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
  Word Masala Award winners:
Dr Debjani Chatterjee, MBE
Dr Shanta Acharya
Usha Akella
Reginald Massey
Daljit Nagra
Saleem Peeradina
Usha Kishore
Meena Alexander

Pramila Venkateswaran

WM Award winners:

Sweta Vikram

This Month's Word Masala Award winner is

Siddhartha Bose


I met Sid Bose first at a poetry reading that our award-winning poet Shanta Acharya had organized at Lauderdale House. I was wowed by this very quiet, withdrawn man who could fool you into thinking him a cold individual, observing and dissecting you into shreds with his observant intent glance. Actually, he is quite the opposite. The moment he starts reading his work, the room fills with his commanding and authoritative poet's voice. One realizes that his observations of  everything around him translate into vivid and lively subjects. Just beware, for you may end up one day in his poems! The language and imagery he employs are nothing less than a celebration of the best poetry that one occasionally encounters; it has vigour and pure energy. Sid employs all the authority and technical skills of a playwright and theatre maker as he calls himself. His is not just 'performance poetry' - he doesn't want to dissociate his poetry from its existence on the page too. His ubiquitous poems are equally engaging in print. Sid’s poems are usually long, so as an editor I have failed to draw out a short poem from him. I assume that he also sees poems as theatre, a unique perspective from which one can enter poetry. This leaves me with a question: Can brief excerpts truly represent the poet's best work? To quote lines of verse is one thing, but to have excerpts represent a poet's long poem is something else. So it leaves me defeated. In the digital world, everything is sharp and short like a coffee on the run. But with Sid, you have to give yourself to the world of his poems and run with the images jumping out to you as at a shooting range. Let us hope I have not entirely failed you, the readers, and Sid.
I stand in awe when I look at his intriguing poetry in action. The insightful perceptions and visual imagery with lights and colour at play is pure theatre. I invite you to join me in applauding a poet of exceptional calibre in the South-Asian diaspora.


   Siddhartha Bose 

Sex and the City
From Kalagora (Penned in the Margins, UK, 2010), also published in The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (HarperCollins, 2013, India)

She brings me striped shirts coz her father wore them, my love in the afternoon. Blue and white stripe Calcutta—enter her parlour shocked with revolving wooden chandelier darting spots of light, dust in light.

She maps me in her web, spinning limbs.

Give give, I’ll do, she groans in that salt tone, as she grips me in skin that bubbles in sores. Some like galaxies sweat pus, not stars. Room is wet with rain that never comes. The floor heaves under us, instinctive as nitrate.

A Tom Waits razor growl chops me up.

I lie on her single bed the clay of hash in my hair. Black and wet like Kali, she plays the piston.

I am stung on a rack, flayed.

We go to a play by a temple, and as the blackyellow cab turns to Ballygunge by the kebab shop with men wrapped in loincloth, passing the day watching smoke gather on tram tracks, we see two stray dogs doing what is natural with an insistence that frightens, as we hike up our reserve in a giddy laughter.

Not in London— dogs fucking, fleas on backs, stone as my pocket of alley in the east end, which is home more or less than home. Sometimes, on a late Saturday when the gods crawl outta their holes, I see a man taking the piss by a bin, and the smell, not the trickle—a branch of veins—reminds me of where I’m from, and I glow like a lantern, holy.

Poem published with poet's permission ©Siddhartha Bose

Siddhartha Bose
Siddhartha Bose is a writer, theatre-maker, and performer based in London.

Siddhartha’s books include the acclaimed Kalagora and Digital Monsoon (Penned in the Margins, 2010/13). His poetry has appeared internationally in various publications including Fulcrum (USA), The Literary Review (USA), Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century (Bloodaxe, 2009) Dear World and Everyone in It: New Poetry in the UK(Bloodaxe, 2012), The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (HarperCollins, India, 2012). Siddhartha has been featured on BBC 4 (TV), BBC Radio 3 and was dubbed one of the ‘ten rising stars of British poetry’ by The Times. He has read and performed at festivals and venues like Latitude, Alchemy, the British Council Showcase (2012), Berlin Poetry Hearings, Turku Poetry Week (Finland), New York University, Oxford University, Royal Festival Hall, and Ronnie Scott’s. A selected readings and performance history is available here.

Siddhartha’s theatre work includes a one-man play, also called Kalagora, which had an acclaimed run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011, London’s Perverted Children, long-listed for an Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award, and The Shroud.

Siddhartha has written a book on the grotesque, Back and Forth (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015), which is based on his PhD. He has co-edited a special issue of the literary journal Wasafiri (Routledge, UK/ USA) on international urban writing. He was a Leverhulme Fellow in Drama at Queen Mary, University of London (2011-13). A selected awards and grants history is available here.

Siddhartha’s ethnographic film on Bombay, Animal City, is an official selection in the competition category at short film festivals in Goa and Pune, India. He also plays with street photography in his spare time.

Siddhartha is an Associate Artist at Penned in the Margins and teaches creative writing at London Metropolitan University.

Poet's corner:

I work across disciplines (poetry, theatre, film etc.) and I'm currently mostly writing prose. I don't believe in false divisions between 'page poetry' and 'performance poetry', for example. I do believe in the written word. Each word that one writes must be earned. Destroy cliche. Destroy all national, linguistic, class and caste borders. Read, travel, intoxicate yourself with life and all it has to offer, be lucky enough to pull yourself back from the brink. Then, write.

-Siddhartha Bose

If you are able to encourage fellow writers in any way, then  please do so.
For example, why not contact a featured poet above for an interview,
poetry reading, or a review? 
Contact Siddhartha Bose at
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 here. Add a brief note on yourself and your project or activity too.

Books by the Poet-of-the-Month

To order, please click on the name below:
Digital Monsoon

A Scottish Poetry Library Recommendation 2013
One of Sudeep Sen’s ‘11 books of poetry to read’ in 2015

‘Poems with the sprung dazzle of jazz. Siddhartha Bose makes it new.’
Jeet Thayil, author of Narcopolis (shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize)
‘This new poetry collection plunges into the scuzzy, frothy, beautiful underbelly of London. Forget odes upon Westminster Bridge, Siddhartha Bose is all about Hackney Wick, getting under its skin and the people who live there (including himself) It’s multi-ethnic, perfectly diverse London, with the second half upping the ante into the future with cyborgs and dystopia and general Bladerunner nightmares. But what we most love about this collection is how the imagery explodes dirtily in your mind. You may never look at cities the same way again.’
‘Prophetic, brave and experimental [...] Monsoon seems to lift, quite literally, like water from the page’
Bare Fiction
To order please click on the name below:


Publishers: Penned in the Margins
96pp, RRP: £8.99
ISBN 978-0-9565467-4-6

Kalagora’ comprises of two independent works: a book of poetry developed over the course of eight years and a one-man play that was written and developed since autumn 2010.

“One of the most exciting first collections I’ve come across in a long time Kalagora bestrides continents and celebrates cities as engines of creativity where dogs talk in hieroglyphs and where a man can be a moth.”
Ian McMillan, The Verb on BBC Radio 3
 (Download MP3)

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 the 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.

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 for you?
Word Masala has set up a review group. Please join it
These poets are commendable and unselfish in helping this review group: Saleem Peeradina, Reginald Massey, Yogesh Patel,
Debjani Chatterjee, Usha Akella,  Reginald Massey, Usha KishorePramila VenkateswaranMona Dash.and Kavita Jindal

Please join them. 
Do not miss two reviews on Bobby Nayyar's Glass Scissors 

Published by Limehouse Books
ISBN: 9781907536793
£8.99 / $13.99
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. You DO NOT HAVE TO BE from the diaspora.

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

The New York Times released a reading list that was—remarkably—completely white.
An Introduction to Screenwriting
A free online Creative Skillset course for new and experienced writers built by the University of East Anglia’s School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing.

Sign-up now, from 29 February

The Student Guide to Writing
Free lesson plans from Fin Kennedy, John Yorke and others are now available online.
Nine Tips to Get Your Submission Passed Up the Line


Free poetry workshops at Barking Learning Centre
As part of Barking and Dagenham Library Services Pen to Print project this workshop is open to all levels of experience.
It is led by Anna Robinson (Into the Woods and Finders of London – Enitharmon Press).
The workshops are fortnightly.
Email Lena Smith for further details:
Please sign the online petition started by Anant Naik
"Brit Awards: Publish diversity figures #BritsSoWhite"

Contests without fee

Guardian and 4th Estate launch prize for BAME writers
Speaking at The Bookseller's Author Day conference last year, Nikesh Shukla said publishing should be as “demographically representative as possible” in a bid to tackle diversity
He also said people in the industry needed to be “less defensive” about calls for more diversity. “We all have a collective responsibility to change things. It’s not your fault, it’s the industry’s fault, but we’re all responsible for that industry while we want to be a part of it.”

Poetry Together | Closing Date: 29-Apr-16

Cross-generational competition invites children and young people to pair up with a parent, grandparent, carer, older sibling or friend, to share their ideas and create brand new poetry. The aim is to bring people together creatively, whilst also raising awareness and fundraising for The Co-operative's Charity Partnership with the British Red Cross, to tackle loneliness in communities across the UK. Reconnecting generations and getting people talking; it's poetry in action! Judges: Carol Ann Duffy, with guest poets Gillian Clarke and Martin Kratz. Prizes: Each adult and child will receive 100 copies of their poem, professionally designed as postcards that they can share with friends. The overall winners will be announced at the event and both adult and child will receive the Poetry Together award and a £250 gift voucher.
Entry Fee: £0
Sapiens Plurum
Sapiens Plurum is accepting stories for its second short fiction contest, culminating Earth Day, April 22, 2016. Stories should be 1500-3000 words, designed to inspire scientists and statespersons around the world to live up to the promise of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. First prize is $1000, second, $500 and third prize, $300. Deadline: 04/22/2016. Fees: $0.00.
Binghamton University
The Milton Kessler Poetry Award offers a cash prize of $1,000 to a poet who has written the best book of poems, 48 pages or more in length. a publisher or author may submit. A publisher may submit more than one book for the prize. Deadline: 03/01/2016. Fees: $0.

 Submissions Requests - Without Representation by an Agent

Scribe accepts unsolicited and unagented manuscripts for review (with certain criteria). However, to help us cope with the volume of submissions we receive, we now only accept unsolicited submissions during seasonal three-month windows. Currently open with deadline of March 31, 2016. We are generally interested in literary fiction, serious non-fiction, and children's books.

Call for Creative Writing Submissions  for Journal Gitanjali and Beyond
Submission deadline: 17 March 2016
 The new open-access online journal Gitanjali and Beyond publishes peer-reviewed academic articles, creative writing and art.
We are looking for creative writing (poetry, essays, short stories, plays, travel writing, prose, creative non-fiction) relating to our upcoming issue on “Expression and relevance of Rabindranath Tagore’s spirituality in the arts, education and politics.” The submissions do not have to directly relate to Tagore but should relate to aspects of his thinking.
Rabindranath Tagore’s spiritual ideas are this-worldly and at the same time based on the belief in a deeper reality. His ideas were inspired by Hindu scriptures such as the Upanishads, Vaisnava, Baul, Buddhist and Persian traditions, the reformist involvement of his family in the Brahmo Samaj, and his encounters with ideas and people from around the world. At the same time, he creatively selected and reframed these ideas on the basis of his own revelations. Spirituality, for Tagore, touches every aspect of life and leads humanity to fullness and joy by connecting them with other people, with nature, and with God. This connection is established through love, action and knowledge. Tagore’s spirituality has many social and political facets, as it encourages active involvement to make the world a better place by developing internationalism/cosmopolitanism, tolerance, and social engagement. It is relevant for ecology as it embraces the connection and care for nature. He expressed all these ideas through his poetry and prose, through his educational and social endeavours, and through his art. Tagore’s ideas have been described as an artists’ religion, as they encourage creative interactions with the world.

Further inspiration can be found in his essays (e.g., Sadhana) and in his poetry (e.g., English Verses).

Decisions on publication will be made by the Creative Writing Editorial Board of Gitanjali and Beyond, based on the quality of the text. 

Please send your submissions to until 17 March 2016.

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 too 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 that you want. We can also help if you need help with the artwork.

As this project is for all of us, and 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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