Monday, 14 March 2016

eSkylark March 2016



A Voice of the NRI - Diasporic Poets

Editor: Yogesh Patel

Consulting Editor: Dr Debjani Chatterjee, MBE

ISSN 2397-1878
 (printed and digital)/ Issue 3/2016


1.   Editorial 
2.   Poetry in Translation:
3.   A Crowdfunding Initiative
4.   A Review Group
5.   Audio Archive
6.   Resources for the craft of writing
7.   Poet-of-the-Month: Kavita A.Jindal
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?

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

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 latest list of ten books that every library should have.

 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

Please sign the petition and ask others in your network to help

Refer Amazon to the competition authorities

In The Telegraph Rohan Silva, a former adviser to David Cameron and George Osborne, said the lack of competition in the book market is “really horrifying”, allowing Amazon to dominate. I’m absolutely aghast about what the government and competition authorities have allowed Amazon to do.

What the Society of Authors and their members think of Amazon can be found here:

The background to this petition can be found at this link:

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

  Word Masala Award winners:
Dr Debjani Chatterjee, MBE
Dr Shanta Acharya
Usha Akella
Reginald Massey
Daljit Nagra
Saleem Peeradina
Usha Kishore
Meena Alexander
Pramilla Venkateswaran
Siddhartha Bose

WM Award winners:

Sweta Vikram  

This issue is dedicated to our latest Word Masala Award winner

Kavita A. Jindal

To download the PDF version of this issue, please
click this link
or write to

You can read the last month's issue online at Issuu


In our troubled times, with gods trotting around with guns or offensive idioms, the meanings of religion and faith are in imbroglio. Religions require surrender, and at the extreme end, guns try to make them conclusive. On the other hand, faith requires imparting oneself with an acceptance that it is not about the absolutes of gods. One emancipates oneself from rituals to meaningful practices. It requires a leap of faith from a poet to be able to speak amidst the drowning noise of nasty religious madness. Kavita A. Jindal is a poet of distinction and offers a distillation that filters out the noise and unnecessary clutter in her poetry. Consequently, the tincture we get is a state of yoga, everything held in balance, even a tumult! We observe and we absorb. The epiphany is where Kavita takes us. So, after reading her many poems, I settled on the chosen poem because it addresses the issue of faith, which very few poets are tackling with objectivity, in spite of the fact that there is so much assault on humanity surrounding us.
    dog tags strung tight
    around my neck

Such lines, the images of form-filling, and debates about gender through male or female deities - they conjure up a dismissal of the lot:

    agnostic, atheist, multi-faith, irreligious, liberal, gregarious, star-gazer
    and to top it all

The poet neatly liberates us into the best and mundane leap of faith:

    Monday to Sunday, just living is an act of faith.

The simplicity reminds me of W. H. Auden’s take in his poem, 'Culture':

    Happy the hare at morning, for she cannot read

Kavita’s poem also resonates with Auden’s lines further on in the same poem:

    But what shall man do, who can whistle tunes by heart

This poet whistles while poem’s music and atmosphere engage me for lack of rant. It presents the rationale that the life in its raw form unleashed to the open savannah is the real return to the faith, and it also asserts itself in a denial of a massacre of the humanity for the words humans write in the name of religion.

But then again, Kavita, as an observer, is not making any political or religious stand. She takes us on a canvas for a fresh context of meanings. Perhaps, your amplification is different.

- YP

Apologies to Siddhartha Bose for the typos that crept in at a couple of places in our previous issue.

Kavita A. Jindal 
Act of Faith
Don’t pry don’t ask to whom I pray; if it changes from day to day,
                                                  if the entity is male or female
if I fast and for whom
don’t ask, don’t ask.

I know there are forms to fill; spaces where I must write, neatly and in caps,
                                                  the beliefs I’ve claimed
dog tags strung tight
around my neck 

agnostic, atheist, multi-faith, irreligious, liberal, gregarious, star-gazer
and to top it all 

yet searching for a word to describe my true religion, which began one solemn day 
                                                 when I thought
impermanence could be
invited at will 

I wished to be a ribbon of mist trailing in the cold blast of the stratosphere but found
                                                I’d stayed within
reach of earth; why, I was
still grounded 

Drawing breath is an act of faith, one I’ve embraced; running, jumping,
                                                  keeping time, sucking in air, choosing to
each new day
is religion

Monday to Sunday, just living is an act of faith.

First published in the inaugural issue of ‘Cha: An Asian Literary Journal’ in November 2007.

 A Poetry Film

Kavita A. Jindal

KAVITA A. JINDAL is a prize-winning fiction writer, as well as poet, essayist and reviewer.
She is the author of Raincheck Renewed’, published to critical acclaim by Chameleon Press.
Her story ‘A Flash of Pepper’ won the Vintage Books/Foyles ‘Haruki Murakami competition’ in 2012.  
Her work has appeared in literary journals, anthologies and newspapers around the world and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and European cultural radio stations.
Her poems have been translated into Arabic, German, Punjabi, Spanish and Romanian.
Kavita was born and raised in India and has lived in both Hong Kong and England for many years.
She is a Senior Editor at the journal Asia Literary Review.
Links to her short fiction, essays and other work can be accessed on her website
Twitter: @writerkavita

Poet's corner

My influences are eclectic and I draw on three cultures: Indian, Chinese and British.

I remain a free-form writer; free from the constraints of any of these literary traditions, while aiming to create an orderly arrangement to suit each individual poem. I relish my place as an obscure little dot on the literature continuum.
-       Kavita A. Jindal

Please encourage fellow writers

For example, why not contact a featured poet above for an interview,
poetry reading, or a review?

Contact Kavita A. Jindal 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 here. Add a brief note on yourself and your project or activity too.

Books by the Poet-of-the-Month

ISBN 9789889706081

To order, please click on the name below:

Raincheck Renewed
From Reviews:

“Kavita manages to be a detached analytical observer and, simultaneously, an active participant — and it is this quality that gives her work the very desirable element of surprise. By rights, Kavita Jindal ought to be wearing a mask! She sweet-talks the reader with whimsical or pleasant introductory lines and stanzas and then ambushes them with a cynical twist.”

“She has a restrained yet entrancing voice… with a subtle strangeness”

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, Usha KishorePramila VenkateswaranMona Dash.and Kavita Jindal. Please join them.

Latest in Reginald Massey's Bookpage at Confluence:

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.

You DO NOT HAVE TO BE from the diaspora.

Congratulations to Lord Bhikhu Parekh on receiving his
17th Honorary Doctorate

Recently, Essays in Honour of Bhikhu Parekh appeared in the following volume:

Multiculturalism Rethought: Interpretations, Dilemmas and

New Directions—Essays in Honour of Bhikhu Parekh

edited by Varun Oberoi and Tariq Modood
Edinburgh University Press, 2015, pp. 240, GBP 80.00, R7220.00
The following quote is from the review that appears in
The Book Review from India

His critical engagement with the liberal tradition, his efforts to explore a space beyond liberal nationalism, on the one hand, and communitarianism, on the other, his reflections on questions of race, identity, nation and sovereignty, cannot be ignored by students of politics and political theory anywhere in the world. The papers in this collection, written in his honour, make this amply clear. Many of the contributors engage with aspects of Parekh’s thought with this understanding. To those who are not sufficiently familiar with his writings, this volume offers a glimpse of Parekh’s thinking and gives them good reasons to read his works; to those who are acquainted with his views, it offers rich analysis that can add to one's understanding.
Gurpreet Mahajan

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


Support is growing for

The first poet to receive this AWARD
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.

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

Resources for Writers

Please go to our website, find the blog and then click on the links

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


Featuring Gujarati Poet Dr Jagdish Dave

Mirror to Mirror

A mirror: No face claimed

Laughs with the others

Cries with the others

In cold apathy


Yet, it flicks the reality

Like men


Leading you wrong way

Jagdish Dave

(The original Poem entitled, Arisano Chahero, has been translated from Gujarati by Yogesh Patel)


A book by our past winner
Usha Kishore

  Translating The Divine Woman

This is a scholarly work of translation of Kalidasa's Shyamaladandakam.
Translations are by Usha Kishore and M Sabasivam. This is a feminist offering as stated by the translators: 'We have interpreted the text from a feminist perspective..'

Available from

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

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 (or write review. A PDF copy is available for a review )

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

On finding yourself in the work of Jhumpa Lahiri
The Paris Review: How to name your fictional characters.
“You Will Be Tokenized”: Speaking Out About the State of Diversity in Publishing
A Short Story by Amitav Kumar

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


Word Masala Foundation announces

Champion of the South-Asian Diaspora Poetry Awards
to Publishers

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

The House of Lords
6.30 pm - 8.30 pm

This important event is by invitation only

A special guest speaker: Zata Banks of PoetryFilm

Book Launch: Collections by Saleem Peeradina and Bobby Nayyar

Word Masala Awards
and poetry reading by the winner
(See the list above)




This free online course is aimed at those curious about journalism and looking to gain a better understanding of what the subject entails. Run by a team of internationally-renowned scholars and journalism practitioners at the University of Strathclyde, it gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the professional world of reporters and editors.

Asymptote’s fifth anniversary event in London
Waterstones Piccadilly
203 - 206 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9HD

Please join us for Asymptote’s fifth anniversary event in London, as we welcome three of the most exciting writers engaging in multilingual work. Caroline Bergvall is a poet and artist of French-Norwegian background, whose projects alternate between textual pieces, audioworks, visual textworks, installations, and live performances, often in collaboration. She has recently presented work at the Tate Modern (London), and her poetry collections ‘Drift’ and ‘Meddle-English’ have drawn praise from critics across the world.

Tena Štivičić is a playwright who has won numerous awards including the European Authors Award and Innovation Award at Heidelberg Stueckemarkt and the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Hamid Ismailov is a dissident Uzbek writer, poet and journalist residing in the West. He was the BBC World Service’s first Writer in Residence. Critics have compared his books to the best of Russian classics, Sufi parables and works of Western post-modernism.

The discussion will be chaired by Ros Schwartz, vice-chair of the Translators Association. Ros is a translator from French with over 70 titles to her name, including a new translation of St Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince and seven Maigret novels for Penguin Classics’ new translations of George Simenon’s oeuvre.

Contests without fee

Holland Park Press
Poetry & Politics Competition

The theme of this poetry competition is poetry and politics, so in order to enter your poem it must be about any aspect of politics. Your poem can be about international politics or about something political much more closer to home. We don’t have to agree with your opinions, but we do want to be touched in some way by your poem, inspired by its imagery and, of course, we look for a beautiful use of language.
Prize: £200 and publication in the Holland Park Press online magazine
Closing date: 31st August 2016
Length: 50 lines or less
Entry fee: none
Eligibility: poems written in English by writers over 18 from any country
To submit: email your poem as a Word or PDF attachment to

Foley  Poetry Contest
Poems are being accepted for the 2016 Foley Poetry Award. Each entrant is asked to submit only one unpublished poem on any topic. The poem should be 30 lines or fewer and not under consideration elsewhere. Poems will not be returned. Poems should be sent in via Submittable, or postal mail. Closes on 31st March 2016

Blue Mountain Poetry Card Contest
Deadline June 30, 2016. First prize $300. Second prize $150. Third prize $30. Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better. We suggest that you write about real emotions and feelings and that you have some special person or occasion in mind as you write.

 Submissions Requests

The Emma Press Anthology of Love
Deadline: 10th April 2016

We are looking for poems about romantic love. We have already published books which touch on aspects of love – a book of mildly erotic poems, a book of instructional poems about seduction, a little pamphlet of poems about a long-distance relationship – so now we want to create an anthology of modern poems which examines and celebrates romantic love and the many forms it takes.

This book will be edited by regular Emma Press editors Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright, and published in January 2017

Red Sofa Literary

Red Sofa Literary is a boutique literary agency originally established in St. Paul/Minneapolis. With authors all over the world, Red Sofa now has a reach beyond the infamous 10,000 Lakes.

Corvisiero Agency

This is a New York City boutique literary agency founded by Marisa A. Corvisiero, Esq. This agency is a place where authors can partner with professional and experienced representation, who will value and guide them toward a successful career in publishing.
They offer international literary representation and management services to fiction and non-fiction authors of all ages, for all ages, in a wide spectrum of genres.


Whether accepts submissions year-round. They are no longer running monthly themes, so articles, essays, stories, and poems can be on any topic as long as it embodies the qualities described below.

Marketing your book

The things you can do to promote the books

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.

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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