Wednesday, 20 April 2016

eSkylark April issue- Poet-of-the-Month: Bobby Nayyar



A Voice of the NRI - Diasporic Poets

Editor: Yogesh Patel
Consulting Editor: Dr Debjani Chatterjee, MBE 

Since January 2015, it has been a momentous period for us
Due to our major event to honour our winners at 
the House of Lords
on 22nd June 2016

We will take a break and return in August/September 2016

We now also announce the awards
for publishers and editors
who have pledged to support our diaspora poetry
Please see below the current winners
Who will be honoured at the House of Lords
ISSN 2397-1878 (printed and digital)/ Issue 4/2016

May we request that everyone signs the following petition?
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:


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: Bobby Nayyar
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

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
Our Media Supporters: 
C B Patel: Asian Voice
Azeez Anasudhin: Asian Lite
Reginald Massey: Confluence

Chandra Chari: The Book Review 

Previous award-winners can be found at

The following Awards and a Poet-of-the-Month honour are not bestowed lightly
They are as rare as the talents of these winners
Please buy their books and support them 

 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
Siddhartha Bose
Kavita A. Jindal
WM Award winners:
Sweta Vikram

This issue is dedicated to our latest Word Masala Award winner

Bobby Nayyar
Publishers Receiving 'Champion of Diaspora Poetry' Award:
  Arc Publications
Emma Press
Eyewear Publications
Faber & Faber
HopeRoad Publications
Nine Arches Press
Valley Press

Nominations are open for the following categories
A firm commitment or a good record is a required starting point

Receiving 'Champion of Diaspora Poetry' Award:
None so far
Nominations are
openEditors Receiving 'Champion of Diaspora Poetry' Award:
None so farNominations are open

Organisations Receiving 'Champion of Diaspora Poetry' Award::
None so farNominations are open


Guest Editor: Dr DebjaniChattejee

Glass Tanka
(For Bobby Nayyar)

We people in glass
houses live in dread of stones.
You have picked your way,
wincing, through the shards of life.
You found your way - you survived.
© Debjani Chatterjee

Rarely does a debut poetry collection show such remarkable promise. That is whyGlass Scissors is an exciting find. Having selected his short stories a decade ago for the award-winning anthology, Mango Shake, I already knew that Bobby Nayyar had talent. Since then he has had more short fiction and two novels published. And now a poetry collection that reveals some of the skills of his fiction: precision of language, narrative thread, and twists and turns.

In an 'Author's Note', Nayyar writes: 'The beauty is in the truth', a paraphrase of Keats' observation that truth is beauty and beauty truth. This may be considered by some to be a trite remark, but truth is for me the outstanding feature of Nayyar's poetry. His book is an exploration of his past and he finds that in the process deep memories have surfaced, often painful ones:

... the past is no place.
It is a broken mirror
Scattered everywhere,
Splinters of glass in my feet,
Hurting more when I walk,
So I run and bleed.

But they surface also for the reader, and surely that is the test of poetry - that it has the power to move people by making universal something that is individual. Nayyar calls his book 'a journey that starts with the heart but ends with the mind'. It is about a writer's vocation; it is about love, loss and growth; it is about a battle with clinical depression and a journey to healing that involves self-discovery.

One way in which Glass Scissors resembles a novel is its author's recommendation that the book is read in sequence. This is not normally how a poetry collection works: most poetry readers like to dip into a book, often at random. And, in fact, Nayyar's advice is only relevant if one wishes to trace the route and steps of his life's journey; one can still dip into his book and savour a poem at random because each poem can stand alone, as every poem must.

While Nayyar accepts the label of 'writer', he won't call himself a 'poet. It is a loaded word'. Yet there is music in his words, they paint a picture and set a scene; they are 'loaded' words - and yes - they are undoubtedly poems.  

Debjani Chatterjee
Dr Debjani Chatterjee MBE


Bobby Nayyar 
Setting the Page 
I've sat before this page for 36 years,
Watching it pixelate from paper and ink,
My eyes now reinforced by glass,
My mind broken two times,
My heart three,
And counting.

I stare into its screen
Until all I see are
Blades of ice slicing my past.
My hopes and fears,
Like layers of clothing
Worn on a day turned warm.
I'll sweat knowing that
The half-life of memory
Will decay into the afterlife of words.

Ad through the pain of my wounds self-inflicted,
The loves lost and found repeatedly,
The dirt of work
And strength of family,
The words rise.

And now I realise
That this page was never blank.
My scissors,
Forever cutting.
© Bobby Nayyar

(From Bobby Nayyar's debut collection, Glass Scissors, published by Limehouse Books, 2016.}

Bobby Nayyar
Bobby Nayyar was born in 1979. He read French and Italian at Trinity College, Cambridge. He has been published in the Mango Shake and Too Asian, Not Asian Enough anthologies, and journals including Wasafiri and Aesthetica.

He founded Limehouse Books in 2009, publishing his debut novel, West of No East in 2011, and The No Salaryman two years later. Glass Scissors is his debut poetry collection.

He lives in London

Poet's corner

Writing is as much an exploration of form as an exploration of my self. In my mid-thirties, I wanted to explore memories that had resurfaced and unravel the last seven tumultuous years of my life. Glass Scissors encompasses twenty years of living, ten years of thinking and eighteen months of writing. I find it hard to define my work because I feel like I am always changing from day to week to year. Another writer gave me some perspective, when she wrote that my poems summon ‘the missing and the lost… the invisiblelost (invisible culture, invisible illness, wanting).’ I am comfortable with this description.

Bobby Nayyar

Please encourage fellow writers

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

Contact Bobby Nayyar through one of these links: 
Bobby Nayyar's website:

Bobby's Limehouse Books:

Bobby's Twitter contact:

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 9781907536793

To order, please click on the name below:

Glass Scissors

‘Bobby Nayyar’s debut collection, Glass Scissors, is a haunting, deeply personal collection. It explores universal themes of love and loss, in which the turbulent and fragile sit side by side. More than just a compilation of poems, it’s a revelation of one man’s hopes and dreams, and of the precarious nature of the world we live in.’
Farhana Shaikh, The Asian Writer
  More Reviews: 

Glass Scissors reviewed by Raj K Lal:

See below the list for more reviews of this book

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 MasseyYogesh Patel,Debjani Chatterjee, Usha Akella, Usha KishorePramila Venkateswaran Mona Dash.and Kavita Jindal. Please join them.

Glass Scissors reviewed by Reginald Massey

Glass Scissors reviewed by Kavita A. Jindal

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.


Support our Crowdfunding Award Winner 

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 LakeviewInternationalJournal of Literature and Arts: 
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

Sorry, none this period

Required reading this period

Please support us by buying the following book
Word Masala Winners of 2015 The ISBN is 978095560840033Please order it at
or buy at Amazon (or write views. A PDF copy is available for a review )



‘In Other Words,’ by Jhumpa Lahiri


At Austin Airport

·         “In a country where free speech was being actively targeted by a minority of violent fundamentalists, the Dhaka Lit Fest was gleefully wearing a bull's-eye on its back.” Attending a literary festival in Bangladesh after the violent attacks on publishers and bloggers. | VICE
It’s Just Business: Why Rejection of Your Art Feels So Personal 


Word Masala Foundation 
  A major award celebration of our winners is organized on 
22nd June 2016
atThe 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 NayyarWord Masala Awards
and poetry reading by the
(See the list above)

Word Masala Awards for the Publishers
21st June 2016
Poetry reading at Yurt Cafe, Limehouse, LondonBobby Nayyar, Publisher of Limehouse Books, hosts a special literary salon with 4 South Asian poets in The Royal Foundation of St Katharine’s Yurt Cafe.

Readings by
Usha Akella,
Meena Alexander,
Debjani Chatterjee
Yogesh Patel

Contact Bobby Nayyar

This event 
kickstarts three days of celebrations of diaspora poetry focused around the House of Lords presentation of diaspora poets 


23rd June 2016

This event concludes three days of celebrations of diaspora poetry focused around the House of Lords presentation of diaspora poets
The Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF
Time: 6.15pm for 6.30pm start; ends at 8.30pm

Five distinguished women poets, representing the Indian Diaspora, who also write in English, will speak about influences on their writing, how the English language has shaped their creative output, their experience of making a home abroad, including responses to their work from the motherland and their adopted homeland. The poetry reading will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience. 

 The poets participating are Shanta Acharya (Chair), Usha Akella, Meena Alexander, Mona Dash and Kavita A. Jindal.
 Asia House Festival
Friday 6th May, 7 pmBobby Nayyar will read from his debut book of poems Glass Scissors, a moving collection confronting love and relationships.

Writers in the Bath
This poetry group meets monthly at the Bath public house, 66 Victoria St, SheffieldS3 7QL.Debjani Chatterjee plus three others from Sheffield Stanza poets will read on Tuesday 10th May at 7.30 pm. 
The Gracie Book Club

The Gracie Book Club is a new a collaborative effort between the Gracie Mansion Conservancy and First Lady Chirlane McCray to both foster conversation on a curated selection of literary works and make the spirit of Gracie Mansion, the People’s House, more accessible to more New Yorkers.
The first selection will be Bright Lines, written by Tanwi Nandini Islam
Bright Lines
 was picked by First Lady McCray and James Hannaham,
who will moderate the first Gracie Book Club discussion.
The first discussion will be held at Gracie Mansion on May 17th at 6 p.m.

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

 Submissions Requests

The National Endowment for the Arts (USA only)
The literature fellowship application is free, and the selection process is blind. Expert readers and panelists see only a 25-page manuscript for the prose competition, or 10 poems for that genre. To keep the number of applicants within a reasonable range, the NEA requires that the writer have published a book or five short stories or essays in at least two separate publications for the prose fellowship and 20 poems in at least five publications or a published collection for the poetry fellowship.
The NEA literature department also presents fellowships to translators and grants to independent book publishers, literary journals and organizations that promote audience development, such as book festivals, literary centers, reading series and podcasts. The endowment has also created nationwide initiatives such as Poetry Out Loud, a poetry recitation contest for high school students, and The Big Read, which supports community-wide reading programs.

Kensigton Publishing Corp

Established in 1974, Kensington, America's independent publisher, located in New York City, is the foremost independent publishing house in the United States publishing in hardcover, trade paperback, and mass market. We publish over 600 books annually in both fiction and non-fiction. Kensington has sweeping and diverse imprints, including Kensington, Zebra Books, Pinnacle Books, Dafina Books, Lyrical Press, and Citadel Press. These imprints are well-known for popular commercial fiction, mysteries and thrillers, African-American titles, multicultural young adult fiction, nonfiction, as well as true crime and Westerns. Kensington continues to be the foremost American publisher of romance novels. 
Read Submission Guidelines

BooksFiction & Nonfiction Submissions
We are pleased to receive query letters by USPS or via email from authors and literary agents. We publish literary novels and short story collections, creative nonfiction, memoir, essays, biography, literary criticism, books on contemporary issues (multicultural, feminist, LGBT), and literary and multicultural antholgies that are assigned in secondary and university classrooms.  Our list also includes a small number of Young Adult titles (0-2 per year)--again aimed at the literary reader and the educational market.
Most of all, we are looking for the fresh voice, a clear point of view, the well-written work that will endure. We are pleased to publish debut books and to continue publishing the authors we take on.

Marketing your book

The things you can do to promote your 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? 

As this project is for all us, it 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 genretaking 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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