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Also Poems by Alan Riach, Cyril Dabydeen, Christine De Luca & Reshma Ruia

Featuring Bashabi Fraser Word Masala Award winner October 2017

Events Reviews Market opportunities Free competitions New books & Submission calls

eSkylark A Voice of the Diasporic Poets Editor: Yogesh Patel Consulting Editor: Dr Debjani Chatterjee, MBE edior@skylarkpublications.co.uk ISSN 2397-1878 (printed and digital)

Issue 4/2017

ŠAll rights reserved

The third year of success

Good qualities are appreciated in whomsoever they are found. Uttararaamacharitam (Bhavabhuti)

Founder-Director: Yogesh Patel Patrons: Lord Parekh and Lord Dholakia

Suite 6, Riverside House, 196 Wandle Road, Morden, Surrey SM4 6AU, England www.skylarkpublications.co.uk

This Glorious Noise: 5 British Indian poets UK-India Year of Culture 2017 celebrated at the Poetry Library Supported by the British Council & the Poetry Library

The Poetry and the literary establishment in the UK remain in denial of British Indian poets. Anyone can look at poetry magazines and also take in the audience at poetry events to distil the fact that these important contributors to English literature are utterly ignored. With this in mind, 4th October, 2017 was an important date when with the help of the British Council and the Poetry Library, Yogesh Patel, the director-poet of Word Masala Foundation and Skylark Publications, took the diaspora poets to the hub of the poetry scene in the UK. He hosted a rare outing of British-Indian poetry to celebrate the four fresh collections of poems published this year though ignored by the mainstream in the U.K. It was yet a full house. The great mixed non-literati poetry-loving audience found out that diversity was interesting and important and had much to offer. Yogesh Patel introduced each poet with his critical analysis of their work and the specially written poems about them. Mona Dash read from her collection, A Certain Way, published by Skylark in March. Rishi Dastidar and Dr Bashabi Fraser received Word Masala Award presented by Chris McCabe, the librarian, and Dr Vijay Anand, the editor of Confluence. Their books, Ticker-tape, published by Nine Arches Press, and The Homing Bird, published by Indigo Dreams came out in June. The highlight of the event was that Yogesh Patel launched his own long awaited and critically acclaimed collection, Swimming with Whales, immediately available internationally from all bookshops and web portals. After reading from her own work, poet Dr Debjani Chatterjee introduced Yogesh Patel as “This is a man who not only writes his own poetry but has made it his mission to promote diaspora poets�. Yogesh Patel humbly read a couple of his poems from this new collection with haunting whale music and sounds playing in the background.

Yogesh Patel introducing the event, his book Swimming with Whales, published on the day, and poets (R-L), Debjani Chatterjee, Rishi Dastidar, Bashabi Fraser

and Mona Dash

Dr Vijay Anand (Confluence) and Chris McCabe (The Poetry Library) present Word Masala Awards to Bashabi Fraser and Rishi Dastidar

Mona Dash

Debjani Chatterjee


Submissions Poems capturing diversity and

eBook or PDF of this

migratory experiences of any nature are welcome from anyone.


Please submit unpublished five

from our website or

poems of maximum 25 lines

Previous award-winners

Word Masala Award:

ISSUU.com Publishers Winning Word Masala 'Champion of the Diaspora Poetry' Award Arc Publications

Dr Debjani Chatterjee, MBE Dr Shanta Acharya

Eyewear Publishing Emma Press

Usha Akella

Faber and Faber

Reginald Massey

HopeRoad Publishing

Daljit Nagra Saleem Peeradina

Limehouse Books Nine Arches Press

Usha Kishore


Meena Alexander

Valley Press

Pramila Venkateswaran Siddhartha Bose Kavita A Jindal Bobby Nayyar Phinder Dulai Prabhu Guptara

Word Masala ‘New Voice’ Publication Award Mona Dash A Certain Way

Rishi Dastidar WM Special Citation Award:

Now Available from our website

Sweta Vikram 2018 Panel of Judges:

WM team and Usha Akella, Saleem Peeradina, Kavita A. Jindal


Word Masala Award winner

Bashabi Fraser

Bashabi Fraser is a poet and children’s writer. She has several publications and has been widely anthologised. Her recent publications include Thali Katori: An Anthology of Scottish & South Asian Poetry, Co-ed. (Edinburgh: Luath Press, 2017) and The Homing Bird (Devon: Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2017) and Letters to My Mother and Other Mothers (Edinburgh: Luath Press, 2015). Her awards include Outstanding Woman of Scotland 2015, Saltire Society. Bashabi is Professor of English and Creative Writing and Director of the Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies (ScoTs) at Edinburgh Napier University. She lives and writes in Edinburgh. Poet's corner

I started writing when I was seven, when the music of poetry captivated me. It has remained my first love - magical and mesmerising. It is a weapon I feel I can use to wield when angry or troubled. It is my veena which can play the deepest chords hidden from my consciousness. I sometimes feel like a juggler with words, trying to keep many balls spinning in the air. I would like to invite my audience to catch the balls and share the meaning – sometimes intended, sometimes suspended, but waiting to be plucked at the right time.

- Bashabi Fraser



Any reputed poet – not necessarily a diaspora poet - is welcome to offer to write an editorial, subject to editorial acceptance.

Bashabi Fraser was born in India and is currently Professor of English and Creative Writing and co-founder and Director of the Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies (ScoTs) at Edinburgh Napier University. Her recent publications include The Homing Bird (2017), Ragas & Reels (2012), Scots Beneath the Banyan Tree: Stories from Bengal (2012); From the Ganga to the Tay (2009); Bengal Partition Stories: An Unclosed Chapter (2006; 2008), A Meeting of Two Minds: the Geddes Tagore Letters (2005) and Tartan & Turban (2004). Her awards include Outstanding Woman of Scotland, Saltire Society; Rabindra Bharati Society Honour for promoting Tagore Studies in Europe, 2014; Women Empowered: Arts and Culture Award, 2010. When she first came to Scotland in 1985, she came across several people who cornered her at dinners and receptions or hailed her on the street to ask her, ‘where are you from?’ Her answer, ‘from India’ was the anticipated one, which brought on nostalgic memories of time spent in India, of a father who had served in the Indian army, a mother who was married in Calcutta, a cousin who went to school in Uti, an uncle who traded in Karachi or a grandfather who was born in Assam. Bashabi then went on to do several oral history sessions with Scots who had worked and lived in India and discovered that there was a fragment of India in every Scot, through friends, family members or ancestors who had some link with India preserved in personal journals, photographs, family film footage and artefacts brought back from India. Bashabi Fraser is one of those people without whom Scotland would be a poorer, colder place, less nourishing of the vitalising sense of difference and diversity from which life arises. Her poetry is populated by individuals, relations, mothers and fathers and ancestors and children, people of all kinds from different parts of the world. And it’s filled with geographical reference, most emphatically to Scotland and India, both as nations – with both the strengths and liabilities that word


carries – and to locations within those nations, to which people are connected in vital and vitalising ways. Her poems breathe good sense and good humour, a sympathetic spirit, the intrinsic optimism of curiosity and the inherent and integral authority of sensitivity. They do not overrule the reader as some poems try to do; nor do they insinuate duplicitously, as others sometimes do; rather, they lay out there propositions and ideals, yearnings and needs, their senses of what is humanly gainful and what is to be rejected for the sake of our own humanity. Like their author, they are indefatigable and persistent, but always to be welcomed. And you learn from them, return to them, take pleasure in them, thankfully.

ALAN RIACH is the Professor of Scottish Literature at Glasgow University, Convener of the Saltire Society and past-President of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 2006-10. He is the author of numerous books and articles. He has recently published highlyacclaimed English-language versions of the great 18th-century Gaelic poems, Duncan Ban MacIntyre’s Praise of Ben Dorain and Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair’s The Birlinn of Clan Ranald and edited The International Companion to Edwin Morgan (2015) and The Hunterian Poems: Poems to Paintings from The Hunterian Collection at the University of Glasgow (2015). Wild Blue: Selected Poems was published in a bilingual English/Polish edition by the University of Gdansk in 2014. Since 2001 he has been working in Scotland.


Poet of the Month

Bashabi Fraser

Where thousands found solace: Triveni at Mamilla This is the Triveni1 , the confluence where three rivers of culture converge, the Mohona2 of merging histories. Here the fez and kippah brave the noonday sun where the crown of thorns has withered to allow olive and lemon trees to nurture and sustain the city’s diversity, watered by the clouds rising from the mountain stream of Nahal Katlav and the neighbouring Jordan. This is where the Prophets of the confluence found the shade of leafy comfort and the droplets of quenching coolness. Here the Sahabah3 found rest, contemplating on the hills beyond, and thousands found solace at their side when their tired bones returned to the dust from which life once sprang. So let them lie and let us light a candle of hope to those who sleep and for those who pass as they know that this is the democratic corner where pundit,


pauper and priest rest from Byzantine’s splendid days, through time, pleading to us to desist from ruffling the dust that holds many layered secrets of possible harmony. ©Bashabi Fraser 1.

Triveni is another name for the confluence where three rivers meet at Allahabad in India.


Mohona is a confluence.


Disciples of the Prophet Mohammed.

Gretna Green Intrepid love galloped with intent Looking with apprehension over the shoulder. The whiplash of patriarchal authority Spurred the hot pursuit to smoulder As the blacksmith’s anvil came down To forge a union of handfasting ardour. This was cupid’s green where Hymen Hovered over year-round ring-time fervour. Today when we drive back from English vales The smithy’s shop beckons with a dram To celebrate the freedom to love and live That trickles through the sluice gates of social dams. This is my signal of homecoming, across an invisible border Which I would never like to see barricaded by an order. ©Bashabi Fraser


Indigo Dreams Publishing http://www.indigodreams.co.uk/bashabi-fraser/4593781611 ISBN: 978-1-910834-34-3, Price: £6.00, Paperback, 80 pp ‘The Homing Bird explores the diasporic experience of living between two worlds. It enters that interstitial space that all migrants must inhabit as they bring the ‘elsewhere’ with them to a shore whose shingle will always bear the imprint of their footsteps which mingle with those who are already there and with others who will come after them. Like the migratory bird, the poems scour continents as the poet herself does, never forgetting the warmth of the tropical sun where her journey began, and always aware of the cool refreshing breeze that beckons from her home now in a temperate zone.

Bashabi Fraser poignantly conjures up haunting poetical narrative stemming from the quandary of living in dual cultures concurrently – the stages being Edinburgh and Kolkata – with the cultures jostling. These poems are a colourful sari blanketing Scotland with inner conflicts of a migrant Indian. -Yogesh Patel

Bashabi Fraser Poetry by Malalshri Lal go to link:http://tinyurl.com/y8awkdcg For Alasdair Mobbatt's Review of Letters to My Mother and Other Mothers see http://tinyurl.com/y7saqp69 For Anjana Basu's Review of From the Ganga to the Tay in The Statesman see Two Rivers: A Shared Heritage: http://tinyurl.com/yb6dynxp


Skylark Publications UK books

Official publication date: 4 October 2017, ISBN: 9780956084057

Yogesh Patel’s Swimming with Whales Pre-order NOW this collection from our bookshop or Waterstones 'Yogesh Patel is Jonah, Ishmael, Queequeg and Moby Dick himself: he knows what is owed to whales, how mighty and how vulnerable they are, and what we owe them by way of nourishment and light. His whales are enormous symbols swimming all the seas of the world and defining us as they go.' - Michael Schmidt OBE FRSL, General Editor, PN Review With marvelous twists and turns of language and breath, Yogesh Patel's book length meditation draws us into the life and death of the young whale lost in the Thames river, a poignant icon for the migrant self. The voice moves through wit and sparks of joy, through bitterness and loss, rising into a fine balance -- the metamorphic life of the speaker pitched to the rhythmic harmonies of poetic language .'Come swim with me/ swim the lithe language ' the poet tells us and we follow him across the dark yet clarified borders of the past, through the difficult present, into the fluid zone of the imagination. Swimming with the Whales is relevant to our lives in a world of nationalisms gone awry, where our common humanity is so often ignored. Meena Alexander, Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry, author of Birthplace with Buried Stones Our endangered world is celebrated by Patel in poems that hop, skip and transform the mundane into a magical adventure. No subject is too distant for Patel’s keen eye and leviathan powers. Daljit Nagra

Order from: http://www.skylarkpublications.co.uk/bookshop.html

All profit donated 8

New poems

Alan Riach (Our Guest Editor for this issue)

Entering India It’s tumbling into the world – Dream of a fall, mind A leap, an arabesque that opens limbs then Closes in the air like scissors then curls all limbs into A world of torso, falling in a thickly cushioned air, Warm and wet and wombtime, softening, Comforting, as the whole body rolls, Within this, descending, yet buoyant, while the earth Is there below, not to be feared, your arms again extend As your mind extends, to touch, To make connections, to start the friction slowly That will slow the impact down, but No impact comes, simply a settlement into A context, a world you did not know was there, You might be in, where all the Coloured tracks and trails and elephant roads And territories mapped and bordered Are not as they were, not as you had known, Without former reference, only This touching, this movement, This saying hello in the human Universe, hopefully, empty hand extended –


A special feature: Five poems by Cyril Dabydeen

Dabydeen was born in Guyana to parents of Indian ancestry. He moved to Canada in 1970 and completed an HBA (English) in 1973 at Lakehead University followed by two master's degrees at Queen's University. He is currently a sessional professor at the University of Ottawa.

START WITH THE OPENING SENTENCE How we’ve come to be, fashioning dreams-being in one spot only, my true self in a northern place-a compass marked out, what’s to reckon with-familiarly drawn Closer to you, being what’s under the skin, new signs to contend with, what I don’t want to deny but what keeps dogging us, the more I want to tell you about-from long ago


HOMEBOUND How we make ourselves known, being in another place as how times have changed I’m compelled to say Starting over, not reconnoitering, making much ado about little-as I want to register myself with you Muttering only about another place, or time, echoes being all I will listen to and repeat to myself Or believe in despite the pain. What pain? Talking myself hoarse and moving slowly, one leg at a time In one place only: on this jot of land I make amends with: rage it seems, then asking you— To say no more. No more. All I want to hear but will never hear again, a heart Beating faster once again.


TO THE REVIEWER who doesn’t know where I’ve come from who doesn’t know about sugar plantations & whacking away with a machete in the sun who doesn’t know really know about workers’ rights & trade unions with grit of men and women in a far place like Rose Hall Plantation being at it who doesn’t know what’s deep in the heart the kernel of an emotion, doesn’t understand real hardship another point of view another place or time with a solid memory as what brain-cells never lie about being myself only in a far place deep in the bones what’s under the skin & in the soles of my feet once more hardening in the sun


PRIOR ARRANGEMENT I ask the editor of the British magazine, Rialto, if I can make a submission --by e-mail They rarely allow submission this way, only by regular post with SASE enclosed --comes a reply But a prior arrangement --read, exception can be made-is my plea And I said I’d planted thousands of trees around Lake Superior --years ago The trees grown tall, had been cut down-and sent to paper mills, like Abitibi Company --in Thunder Bay Save the environment, I plead more earnestly, waiting for a reply --poetry only


HOW-TO-SPOT-A-TERRORIST POEM --(US Department of Homeland Security Report)

The Report "Terrorism Awareness and Prevention" warned that people yawning, developing goose bumps and appearing fidgety-could all be potential terrorists. Signs will become particularly evident in a person's eyes, face, neck and body movements. And if an individual has a cold stare, "trance-like gaze," or wide "flashbulb eyes�-he may be a terrorist. If he seems to exaggerate, yawn during conversation, repeatedly touch his face, or ears, or excessively watch a clock, or fidget; If he paces, trembles...perspires, have goose bumps, these may all be true signs or indicators-see, doctors have linked goose bumps to an individual's mentality, be it anxiety or fear. "The described indicators are not fool-proof. They’re not guarantees of terrorist activities, or the lack thereof," the report said.


"However, if you encounter an increasing number of such indicators, common sense would tell you that increased attention and thought should be placed on reporting your observations." But the report warns that citizens "should never use race or religion as factors for reporting suspicious activity.� Instead, report only facts to authorities. Sure, real facts, I say. ________________________________________________________________ Note: A common person reading this guideline and affected by recent events would see the terrorist all around him....consider the huge number of innocents who could get incarcerated if a highly strung security were to start following all such leads given by the lay person.--US Department of Homeland Security. ________________________________________________________________ An official Poet Laureate of Ottawa (1984-87), Dabydeen was literary juror in Years 2000 and 2006 for Canada's Governor's General Award for Literature; the Neustadt International Prize for Literature (Univ. of Oklahoma): prize worth $40,000 US; and the James Lignon Price Competition (the American Poets University & College Poetry Prize Program). He has been a finalist four times for Canada's Archibald Lampman Poetry Prize, as well as for the Guyana Prize, which he eventually won for best book of fiction in 2007 (for Drums of My Flesh). He received the City of Ottawa’s first award for Writing and Publishing, and a Certificate of Merit, Government of Canada (l988) for his contribution to the arts. He has published over 100 book reviews, and was a regular book critic for World Literature Today (U of Oklahoma).


Christine De Luca Two short poems (one in English, one in Shetlandic) (both from Dat Trickster Sun, Mariscat 2014)

What’s in a name?

Christine De Luca

If and when I have mislaid my name and stare at you disconcertingly let me spend a day parked by Suilven, perplexed by broken water. Turn my calendar to the mountain’s season, and set my watch by shadows on the loch. Forgive me if I lose the reason that we came or my gaze clouds in a cod-fish kind of way or if the name I chose for you eludes me. I’ll still sense mountain, water, love. (Suilven is a striking sugar-loaf mountain in NE Scotland)

Dat trickster sun … ee day he fills your window wi shaeps o laands at you could mak your ain: islands beyond islands, draemscapes you could aa but map: a refrain o licht troo a peen o gless; incongruities, tizin places you’ll nivver win tae.


You’re stuck i da here an noo; der oot o rekk, maist lik infinity. … ee day he tirls a rainbow deep intil anidder een. Cringed, dey rin wi you. You could aa but lay a haand apö dem, licht troo silence: a holy hubbelskyu, da foo spectrum o taer-draps; a slow air ta turn you inside oot, ta brak a haert.

dat: that; ee(n): one; shaeps: shapes; ain: own; aa: all; troo: through; peen o gless: windowpane; tizin: tempting; win tae: reach; der: they are; rekk: reach; tirls: whirls, upturns; intil: into; anidder: another; cringed: twinned, as on a conjoined tether; rin: run; aa but: almost; apö: on; hubbelskyu: uproar; foo: full; air: melody; brak: break Christine De Luca, who writes in both English and Shetlandic, was appointed Edinburgh’s Makar (or poet laureate) in 2014. Her poems have recently been selected four times for the Best Scottish Poems of the Year. Her sixth collection, Dat Trickster Sun (Mariscat, 2014) was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Poetry Pamphlet Prize. Her most recent collection Edinburgh, Singing the City (Saltire Society 2017) will be launched in September. An Italian bi-lingual version of this collection (Questo sole furfante) was published by Trauben in Italy in 2015. 2017 sees the publication of further Selected bilingual volumes, one in Icelandic (Haemfarins – Heimferðir) and, later in the year, one in Norwegian. These can be added to a French bilingual Selected, Mondes Parallèles, (éditions fédérop, 2007) which won the poetry Prix du Livre Insulaire. www.christinedeluca.co.uk www.edinburghmakar.org.uk www.hanselcooperativepress.co.uk


Reshma Ruia RESHMA RUIA is an Indian writer based in Manchester, England. She is the author of Something Black in the Lentil Soup. Her second novel, A Mouthful of Silence was shortlisted for the 2014 SI Leeds Literary Prize. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in anthologies and on BBC Radio 4.

A Biography Pretend if you must to rule the tides Your beating heart and ticking mind And grasping hands greedy with want Forgetting that your skin is but a veneer of glass Bottles of blood are we Rolling down the street A careless push and away we go Spilling unshared memories. Unfinished dreams Staining pavements for an instant before They’re mopped up and bleached Dettol clean

Love in the East To Bangkok and Pattaya The old men come In neon-lit cocktail bars with come-hither pouts


Their Hawaiian shirt-a blaring klaxon They barter their varicose-veins and wheezing voices For caresses and promising smiles I saw one of their tribe Bending expectant over his gin and lime Bright-splashed shorts holding afloat Sun-burnt tyres of flesh A hero he was Fleeing pin-striped suits Fast food counters and the odour of the rush hour tubes His kids grown up and gone, his wife addicted to Corrie And she‌dark-eyed and easy grace No less a heroine A heroine fleeing the bare-foot walk to the well The grudging kick of boiled rice in belly The dripping palm-leafed roof Leaning pensive against pictures of Hollywood hunks She dreams of young firm men with blond haired arms They come together the hero and the heroine Pantomiming the motions of love Biting their feet is the sea With its blue wrinkled mouth There are yellow flowers in her hair, seashells on her throat And the taste of his stale beer dances inside her mouth He pries open her legs and keeping time Together they abuse The Christ who refused to resurrect The Buddha who failed to reincarnate Inside the hunger of their embrace


Word Masala wants to hear from all editors and publishers The Project can help editors and publishers in many ways. If you are not sure about your idea, just ask. We will see how we can work on it together.

Get a coveted award and recognition What positive steps are you taking to include the BAME poets? Do you have any minimum commitment and concrete plans? What actions are you taking? Have you published poets from the diaspora.

Attention diaspora-expat poets Do you have a success story to tell us as a diaspora or an expat poet? Please tell us in 50 words and inspire others with your insight.

Attention everyone organising a poetry event Do you have an event that you would like us to include on our website? Do let us know.

We are proud to have the following prestigious magazines, newspapers and independent presses as our regular supporters:

Confluence http://www.confluence.mobi/

The Book Review www.thebookreviewindia.org

Please do send us your submission requests. Awards are given based on your action. Help us make a noise about your good work. The judges are keen to see your contributions.

Opinion http://opinionmagazine.co.uk/

Sahitya Press Core Publications UK Sixties Press

Can your name be here?



Foreign Voices Poetry Competition: No Entry Fee http://tinyurl.com/ydg292w5 We invite you to write a poem about migration The closing date: You can send in your entries from 1 September and the competition closes on 30 November 2017 at midnight GMT. In order to enter the competition you have to email us: submissions@hollandparkpress.co.uk. We regret that we cannot process entries that do not follow the submission guidelines set out below, so please read these instructions carefully. • •

• • • •

The poem must be attached as a single Microsoft Word or PDF file The file has to be named as follows: date_name_fv.doc or .pdf, where date, in ddmmyy format, is the date on which you send the email, and name your name Foreign Voices must appear in the subject line of the email The body of the email should contain your contact details Please do not add your name or contact details to the attachment that contains the poem Please do not add your poem to the body of the email

The Task People move to another country for many reasons ranging from loving someone to fleeing from war and persecution. Are you an immigrant, emigrant, refugee, or are any of your friends, relatives or neighbours? How do you react to what you read on social media about migration?


Are you involved in supporting immigrants or deal with them in an official capacity? Poems can be triggered by any aspect or point of view about migration and the opportunities to reflect on this theme are endless. The Prize: The author of the winning poem will receive £200. The winning poem and runners-up will be published in our online magazine

The Indigo Competition We are extremely RELUCTANT TO RECOMMEND any competition that asks for entry fees. If they are sincere they should not charge! But Indigo has published Bashabi Fraser’s recent collection so have no hesitation in including this competition. However, BE ALWAYS WARY of those who charge. You will soon be bankrupt! Two winners will receive a royalty publishing contract from awardwinning Indigo Dreams and receive 20 copies of their poetry pamphlet Submission: Full poetry pamphlet sent as one document up to 30 pages 36 lines max inc line breaks. Entry Fee: £15 per submission. Closing Date: 31st October 2017. See full submission rules at http://www.indigodreams.co.uk/pamphlet-prize/4592772045 Postal submissions to Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Prize, 24 Forest Houses, Halwill, Beaworthy, Devon, EX21 5UU

Congratulations to Word Masala Award Winner

Kavita A. Jindal Her poem, By the Old Airport, was shortlisted in the inaugural Milestones competition: http://tinyurl.com/y7b8y4pn It will be published in the Milestones anthology later this year.


Attention Publishers Do you want a book by a South-Asian diaspora poet reviewed or announced to our readers? Contact: Editor@skylarkpublications.co.uk Do send your review copies to the editor at our address with the poet’s contact and bio. Where possible we will include them in our book launches too. We will publicise the book FREE within our network.

Magazine editors, are you including any of our poets in your next issue? This creates a perfect opportunity for us to promote your magazine. Even if you are including a review of a book by one of our diaspora poets, we will let others know.

Shonda Buchanan As a journalist and professor, Shonda engages with issues of race, class, gender, technology and environment. For the last twenty years, Shonda's work has focused on culture, women, bi-raciality and identity, African American and American Indian narratives. Her poetry and essays have been featured in numerous anthologies. Shonda’s new book is out, Equipoise: Poems from Goddess Country. She is HAPPY to schedule readings at schools or any of your venues. Books can be purchased at http://tinyurl.com/ycckzfs6


A free feature to highlight an important magazine

As soon as I opened the latest issue of PN review, I couldn’t put it down. The editorial, quite rightly, discusses the need for a revival of the Net Book Agreement. If a very robust argument from Michael Schmidt, its editor, does not convince you, nothing will. From the viewpoint of the diaspora, I was very pleased to find Sujata Bhatt and Sumita Chakraborty’s poems. Vahni Capildeo explains how she judges prizes as she recently judged the Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize won by Sandeep Parmar. The issue also brought memories for me of James Berry whom I first met with the late Norman Hidden. For those looking to learn the craft, Beginning with End, an essay on prosody, by Chris McCully is a must read. There is also Simon Armitage experimenting with his craft on its pages. Frankly, the literary feast here is so appetising and colourful that it will keep you busy for two months before the next issue. I very strongly recommend you to subscribe to this magazine. - Yogesh Patel For four decades, PN Review has been a place to discover new poems in English and in translation as well as interviews, news, essays, reviews and reports from around the world. Subscribers can explore the complete, uniquely rich digital archive. Now subscribers have a chance to enter its poetry competition free! Submissions to PN Review: Current subscribers may submit work by e-mail (word attachment). All other submissions should be made by post to: The Editors, PN Review, 4th Floor, Alliance House, 30 Cross Street, Manchester M2 7AQ, UK. Submissions should be accompanied by a self-addressed return envelope and

Subscribe through this link: www.pnreview.co.uk/cgi-bin/scribe?join=true

should generally not exceed four poems/five pages.


Required reading

Yogesh Patel writes about Rishi Dastidar in his column ‘Through the Poetic Lens’ in Confluence. Please go to their website and download the latest issue free to read it.

www.confluence.mobi Saleem Peeradina’s book is featured in World Literature Today: http://tinyurl.com/y72kz27n Usha Akella is interviewed by World Literature Today: http://tinyurl.com/ybpxm9hr Meena Chopra’s poems and work appear in the recent issue of Artis magazine. But you can read some of her poems at:

http://ignitedlines.blogspot.co.uk/ Salman Rushdie is back with The Golden House:

http://tinyurl.com/y89428wg http://tinyurl.com/ydgle492 Bashabi Fraser’s new book, The Homing Bird, is out. But do you know you can blend the two cities she talks about in music? Go for it here at the initiative of The British Council: http://tinyurl.com/y72ulb44

Congratulations to Sandeep Parmar on winning Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize. Eidolon is available from http://tinyurl.com/y8stsabt , published by Shearsman Books.


Events (Do you want us to include your events? Contact us)

28 October 2017, DISPLACEMENT WITH RUTH PADEL The Poetry School, programme@poetryschool.com Investigate the theme of displacement with Ruth Padel. What does the theme of ‘displacement’ mean to you? The moving on of a protestor, exile from one’s home country, something more psychological? Interpret the subject as broadly as you like, then bring a poem in any form of up to 50 lines on the theme, and workshop it with Ruth and your fellow students. We’ll be publishing ‘displacement’ writing prompts in the run up to the session. This is a half-day workshop, running 10:30 – 13:30. More information about how all our face-to-face courses work can be found on the Face-to-Face courses page.

3:30 - 4:30 PM Poetry Workshop: How to steal like a poet £15 (The workshop is a part of The Asian Writer Festival) If you’ve just started writing poetry – or even if you’ve been doing it a while – it might feel that it’s taking time to feel that you know what you’re doing. Don’t worry – finding your voice as a poet is a long-term project. In this workshop we’ll look at how you can arm yourself for the journey: using your own experiences; borrowing from other writers; and stealing from others artists too. Lead by Word Masala Awardwinning poet, Rishi Dastidar. Full details and how to book: http://tinyurl.com/y86tj4hs


Do you want to write a review for us? Also ask yourself: Do diaspora writers and readers know you? Poets and reviewers are requested to contact the editor to join this Reviewers’ Group. They and their publishers may also offer discounts on their books. We welcome everyone to help us with reviews. This is how our past winners take pride in the Word Masala Awards:

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Eskylark october 2017 issue with the cover  

This issue features October 2017 Word Masala Award winner Dr Bashabi Fraser and poems by Alan Riach, Cyril Dabydeen, Christine De Luca and...

Eskylark october 2017 issue with the cover  

This issue features October 2017 Word Masala Award winner Dr Bashabi Fraser and poems by Alan Riach, Cyril Dabydeen, Christine De Luca and...