Wednesday, January 10, 2024

EDITORIAL : Pratik's Special Australian Issue



Pratik's Special Australian Issue


Welcome to the Australian edition of the international, Nepal-based magazine, Pratik. Fire and Rain is brought to you by a partnership between Pratik, Asia Pacific Writers & Translators (APWT), and Red Room Poetry. We are very pleased indeed to present a collection of diverse and exciting writers to the international stage, and to present the issue at several venues, including the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in Bali in October 2023, the Nepal Launch at Australian Embassy, Kathmandu on 11 January, 2024 and the Indian launches at ILFK, Kerala and New Delhi World Book Fair, in February, 2024.

Looking over this collection as a whole, there is a sense of anxiety, a precarity, about relationships with both the natural and urban worlds. Two dominant themes emerge: that of the violent and of the tender. From the linguistic dexterity of Dan Disney’s Unentitled, where a fractured colonised presence emerges as paper-thin, to the deftly controlled rage of Bebe Backhouse’s impressive i want to know what you did with my memories, we can observe intimations of violence signalling a tragic colonial disquiet, a disquiet explosively pursued in Christopher Raja’s story Red, a heartbreaking account of a massacre of indigenous people. This dominant trope of violence appears in another guise in Gay Lynch’s In-Train, where family violence hovers over the story like a chilling dark cloud.

Just as violence is shown in these pieces to manifest in various forms, the theme of the tender is defined within subtle differences. Stephanie Green’s Disruption, a moving tribute to a lost friend, weaves a sense of time past with a lyrical sweep through time, location, and event. Mags Webster’s linguistically deft poem Salt & Sulphur brings speaker and oyster together in compelling imagery, while Jill Jones’ Testament is exemplary of her customary gift in bringing forth the imminent, being of and not of nature in its abstract glory. Annie Te Whiu’s sensitive response to the natural world and ancestral memory in angled is echoed in Alison Barton’s attentive evocation of the natural world, implying more than it states, in How to grieve in the open air. While to conclude, Jude Aquilina’s Heat Wave, Koolunga reminds us of the environmental damage wrecked upon this country by the colonial practice of Terraforming, as country currently used for grazing sheep bakes in an unrelenting sun.

Finally, we would like to thank Her Excellency, the Australian Ambassador to Nepal, Felicity Volk, for her engagement in this project, and the Australia Council for The Arts for their generous support.


– Yuyutsu Sharma, Sally Breen & Jennifer Mackenzie,






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Kathmandu Launch of Pratik Magazine's Special Australian Issue



Her Excellency Ms. Felicity Volk,

the Australian Ambassador 

looks forward to hosting you at the launch of

Fire and Rain

Special Australian Issue of Pratik Magazine

Edited by Yuyutsu Sharma with

 Sally Breen & Jennifer Mackenzie as Guest Editors

Date: Thursday, 11 Jan 2024

Time: 3 pm

Venue:  The Australian Embassy, Kathmandu, Nepal

Entrance by Invitation Only

To confirm invitation, write to or call 9803171925



Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Pratik's Special Australian Issue to be launched at Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, Bali in Oct

Pratik: Fire and Rain Special Australian Issue 

Artwork credit: Aaron Chapman

Edited by Yuyutsu Sharma 

Guest Editors: Sally Breen & Jennifer Mackenzie



Alison J Barton Dan Dinsey Dan Dinsey Emilie Collyer Jill Jones Jude Aquilina Peter Boyle Rozanna Lilley Anne-Marie Te Whiu Leanne Betasamosake Simpson Samuel Watson Bebe Backhouse Stephanie Green Jennifer Mackenzie


 Mags Webster Chris Raja Dean Kerrison Gay Lynch   Indy Horobin  Patrick Allington Sally Breen  Stephanie Green  Shelley Kenigsberg

"A Stranger in a strange land." 

Yuyutsu Sharma Interviews Australian Novelist Felicity Volk

JENNIFER MACKENZIE: Top 5 Poetry Books from Australia

SALLY BREEN: Top 5 Novels from Australia

Pratik: A Magazine of Contemporary Writing by White Lotus Book Shop, Kathmandu, in conjunction with Asia Pacific Writers and Translators (APWT) present Fire and Rain – a special edition of the magazine focused on Australian literature featuring the work of 24 Australian writers, poets and artists. The edition includes a collaboration with Red Room Poetry's Fair Trade initiative to highlight the work of First Nations authors.

Fire and Rain features literature that evokes a sense of Australia – either geographically, spiritually, politically, linguistically, culturally, or otherwise.  Fire and Rain takes the pulse of current Australian literature offering unique contemporary perspectives from established and emerging contributors.

Fire and Rain is supported by Creative Australia

Fire and Rain will be officially launched at the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in October 2023. The edition is available now on Amazon:


Dr Sally Breen is an Australian writer, editor, and academic. Author of the iconic grunge memoir The Casuals (2011) winner of the Varuna Harper Collins Manuscript Prize and Atomic City a neo-noir novel (2013) shortlisted for the QLD Premier’s People’s Choice Book of the Year 2014. Sally’s short form creative and non-fiction work has been published widely both nationally and internationally with major features in The Guardian London, Asia Literary Review, Griffith Review, The Age, Overland, Meanjin, The Australian, TEXT, Best Australian Stories, Sydney Review of Books, Hemingway Shorts and The Age. She is a regular contributor to The Conversation. Sally has worked as Associate Editor of Australia’s most awarded literary journal Griffith Review and was fiction editor of Wet Ink Magazine for New Writing. She has co-edited an edition of MC Journal, three special editions of TEXT, and the book length international anthology Meridian – The APWT Drunken Boat Anthology of New Writing. Sally is Executive Director of Asia Pacific Writers and Translators and Senior Lecturer in Writing and Publishing at Griffith University, Australia

Jennifer Mackenzie is a poet and reviewer, focusing on writing from and about the Asian region. From a young age, she knew she wanted to be some kind of artist. Having the great fortune to have the mercurial artist, Les Kossatz, as a teacher, she thought that having an inner city studio, and meeting up with artist friends in a bar at night seemed to be the perfect way to live. However, discovering that words were more her metier than paint, she took to writing.  While a student at the University of Melbourne, she had access to the best of both worlds, owing a great deal to teachers Vincent Buckley and Chris Wallace-Crabbe, with the lively world of small magazines and inner suburban poetry gatherings near at hand. Travel to Indonesia, to Java in particular, has been formative to her own sense of poetics, something that is continuing. Since the publication of Borobudur (Transit Lounge 2009), also republished by The Lontar Foundation in 2012, she has presented her work at a number of conferences and festivals, including the Ubud, Irrawaddy and Makassar festivals, and most recently at the Mathrubhumi Festival of Literary Arts in Trivandrum. Her criticism has appeared in such journals as Sydney Review of Books, Mascara Literary Review, Cha, and Cordite Poetry Review. She has been the recipient of a number of awards, including the Marten Bequest Poetry Scholarship, and the Felix Meyer travelling scholarship from the University of Melbourne, and in 2016 she enjoyed a writing residency at Seoul Artspace, Yeonhui. She also works as an occasional editor for The Lontar Foundation in Jakarta. Her most recent book is Navigable Ink (Transit Lounge 2020), a homage to the Indonesian writer, Pramoedya Ananta Toer. She lives in Naarm (Melbourne) Australia, on the unceded land of the Woi Wurrung Wurundjeri people.

Yuyutsu Sharma is one of the few poets in the world who make their living with poetry. Named as “The world-renowned Himalayan poet,” (The Guardian) “One-Man Academy” (The Kathmandu Post) and “Himalayan Neruda” (Mike Graves), Yuyutsu is a vibrant force on the world poetry stage. He is also recipient of fellowships and grants from The Rockefeller Foundation, Ireland Literature Exchange, Trubar Foundation, Slovenia, The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature and The Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature. Author of eleven poetry collections, most recently, Lost Horoscope & Other Newer Poems, Yuyutsu has read his works at several prestigious places and held workshops in creative writing and translation at Queen’s University, Belfast, University of Ottawa and South Asian Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany, University of California, Davis, Sacramento State University, California, Beijing Open University, New York University, New York and Columbia University, New York. 

Half the year, he travels and reads all over the world and conducts Creative Writing workshops at various universities in North America and Europe but goes trekking in the Himalayas when back home.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Pratik Current Issue Cover Story: ANNIE FINCH on Poetry Witchery: 15 Poets of Meter & Magic



Poetry Witchery

 15 Poets of Meter & Magic



For almost all of the tens of thousands of years of human history, poetry has been structured by strong repeating rhythmical language patterns that act like magical spells, activating our unconscious and conscious minds together and moving us into altered states of consciousness. Healers and shamans, sorcerers and enchantresses, medicine people and witches have used meter to transform consciousness, to heal, and to connect us with the traditions of our ancestors and with the sacred powers of the natural world.

Thalassa by Tanja Thorjussen_2020_watercolor and ink on paper

For forty years, as a witch and a poet, I have been writing, teaching, and performing metrical poetry and ritual to help reclaim this time-honored role for rhythmical language at a time of unprecedented political and environmental crisis.  I was delighted when Yuyutsu Sharma invited me to edit for Pratik a special section of poetry by poets who have been exploring poetic meter with me at and elsewhere.  The poets gathered here are drawn to use their poetic skills to reconnect people with our rhythmical legacy and the healing gifts it offers, not only to ourselves, but to the planet of which we are part. By opening themselves to meters, they are embracing a beautiful revolution that points in a hopeful future direction for poetry. 

As you read aloud, you will discover that these poems prioritize “metrical diversity”—a range of different meters, each weaving a different mood and energy. In this section you will find poems written in accentual dimeter, accentual tetrameter, accentual pentameter, anapestic tetrameter, iambic dimeter, iambic tetrameter, iambic pentameter, trochaic tetrameter, dactylic trimeter, dactylic tetrameter, and amphibrachic tetrameter, and in forms such as acrostic, ballad stanza, triolet, sonnet, and sapphics. While this metrical range is a significant expansion on the usual metrical vocabulary available in English today (which consists almost entirely of one meter, iambic pentameter!), of course it is still a far cry from the far more immense richness and diversity of meters explored in Hindi and other ancient languages.  Yet at least it’s a start towards exploring the power of metrical diversity in English.

Dance of Five Elements by Moomey

Please be sure to read these poems aloud, because meter is a physical art that engages the body as much as the mind. Three times is the ideal number to allow meters to work their magic; as my Twitter hashtag puts it, “#speakitthrice!”  As you read aloud, you may hear an impatient voice inside your mind telling you that you already understand the poem and you are wasting your time. I suggest you thank this voice for its concern, but don’t obey it. Allow yourself to take the time to speak the poem thrice, and notice how you feel after that. If speaking aloud is impossible, the poetry can be whispered, or sounded silently in thought.  As long as you allow each line to occupy its full physical time, you will still “hear” the meters physically, in real time, like music, in the mind.

Over the decades I have been teaching meter, my teaching has grown so streamlined that now much of what I offer to the poets who study with me is simply permission: permission to allow body, heart, will, and spirit to participate in poetry on a fully equal basis with mind; permission to become curious about meter, scansion, the craft of sound, and the depth of meaning these can convey; permission to experience physical exhilaration and pleasure in the movement of language’s rhythms; permission to allow one’s individual voice to be swept up in the momentum of an activity that predates the memory of written culture; and perhaps most of all, permission to give up the internalized judgments, the fears of being silly or sentimental, which cause so much pain and numbness in the modern world, in order to join fully in the cosmic dance of magic, play, and connection.

I now extend to you, our dear readers, this same permission. Please: #speakitthrice, and enjoy!


Annie Finch


May 1, 2023


     Keeper of Shells by Moomey

Educated at Yale and Stanford University, Annie Finch is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Earth Days (Nirala, 2023) and The Poetry Witch Little Book of Spells (Wesleyan University Press). Her poetry has appeared in the New York Times, Poetry Magazine, and the Penguin Book of Twentieth-Century American Poetry. Her other works include The Body of Poetry: Essays on Women, Form, and the Poetic Self, The Ghost of Meter; the poetry-writing guide A Poet’s Craft and Choice Words, the first international anthology of literature on abortion.





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Friday, September 8, 2023

Pratik Current Issue Highlight : Celebrated American novelist and poet Sapphire's Menstruation Chant




I use metered text in this excerpt from my novel The Harlem Triology as a way of “rooting” these women in the rhythms of their bodies. The rhythm of the chant allows the reader to bond with the characters as the women seek to control and align their lives with female values in a patriarchal society. Menstruation rituals speak to a Regular, Rhythmic, and Repeated event that will shape approximately forty years of a woman’s life.


Menstruation Chant


I bleed and do not die

I bleed and do not die

I am a woman

I ride the sky and do not die

I ride the sky and do not die

I am a woman


Je saigne et je ne meurs pas

Je saigne et je ne meurs pas

Je suis une femme

Je roule dans le ciel et je ne meurs pas

Je roule dans le ciel et je ne meurs pas

Je suis une femme.


Mwen senyen epi mwen pa mouri

Mwen senyen epi yo pa mouri

Mwen se yon fanm

Mwen kondi syel la epi mwen pa mouri

Mwen kondi syel la epi mwen pa mouri

Mwen se yon fanm.




Sapphire became involved in the Slam Poetry movement writing, performing, and eventually publishing her work. She is the author of two collections of poetry Black Wings & Blind Angels (1999) and American Dreams (1994), and of the New York Times bestselling novels The Kid (2011) and Push (1996), which was the inspiration for the Academy Award-winning movie Precious.




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Monday, August 28, 2023

Pratik's Current Issue Highlight: American Poet Lisa Zimmerman's Poem, "April Moon"




April Moon


Often spring arrives with only small revolts,

winter’s last-ditch effort to linger and punish

overturned in the dark as daffodils spear

carelessly from cold mud through root

tangle, earth’s black silence.


Tonight’s nearly full moon

interrupts tree branches, spills

onto the lawn in eerie threads to incite

purple crocus under the bird feeder.

Moonlight offers the dog

his shadow double on the driveway.


Over the fence a raccoon rattles a trash can lid,

setting all the neighborhood dogs on alert,

their barks and plaintive howling

the gleaming moon accepts as adoration.




Lisa Zimmerman’s poetry collections include How the Garden Looks from Here (Violet Reed Haas Poetry Award winner) The Light at the Edge of Everything (Anhinga Press) and Sainted (Main Street Rag). Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Redbook, The Sun, Cave Wall, Poet Lore, Vox Populi, and other journals. Her poems have been nominated for Best of the Net, five times for the Pushcart Prize, and included in the 2020 Best Small Fictions anthology.  



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Saturday, August 12, 2023




Brief History of the Gin-Tonic


In the nineteenth century

everyone with a hidden past

used to seek out his port.


Scurvy was the enemy

of these sailors and in this the cocktail was born:

they fought scurvy through lemon,

the elixir in the salve,

with a vitamin to keep it afloat.

They fought scurvy through quinine,

those white hands of the tonic.


Its arrival to Spain was late:

the son of Pedro Salinas

brought it overseas.

In Barcelona, he found a crew

for the ritual.

They stilled the Cognac for gin-tonics

because, among other things,

their lives were stung

by countless scurvies;


Gabriel Ferrater, Costafreda,

Jaime Gil de Biedma, Carlos Barral,

Manu Portal, and many others,

encouraged by Salinas,

passed up their brandy for gin.


There’s no school so vital

to learn how to live

as the school that teaches you

to learn how to drink.


You can’t explain a literature

without explaining it, likewise,

to change the shape of what’s written:

what is real with what is impossible,

is almost always possible.


In the ritual of the gin and tonic

we see a mirror of obedient bubbles.

The distance is not forgotten

and neither is the absence:

it depends on the length of the sip.


 Translated from the Spanish by Hyden Bennet

Córdoba-born poet Joaquín Pérez-Azaústre won the Adonais Award in 2000 for his book, An Interpretation, the Loewe Foundation International Prize for Young Creation for The Red Sweater and the Vicente Presa Prize for The Price of a Dinner at Chez Maurice, The Loewe International Award for The Ollerías. He writes literary columns in several Spanish newspapers and has published the novels: The Orange notebook, America and The Manolete Suite.  He is also the Winner of Gil de Biedma International Poetry Award 2006, Tiflos Poetry Prize 2012 and City of Melilla International Poetry Prize 2016,



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