Thursday, October 11, 2018

Announcing Final Contents of Pratik's Summer/Fall 2018 Double Issue

Pratik Summer/Fall 2018 Double Issue

Contemporary European Poetry

Swedish Poets

Lithuanian Poets


Ukrainian Poets


More from Europe




Aishwarya Iyer
Arjun Rajendran
Arun Sagar
Guru Tshering Ladakhi
Linda Ashok
Maaz Bin Bilal
Manjiri Indurkara
Nandini Dhar
Ranjani Murali
Rohan Chhetri
Sophia Naz
Souradeep Roya
Tashi Chophel
Uttaran Das Gupta

More from India




Pankaj Singh

By  Jack Tar

Book Reviews

This Is Not Happening To You
Short Stories by Tim Tomlinson

Ornaments: Poems by David Daniel
The Gates of Pearl Poems by Jill Hoffman

Nine Dragon Island: Poems by Eleanor Goodman


The Lady on the Cover --Pratik Spring 2018 Issue:
Prollas Sindhuliya
Joni Kabana
David Austell's Cover Story-- Poetry and History:
Kiran Devinder

Bhuwan Thapaliya

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Contributors to Pratik Magazine's Current Summer/Fall Double Issue, 2018

Contributors to the Double Issue

Art by Daiva Kaireviciute

 Born in a remote parish of northern woodland Småland in southern Sweden, Per Helge has authored twenty-five books, mostly poetry.     Recipient of the 2018 Tranströmer Poetry Prize, Stockholm-based Swedish writer, Eva Runefelt has published twelve books and written about Art and collaborated with painters, composers (libretti), musicians and translators.   Swedish poet and literary critic, Arne Johnsson has worked in Lindesberg as a librarian for several years. She has published over a dozen books and lives in a small town, Lindesberg, not far from Stockholm.   Agneta Falk Hirschman is a Swedish poet, living in San Francisco, USA. She has travelled a lot in Italy and around the world together with her husband, a distinguished American poet, Jack Hirschman. She has authored several books including Here by Choice, The Long Pale Corridor, It’s not love it’s love and  Heart Muscle.   Vasa, Finland–born, Carita Nyström belongs to the Swedish-spoken minority in Finland. After years in Helsinki she lives in Korsnäs since 1981. Author of over twenty books, she has also contributed to anthologies and edited a number of books. For last five years, she has co-operated with Wildlife Vasa Nature film festival, making films with schools in the region.   Born and educated in Eastern Ukraine, Svetlana Lavochkina (Gitin) is a poet, novelist and translator of Ukrainian and Russian poetry. She was the prize-winner in the Paris Literary Prize 2013 and Tibor and Jones Pageturner Prize London, 2015. Svetlana currently lives in Germany with her husband and two sons.    Ingela Strandberg lives in Grimeton, south of Sweden. She has published several poetry collections, the latest being. Att snara en fågel (To trap a bird) and Norstedts, 2018.   Swedish poet, Bengt Berg served as a Member of the Swedish Parliament from 2010 to 2014. Since 1990, he has been running the publishing house, Heidruns Förlag, and an Art Café in his home village, Fensbol, in the Province of Värmland. He has won several Swedish Literary prizes, including some from The Swedish Academy.   Leading Israeli poet, novelist and essayist, Amir Or has published twelve volumes of poetry, most recent being, Wings. He has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for his poetry, the Bernstein Award and the Holon Award; and for his translations of poetry from ancient Greek, he has received an honorary award from the Israeli Ministry of Culture. He lives in Tel Aviv.   An outstanding Ukrainian poet, Pavlo Hirnyk is the last representative of the classic Ukrainian poetic tradition. Hirnyk taught Ukrainian at village schools and was Literary Director of Khmelnitsky Puppet Theatre.   Odessa based poet, Boris Khersonsky is widely regarded as one of Ukraine’s best Russian-language poets.   The National Shevchenko Award Laureate, Dmytro Kremin is one of the most renowned Ukrainian poets. He lives in Mykolaiv.   Olena Zadorozhna is a Ukrainian journalist, poet, social activist and winner of several national awards for literature and journalism.    Lyuba Yakimchuk  is a Ukrainian poet, screenwriter, and journalist. She is the winner of the International Slavic Poetic Award and the international “Coronation of the Word” literary contest and lives in Kiev.   Vasyl Holoborodko is a living classic, a National Shevchenko Award winner and the pioneer of blank verse in Ukrainian poetry. His work is strongly influenced by Ukrainian folklore and symbolism.    Maria Farazdel (Palitachi), an Award-winning Dominican poet was educated in the United States where she received a PhD at Fordham University.  She has authored over a dozen books most noted being, Eleven Spotlight, Infraganti and Bitácora del insomnia.   Ana Luisa Martínez is a New York-based Dominican poet. Her work includes Tatuajes and Primavera del Great O.   Kary Cerda is a Mexican poet, photographer and editor.   Verónica Aranda is a multi-lingual award-winning Spanish poet and translator with an international presence. Aranda has been awarded many notable poetry prizes including Joaquín Benito de Lucas, Antonio Carvajal de Poesía Joven, José Agustín Goytisolo, Arte Joven de la Comunidad de Madrid, Margarita Hierro, Fernando Quiñones, Antonio. In 2016, her collection, The Shell of the Tortoise Poems Written in India & Nepal appeared in Nirala Series.   Franky De Varona is an American Cuban poet, narrator and essayist. He has published Solitudes, De Azares, Laberintos y Cenizas Rotas and Las Gaviotas También vuelan en Diciembre. and edits, RACATA.   Author of The Language of Parks, a poetry collection, Marisa Russo is a New York-based Argentinean poet and cultural activist. In 2015, she created the cultural movement Turrialba Literariain Costa Rica and coordinated the I Summit de Voces de América Latina in Costa Rica, 2017, and the Festival Internacional Grito de Mujer, Sede Turrialba, Costa Rica, 2018. Currently, she teaches at Hunter College, New York.   Delhi-based Indian poet and editor, Medha Singh has published, Ecdysis, a poetry collection. A former Editor-at-Large at Coldnoon, she holds a Masters degree in English Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.  Aishwarya Iyer was raised in India and Bahrain, and studied literature at the universities of Mumbai, Jadavpur and Pennsylvania. She teaches at O. P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat.  Recipient of the 2018 Charles Wallace Fellowship in Creative Writing at The University of Stirling, Scotland.   Arjun Rajendran is the author of several books of poems, most recent being, Your Baby is Starving. He is also the poetry editor of The Bombay Literary Magazine.    Author of Anamnesia,  Arun Sagar lives and works in Sonipat at Jindal Global University.   Guru T Ladakhi was born and lives in Gangtok, Sikkim with his wife Priya Reddy and two daughters Rhea Palmo and Aria Dechen. He has taught in Sikkim University and North East Hill University. His first book of poems is called Monk on a Hill.   Linda Ashok is the 2017 Charles Wallace India Fellow in Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Chichester, UK. She is the Founder/President of RædLeaf Foundation for Poetry & Allied Arts and sponsors the annual RL Poetry Award.   British poet Graham Burchell was the 2012 Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year, a 2013 Hawthornden Fellow and winner of the 2015 National Stanza competition. He has authored several poetry collections, most recent being, Cottage Pi.  Author poetry collection, Drift, Shehzar Doja is a Luxembourg based poet with Bangladeshi origins. He also edits, The Luxembourg Review.   Hungarian poet, Kinga Fabó’s work has been published in Modern Poetry in Translation, Numéro Cinq and The Original Van Gogh’s Ear. Her latest book, Racun/Poison was published in 2015.   Rhiannon Hooson is an award-winning Welsh poet. She studied and later taught at Lancaster University, where she completed a PhD in Poetry. Her first collection, The Other City, was shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year.    Ian Humphreys lives in West Yorkshire, England. Ian holds an MA in Creative Writing from the Manchester Writing School. In 2017, a selection of his poems was showcased in Ten: Poets of the New Generation (Bloodaxe Books).   Agnes Marton is a Hungarian-born poet, writer, librettist, Reviews Editor of The Ofi Press (Mexico), Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK). Recent publications include her collection Captain Fly’s Bucket List and an anthology she edited (Estuary: A Confluence of Art and Poetry) won the Saboteur Award.   Angela Readman’s poetry has won The Mslexia Poetry Competition, The Essex Prize, and The Charles Causey Prize. She is also a Costa Short Story Award-winning story writer. Nottingham based British poet, Andrew Taylor is a senior lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University and has published most recently a book-length sequence, 15.11.13 – 5.2.14.    Maria Taylor is a poet and reviewer of Cypriot heritage and has published several poetry collections, most recent being, Instructions for Making Me. Abigail Ardelle Zammit is from the island of Malta. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing (Lancaster)  and has published two poetry collections,  Voices from the Land of Trees  and Portrait of a Woman with Sea Urchin.   Maaz Bin Bilal is Assistant Professor for Literary Studies at Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities at O. P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India. He earned his PhD in English from the Queen’s University of Belfast and writes poetry in English and translates from Urdu and Hindi.   Winner of the Villa Sarkia Residency, Finland, 2018, Manjiri Indurkar is a poet-writer from the small central-Indian town of Jabalpur. She is one of the founders and editors of the literary magazine AntiSerious.   Author of two full-length books of poems in English and Bangla, Nandini Dhar is the co-founder and co-editor of the independent micro-press Aainanagar, which she manages with dancer, illustrator and writer Madhushree Basu.    Author of Blind Screens, Ranjani Murali lives and teaches in suburban Chicago. She has an MFA in Poetry from George Mason University and was the recipient of the 2014 Srinivas Rayaprol Prize.   The 2016 Norman Mailer Poetry Fellow, Rohan Chhetri is the author of Slow Startle (Winner of the ‘Emerging Poets Prize 2015’) and a forthcoming chapbook of poems, Jurassic Desire (Winner of ‘Per Diem Poetry Prize 2017’).   A 2016 Pushcart Prize Nominee, a bilingual, Asian-American writer, Sophia Naz is Poetry Editor and columnist at The Sunflower Collective as well as the founder of Rekhti, a site dedicated to avant-garde Urdu poetry.   Delhi based poet and translator, Souradeep Roy was shortlisted for the Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize, and the Raedleaf Poetry Prize, and longlisted for the Toto Funds the Arts Award in Creative Writing.   Tashi Chophel is a poet based in Sikkim. His works have appeared in the Cordite Poetry Review, India International Centre Quarterly, The Sentinel, Weekend Review, Sikkim Now, Nagaland Page, Catscanned, Sikkim Midweek among others.   Author of a poetry collection,  Visceral Metropolis, Uttaran Das Gupta ’s poems and articles have appeared or are forthcoming in New England Review of Books, CITY, Fulcrum, Magnapoets, Indian Literature. He is a journalist at Business Standard, New Delhi.   An emerging author, Devanshu Mishra, lives in Delhi.    A third-generation Iranian immigrant, Sharon Irani is the assistant editor of Helter Skelter Magazine  Born to Syrian Christian parents, Anna Sujatha Mathai is a well known Indian English poet. Mother’s Veena and other Poems is her most recent book.   North Eastern India-based poet, Robin Singh Ngangom writes in English and Meiteilon. His books of poetry include Words and the Silence, Time’s Crossroads and The Desire of Roots. He was conferred with the Katha Award for Translation in 1999.    Pankaj Singh authored three books of poetry in Hindi, and won three major awards for writing, among other regional accolades.   Lithuanian poet Laurynas Katkus’ works have been translated into German, English, and other languages. He is one of the well-known poets of his generation. Giedre Kazlauskaite is the editor of a prestigious literary journal North Athens (Siaures Atenai). She received the literary award of the Vilnius Book Fair (winter of 2015).    Vytautas Stankus is a young Lithuanian poet who has published one collection of poems.   Simonas Bernotas’s poetry has been influenced by rap, modern cinema, etc. Simonas is the child of the independent, post-Soviet Lithuania.   Vilnius-based Lithuanian poet, Marius Burokas is author of three poetry collections and translator of American and English poetry (Allen Ginsberg, Ted Hughes, Charles Simic, W. C. Williams, etc.)   Laurynas Katkus studied Lithuanian and Comparative literature in Vilnius, Leipzig, and Berlin and earned a PhD on exile in modern poetry. He published three books of poetry and was a fellow of Akademie Schloss Solitude, and Junge Akademie by Berlin Academy of Arts.  New York-based poet, psychologist and translator, Anna Halberstadt has published six books, including, Vilnius Diary, Green in a Landscape with Ashes and Gloomy Sun, 2017, and two books of translations: Selected by Eileen Myles and Nocturnal Fire by Edward Hirsch, in Russian. Her work has appeared in over 60 literary journals and anthologies, she was a finalist of the 2013 Mudfish poetry contest.   Distinguished American Indian poet, Ravi Shankar published twelve books and chapbooks including The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks (University of Arkansas Press). He founded Drunken Boat, has appeared on NPR, BBC, PBS, and in The New York Times and The Paris Review. The title of his memoir-in-progress is Correctional.    Indian Poet Mandira Ghosh has authored twelve books including, Aroma, New Sun, Song in a City, The Cosmic Dance of Shiva, Folk Music of the Himalayas, Impact of Famine on Bengali Literature, Benares the Sacred City in Verses and Hymns. She is associated with The Poetry Society of India.   Claudia Routon’s work appears in numerous literary journals, including a book of poetry and music, La cité des dames (Capellas de Ministrers). She teaches Spanish literature and language at the University of North Dakota.    Kiran Devendra has taught History at Punjabi University, Patiala and worked with the legendary Indian freedom fighter, Aruna Asaf Ali. She has worked for the National Curriculum Framework 2005-History Curriculum. She lives in New Delhi.   Jack Tar is a poet and writer who chronicles environmental movements, the ageing Beat Poets, and life on the water.   Jack is a fisherman, a sailor, and an environmentalist.   Vijay Anand Gurung is a Kathmandu-based Nepali author and has published Journalism and Journeys: A book of Essays Trained originally as a research biochemist, Chris Southgate has taught theology at University of Exeter, UK  since 1993. His recent books include Theology in a Suffering World: Glory and Longing (Cambridge University Press, 2018) and two poetry collections, Rain Falling by the River and Chasing the Raven.   UK based Indian poet Azad Sharma has published a poetry collection, Against Frame.   A Brooklyn-based poet Laura Cook holds an M.A. in English from Middlebury College and has taught English in the U.S and Taiwan.   Born in Bombay, India,  Rochelle Almeida teaches at the Liberal Studies Program at NYU and has been awarded a Fulbright-Nehru Research Fellowship for Academic and Professional Excellence to Bombay, India, for the academic year 2018-19.   Bhuwan Thapaliya is a Nepalese poet and has published two books, most recent being, Safa Tempo and Other Poems.   Seth Michelson is an American poet, translator and professor of Poetry. He has won several awards including the poetry category of the International Book Awards, an NEA and an Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award.   A 2016 recipient of a Maryland Arts Council Individual Artist award, Barrett Warner is the author of Why Is It So Hard to Kill You? and My Friend Ken Harvey. He is also a recent winner of the Salamander fiction Prize, the Tucson Book Festival essay prize, and several poetry awards. He now lives in South Carolina. He edits Free State Review.    Stephanie Emily Dickinson raised on an Iowa farm now lives in New York City. Her novel Half Girl and novella Lust Series are published by Spuyten Duyvil. Other works include Corn Goddess, Road of Five Churches, and Port Authority Orchids. She and her partner Rob Cook publish Skidrow Penthouse. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

UPCOMING PRATIK MAGAZINE OBITUARY -- In Our Wanderings: Remembering Jazzman John Clarke By British Poet Maria-Heath-Beckett

   Photo by Yuyutsu Sharma

On 5th August 2018, the poet known as Jazzman John, birth name, John Robert Clarke, passed away, taking friends and fellow poets by complete surprise. Because I was in Paris at the time, no internet, this sad news first reached me a few days later from Yuyutsu Sharma, and, like Yuyu himself, and others who had known John, I felt literally knocked over with the shock. Yuyu described the feeling like this:

The ball of my breath froze in my throat as I heard my best friend, British Poet Jazzman John Robert Clarke has passed away in London, suddenly I have to sit down and rethink — how cruel can life be, after 5 years I was planning to finally meet him this year and work on his dream visit to New York City.

John, writer of the poetry collections: All the Way from Kathmandu: Selected Jazz Poems and Ghost on the Road, based on his love of jazz and the Beats,     was renowned as a vibrant, talented performer on the London poetry circuit, and for sure, he will be, and is already, sadly missed, his future potential poems only to be guessed now instead of reading or hearing.

 Life can be cruel, to deal us such blows. Not only was I faced with this loss, but a deep regret at my relative neglect of a nascent friendship that could have become still deeper, and richer had I made time, had I not been too preoccupied with the vicissitudes of a turbulent relationship to attend his birthday, or the pending lunch date we had pencilled in at the Café de Provence over the road from me, never ‘inked in’, no definite plan made. For sure, if I could make it happen this week, next week, as soon as possible, then I would because my life feels emptier without John.

Why hadn’t I found the time? I castigate myself, for not doing so, often reliving his kindness the day we had met there, the day he had delivered a box of books for me from New Delhi - several copies of the anthology, Eternal Snow, in which my long narrative poem, Parnassus to New York, had been published, a copy of David Austell’s Garuda, and Yuyutsu Sharma’s Quaking Cantos, a series of poems stimulated by the Nepalese earthquakes. I had looked forward to this delivery for days, perhaps a time when all was not so well in my life, a rift in the aforementioned relationship leaving me feeling quite isolated and desperate, then, to see any friend. My best friends have all moved to Hastings, miles away from my home on Drury Lane, and John walked into this void for me like an angel, a shaman, a companion, a man who may perhaps hold my hand.
Photo by Yuyutsu Sharma

I remember his wonderful stories over coffee that morning, his Dublin parentage evident in the detailed retellings of this raconteur, his kind offer to buy us lunch, the photographs we took together, delighted to read our poems from YuyusEternal Snow, a day that was up there with the happiest of days, like the first day we met, at Heathrow. That day, a few years ago, I was seeing Yuyu off to New York, the start of a journey of poetry readings and teaching, a meeting in a café in Queens Park over coffee and poetry books, a taxi ride to the airport together, the arrival of Jazzman John, at once as if placeless, timeless, Shamanic, defiant of fashion and context, with his anachronistic scarves and mirrored sequins, his vivid colours, velvets and longish hair, and yet so much a part of London. Quickly I began to absorb John’s encouraging words, delight in his cheerful banter, his anecdotes and stories enriched with all the wisdom distilled from a life evidently, and unusually, led with true integrity, curiosity and passion.

 Curiosity led John to discover jazz, initially in the music collection of Greenwich library, during the years he lived in Greenwich from childhood to adolescence. Later I heard that he befriended Basie band played Eddie Lockjaw Davies who ran Minton’s in New York, and developed a life-long passion for jazz, and beat poetry, his concept and delivery of sound and rhythm always inspired by jazz and earning him the name, Jazzman John Clarke. The tribute from Y Tuesday, one of the poetry nights he frequented, reads:

for many I feel, it was John's live performance for which he will be most remembered.
On stage he seemed to be inhabited by the spirit of the San Francisco Jazz poets of the late 50's and early 60's, and few will forget his live rendition of "Messages from drunken blowfish.”

       Photo by Yuyutsu Sharma

It is not only jazz that inspired John - a fusion of Dada, surrealism, psycho-geography, and Zen can be felt playing through his poetic word-play and syncopated rhythms. John loved diversity, the drawing together of styles and genres into the poetry venues he loved to attend, describing (in the Londonist):singers, musicians, dancers, poets and comedians rubbing shoulders with burlesque artists at live events. When you think about it Vaudeville and Dadaists were doing it long ago!

Meeting John, I sensed a pulling together of influences into his words, character and a persona that flowed seamlessly into his writing and his everyday demeanour, so one never really felt he had to put on a performance but he was the poet, the performer, through and through. Turning to John’s words in an interview for The Londonist about his sources of inspiration, John said:

My poetry amounts to the sum total of my inspiration… Currently, I draw enormous inspiration from the intimate juxtaposition of the multi-arts approach. Traditional routes tend to bore me rigid - I want to plough my own furrow, take chances, try to be different without being overly contrived, which I know from experience is easier said than done. For me inspiration can drop out of the sky and I find the source is infinite. Jeremy Reed (himself a prolific writer) once said that his source of inspiration was rather like switching on the electric light - it was always there.

In John’s company, I had the sense that he was always inspired. Every moment seemed it seemed as if strings of fairy lights were sparkling, his mind alive with stories of poets, musicians and club nights he had run, London an always rich seam of possibility for him in terms of performance, encounter and stimulus for his work. John threaded inspiration from journeys around London, with music and Eastern thought and psychology to create works that, in his hands, create a vibrant invitation to a way of thinking, a way of life, never vague or too abstracted but grounded in a sense of connection with other minds, an attitude so visible in the way that he interacted with me. The inspiration that saturates his work breathed through his life as a breeze through chimes. In this sense, there seems to be an indefinable spirituality in his work, which at the same time can be visceral, earthbound and sensual.

After my first meeting with John, which continued from Heathrow airport, a place suspended, that day, as if between ground and celestial spheres, into the underground as far as one of the central tube stations but I forget which, I wandered next to the River Thames, composing a narrative, Parnassus to New York, and that day I felt quite transported as if Yuyu and John were able to grant me some lightness that carried me out of whatever personal difficulty I was experiencing into a more poetic, liberated space. I get the sense that Jazzman John always wanted to ‘follow his own star.’ Not for him the life of a City banker which he pursued for some years, instead he wanted the freedom to wander, explore, write and make friends, a true bohemian and beat poet, and surely then an influence I will remember and treasure throughout my life, although the hours I have passed in his company were all too briefly, and unexpectedly ended this summertime.

London has lost unique voice and spirit, very much loved and missed. To keep that spirit alive, in my mind, I have been listening to his recorded poems on YouTube: Poems by the River, a selection of poems, some of which are set to an abstract sound collage, recorded at Enderby Studios in 2016 and displayed for the internet with a striking, psychedelic array of visuals and self portraiture. InEverlasting Contrast, John writes –

‘You are a sunshine stumbling across a rainy beach,
You are the anchor midway to lean upon…’

And I like to think of him like this, as lightness and weight, gravity and grace. I like to visualise him rather as an angel looking down, watching over me.

Angels control us, even when we cannot see or immediately recognise them.  (Angels)

Victor Hugo said, Errer est Humain, flaner est Parisien. My lack of alacrity delaying another meeting with John I regard as a mistake but I will learn from this. I don’t think to wander is specifically Parisian, but the way of poets everywhere, and I am glad that in our wanderings our paths at least crossed.

Maria Heath Beckett was born in North Yorkshire and currently lives in London, UK. Maria is finishing two novels and a memoir and collating her first poetry collections. Her writing has been published in magazines and anthologies, such as Strands, Tumbleweed Hotel, and In the Company of Poets. She has also performed at many venues in London and Paris, and staged a short drama-poem at The Royal Court Theatre Upstairs.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

From Pratik's Upcoming Issue: A Tribute to Jazzman John Clarke by American Poet, Jack Tar

Dearest, Long-Lost Brother Jazzman John Clark!

Sorry I had not heard of you
       heard of you
       heard of you
       heard of you
before I learned that we were       
        brothers, brothers, brothers

Before hearing
       London is Lost,
       New York is lost, Europe is Lost
from Kate Tempest
       and some brother in a Burger Corner in New York.
       that we are lost, we are lost,  we are lost.

I was sorry I did not know
       and argued that I had a brother like you and was sorry I did not know that it was you…
that kept alive
       the red-hot pokers of words
dripping worthless syllables
       on to the cracked lips of passing camel trains camel trains camel trains.
that kept the old poets, Dada…
      all alive on Space Cake Amsterdam

But do know that we, as Yuyu said
        will be meeting in Little Paradise Lodge,
        Paradise Lodge, Paradise Lodge
till the last tweet, tweet, tweet,
       of the last budge in the street
        a Prothonotary, warbling forever now
though dead on the street
        his first flight from the Andes to New York
books are magic  books are magic  books are magic
        as he was freeing Dada
from its early chains of
         misfortune, misfortune, misfortune 

         I thought I did not know you
before Kate Tempest, but you were here first
         With the beats, beats, beats
for our brotherhood and blurb on my works
         that we will still be meeting All the way from
          Kathmandu, Kathmandu, Kathmandu...

With Yuyu, in London,
          Old Delhi, New York,
on the lips of Arriving Camel Trains
           So all won’t be over, over,  over but found in a Little Paradise Lodge.

Pratik Spring 2018 Issue: News Update by Bhuwan Thapaliya

Awards & Honors

Deni Apriyani, 27, an Indonesian domestic worker won the 2017 Migrant Worker Poetry Competition in Singapore, worth S$500 (US$370) for her English-language poem titled “Further Away,” about her abusive marriage. She said she was inspired to write the poem after an encounter with a stranger in her hometown of Indramayu, West Java, The Straits Times reported.

Claremont Graduate University has announced the winners of the 2018 Kingsley and Kate Tufts Poetry Awards. Patricia Smith won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for her collection, Incendiary Art (TriQuarterly/Northwestern University Press). Donika Kelly won the $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for her debut collection, Bestiary (Graywolf Press).

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 was awarded to The British author Kazuo Ishiguro who was born in Nagasaki, Japan. Ishiguro, author of novels including The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, was praised by the Swedish Academy ( for novels which “uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world” and were driven by a “great emotional force.”

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders is named the winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. George Saunders is famous for his short stories and Lincoln in the Bardoisis, his first full-length. The 58-year-old New York resident, born in Texas, is the second American author to win the prize in its 49-year history.

The T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry 2017, arguably the most coveted award in poetry goes to Ocean Vuong’s debut collection, Night Sky With Exit Wounds. The Vietnamese-born poet now lives in Massachusetts. He has won a host of awards for the collection, including Whiting Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Vuong won £25,000 prize money, an increased amount on previous years due to the TS Eliot Prize celebrating its 25th year. Previous winners include Ted Hughes, Carol Ann Duffy, Alice Oswald and Seamus Heaney.

The 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry (for a distinguished volume of original verse by an American author) was given to Tyehimba Jess for his book, Olio. The prize money was Fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000). Tyehimba Jess was born 1965 in Detroit. Jennifer Freeley of South Lyon, Michigan, won the 2017 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize for her translation from the Chinese of Xi Xi’s poetry collection, Not Written Words (Zephyr Press). She received $5,000. The annual award is given for a book of poetry translated from an Asian language into English and published in the previous year. Joaquin Zihuatanejo of Dallas won the 2017 Anhinga–Robert Dana Prize for his poetry collection, Arsonist. Carmen Maria Machado of Philadelphia won the 2018 Bard Fiction Prize for her story collection, Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf Press, 2017). She received $30,000 and a one-semester appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College.  Julie Lekstrom Himes of Marblehead, Massachusetts, won the 2017 First Novel Prize for Mikhail and Margarita (Europa Editions).  Caitlin Doyle of Cincinnati won the seventh annual Frost Farm Prize for her poem “Wish.” She received $1,000 and a scholarship to give a reading at the Frost Farm Poetry Conference at the Robert Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire.

Notable Departures in 2018

We are barely three months into 2018, having lost many champions of the written word. Here, we pay tribute to some of them.

One of the leading Nepali language short story writers, Manu Brajaki passed away in Kathmandu at the age of 75. His notable books include Timri Swasni ra Ma (Your Wife and I) and Annapurnako Bhoj, (Annapurna’s Feast).  Also, Award-winning Darjeeling-based fiction writer, Indra Bahadur Rai, died in March. He launched several literary movements including Tesro Aayam, and Lela Lekha.

Famous Indian poet Anwar Jalalpuri, who translated Bhagwat Gita and Gitanjali into Urdu, passed away in Lucknow on January 2 at the trauma centre of King George’s Medical University. Anwar Jalalpuri was born in the Gasba of Jalalpur in Uttar Pradesh in 1947.

 American poet and educator, author of four poetry books, most recently, Stay Illusion, the finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle prize, Lucie Brock-Broido died at age 61. She directed the creative writing program at Harvard and the poetry division of Columbia University’s writing program.

Nicanor Parra, one of Chile’s most notable poets, has died in the city of Santiago. He was 103 years old. Parra introduced the concept of “anti-poetry,” opting for a grounded, blunt and “darkly comical” style instead of traditional lyrical forms.  (5 September 1914 – 23 January 2018)  Walter Skold, the founder of the Dead Poets Society of America, who visited the final resting places of more than 600 poets, died Saturday, Jan 20, 2018, of a heart attack, according to The Associated Press. He was 57. British writer Penny Vincenzi, whose stories of romance, rivalry and family secrets topped best-seller lists, has died. She was 78. Jenny Joseph, whose poem Warning was twice voted Britain’s favourite poem, has died at the age of 85. It is perhaps best known for its opening lines: “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple / With a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.” (7 May 1932 – 8 January 2018). 

Richard Murphy, the distinguished Irish poet and member of Aosdána, has died, aged 90. (6 August 1927 – 30 January 2018). South African poet and political activist, Keorapetse William Kgositsile, also known as ‘Bra Willie’ has died. He was 79. In 1996, he was inaugurated as South Africa’s National Poet Laureate and was actively involved in the fight against Apartheid. From 1962 to 1975, he lived in exile in the United States, where he gained success and quickly became a household name. My Name is Afrika, which he published in 1971, made him one of Africa’s leading poets. (19 September 1938 – 3 January 2018.) Pakistan’s renowned columnist and poet Munir Ahmed Qureshi, more popularly referred to as Munnu Bhai, passed away on Friday, at the age of 84. Prince Henrik of Denmark, the husband of the Queen of Denmark and a published poet, has died at 83. Stanford poetry scholar, humanist Michael Pennock Predmore died at 79. A professor emeritus who taught at Stanford for over 30 years, inspired generations of students. He was known for his analysis of Juan Ramón Jiménez’s poems.

with input from the Agencies

From Pratik Spring 2018 Issue: The Lifeblood of Consciousness, of Love and Loss: Stephen Massimilla on Ruth Danon's Limitless Tiny Boat

Book Review


The Lifeblood of  Consciousness, of Love 
and Loss

Ruth Danon’s work may seem to be by turns “postmodern” and “Surreal,” but the allure of her style never displaces the sense of a living, breathing presence in the sea of fragmentation. This is the paradoxical wonder of Limitless Tiny Boat: What from a certain perspective is vast, strange, abstract, and ungraspable is, at the same time, spare, heartfelt, and irreducibly human. And the drama and trepidation of the heart is often conveyed in, beside, or through what is tellingly quotidian—the food slowly chewed, “the gloves, partly worn,” “bees in the garden and wasps in the wall.” 

I must say there is a special harbor in my own heart for a book that opens with “dead fish / against the pilings.” Amidst such concrete evocation, Danon charts the journey of the self through, to quote the first title, “Something Larger than the Self I Don’t Understand.” Here all understanding is inseparable from unsettlement. Heading out is an act of fleeing, and arriving is a shadowy, solitary experience. Danon’s boat image serves as a vessel, one that becomes, at different times, a bed, a plane, a cradle, a room. It often morphs into another container or frame of reference, ultimately the poem itself “carried along by random / waves.” Water is the medium of reality, of experience; and loneliness and thirst are part of the passenger’s condition, the human condition. These are in turn expressions of desire, which (in the poem “Desire”) is a vast, unstable structure, like language itself. “I wanted all of it,” the speaker asserts in “Duration”: “A home / you could say.” The longing for stability here is almost tangible, but there is something unstable in the structure in and through which it is realized: “the sentence pushes / against the line.”

Still, how can we come to terms with desire? It is both a part of us and not. In “Outward,” where boat imagery and building imagery both figure, “Desire / is interfering with me.” And what if that desire is often for the immediacy of experience? The speaker goes on to consider the moment toward which things tend: “how to account for it /without falsifying the record.” But who is even doing the speaking, given that “I is not a name”? Any notion that this poem is an abstract exploration of dis-solution or a heady exercise in deconstruction runs up against the emotional and sensual immediacy of Danon’s work. The apprehension of “The water still to cross” is too strong to be merely an idea, and there is also the fact of now, the intense reality of “this. Acute. / This certainty.”
What we both can and cannot grasp is not only the self, the sea, and the moment at hand. We move through a variety of times and climes. There are the clouds, which could begin or end anywhere and  “could be below us if we happen to be on a plane” (“Without Prepositions We Cannot Understand Clouds”), and the sun “bleaching out the scarred and pitted wood” (“Bearing the Weight of Snow”). Danon invites us to question where almost anything begins or ends. And are our lives, our desires, as unfathomable as the entire universe?

The second section of the book, entitled Echoes, explores the mythic and “scientific” dimensions of this theme of limitlessness, and of its lovers and discontents. The nymph Echo herself “(a creature of desire and longing, much like ourselves)”, is, we are told, now a singularity, a black hole, a phenomenon out of math and physics. This claim is as quirky and funny as it is painful. The mythical lover Echo has become as disembodied as she once was physical, and as contemporary as she once was ancient Greek: “Now she is mapped acoustically and calibrated digitally. She is everywhere and nowhere, and we see that was always the plan” (”Preface”). In the poem “Singularity,” this poor neglected nymph is reduced to the formal components of the poem that describes her diminution—that is, to “Anaphora // And // Rhyme.” Even this is hardly the end of her painful transformation. In “Echo’s calling,” her longing returns “as speech fractured // in air.” An elemental sense of loss also comes through in the short poem “Echoes Pain”:

Echo is phantom limb. She shivers
as if she exists. She has never forgotten
her body or how much she loved it.

Indeed, this whole book is haunted by echoes of an out-of-body experience. Witness the ghostly, inchoate figures hovering in the oceanic realm on the cover (an image by Danon’s husband, the painter Gary Buckendorf). But surprisingly, Echo’s journey is still far from over. In “Echo Over,” she becomes not only sound moving though air, not only memory, but “The memory of memory.” Her echoing cannot be over, not as long as she is echoing all over again.

Entitled Code Blue, the third section of Limitless Tiny Boat almost takes us under. Here we plummet to the hibernal depths of “Living in the Cold” and of “Writing the Disaster.” The latter poem (after Blanchot) is full of cold and hurt and desperation: “Something’s so wrong in the house of birds,” it begins—only later to conclude with little sense of restoration or recompense: “I know myself only for what I was at the time / And that was not enough.” Lost opportunity, consternation, and desperation are palpable here, as in the poem “Crossing,” where the speaker recalls her anxious effort to make it to her dying mother’s deathbed in time by flying over the Tappan Zee Bridge—a bridge that she feels is about to collapse. She still swings from it in her nightmares to this day.

I love these occasions when the speaker plumbs the abyss. I am reminded of the plea at the end of the earlier poem “Piracy,” where poignancies of mythos, metaphor, and utterance come together startlingly: “I will give you whatever I have. I will return what I took. I will hold out my hands, I will never name names. I will throw down my gloves. I will take you on, I will hoist sails, fly flags, wear white in the dark.” Even if this is an importunate gesture in a dream, it reads as something that had to be said.

In fact, insofar as dream-work and word-work are the products of desire, we are always on the verge of returning what we took, holding out our hands, coming full circle. The entire paradoxical journey of life—and of Limitless Tiny Boat—is one inseparable from the processes of language and dreams. Words, Danon’s speaker affirms, “are the only boat I have.” This journey of paradox, of sensitive intelligence, catches at every impulse, every snag—be it of love, of danger, of pain, of the opportunity and loss glimpsed in every moment. We are carried along amidst objects and narratives that struggle to take shape before they dissolve. This dreamlike process, which defines every waking moment, is not the upshot of a stylistic decision: It is the lifeblood of consciousness, of love and loss, of suffering and joy, of poetry itself.

Limitless Tiny Boat
By Ruth Danon
Blazevox, 2015

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Nepal's leading English Daily Republica News: 'Pratik' hits the market stands again

Kathmandu, May 5: Pratik, an English magazine of contemporary writing, has been republished after more than a decade.

The magazine with litterateur, Hari Adhikari, as the founding editor was published regularly from 1979 to 2003. The magazine's Spring 2018 edition has now been published under the editorship of Yuyutsu Sharma.

The magazine's salient features include 'History and Poetry' by Columbia University Professor, David Austell, as the cover story and a photo feature 'With All That is Nepal', a photo tribute by American photographer, Joni Kabana.

The magazine also features eight distinguished Chinese poets, two American and one Indian poet. Pratik has been publishing works by distinguished Nepali authors as BP Koirala, Bhupi Sherchan, Gopal Prasad Rimal, Durga Lal Shrestha and Sita Pandey over the decades.

Sharma said the forthcoming Summer 2018 edition of Pratik will have special material on Nepali literature along with a selection of contemporary poems from Europe and Ukraine along with a selection of younger Indian poets as its special attraction. Pratik is published quarterly and distributed by White Lotus Book Shop, Kupondole, Lalitpur. RSS

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Announcing Pratik's Spring 2018 Issue

 Spring 2018

History & Poetry
The Making of The Tin Man By
David Austell

With All That Is Nepal
A Photo Tribute by American Photographer
Joni Kabana

Eight Chinese Poets
Jidi Majia Chen Si’An Duo Duo Xi Chuan
Zheng Xiaoqiong Yuan Yongping Li Yawei Shen Wei

Sitakant Mahapatra, Tony Barnstone &
Jami Proctor Xu

Nine Young Nepali Poets
Plus all Regular Features