Featured Writer Sonnet Mondal: Four Poems

Answer Maa

The day you hid the door of afterlife —
Earth, flames and ashes
erased
the apprehensions
allying illusion and reality.

I still sense your presence
around that door
but a sound from this opening
seems like an echo in the wilderness —

warning as well as bewitching me
to reveal myself to the untraveled.

Still for my senses,
like a deserted impala calf —
I am hurling questions and calls
to the woods     drowsy in meditation.

Maa, I know you won’t answer.
I am therefore     standing

soaking myself
trying to find answers
in the undertone     of this rain
falling     on the tin house.

In a skirmish with anxiety
I am awake — waiting
to meet sleep in person

[if she has heard you somewhere.]

Answer Maa

Or what’s the purpose of
perpetuating the thirst of my eyes

Tears are digging deep inside

a canyon of remembrances
is getting drilled

Answer Maa

 

Still intact

That day     when I heard the sound—

of swallowing my saliva
sitting in front of a pond

I discerned the vibrations
resonating the strings of my breath.

Ripplets from insects
falling in the waters    disappeared

.   like the prevailing silence lost in serenity
.   like the lost sound of saliva
.   descending from tongue to neck.

With too many questions      to be answered
the need to inquire                got lost

and I was left       with thoughts of the sky

beneath which      I was born
the roads which    I walked

and the nakedness
that still keeps me intact.

 

from Tushar’s Apartment [Malabar Hills, Mumbai]

A stable flute is pushing me

and a drunken gale is retaliating.

My life drifts     like a stranded kite
between the melodious and the mysterious.

Nature gazes like a winsome stranger
strolling     dancing     jumping
like the Bauls of Bengal.

Chirrups of mystic birds
ride on the chariot of the sea
pulled to the shore by its horses.

Thoughts     in an intercourse
with naked waves
scream of a world lost in lust.

Hypnotism of the inconclusive
charms me into the grey
of pregnant clouds and pensive waves.

In front of paradoxical nature-sounds
.                I realise
My mind is heavier than my soul.
.   What seemed impossible
.        was always possible.

Dear Nature — I am thinking
if to marry you
or, keep you as an escort!

 

Snapshots of a Dying Soldier

1.

A loath combat helmet     lying over a weary head
and an ever vigilant gun     pregnant with bullets
lean against each other in a moot discipline
A mixture of the absurd and the fantastic

2.

Eyes fixed on a rising dawn     with the Sun at heart
absorb the drowsy silhouettes and weeping clouds.
They blink like Mimosa pudicas     as thoughts perish
on the border line of infused patriotism

3.

Shroud of smokes     follow far flung air strikes
and the cloud above roars     to obliterate screaming pleas
A tired imagination rises     and falls like musical notes
on the strings of realism boxed inside solitude

4.

A faithless hand burns a cigarette     and pelts stones
at a nearby ditch     frowning toward the obvious.
A pair of embattled lips murmurs childhood songs.
An ominous twister forming from wandering smokes.

5.

The head lies flat     with dreaming eyes fixed at dawn.
The gun awaits its next partner     and the helmet escapes.
The feeble ditch     almost dry     refuses to lend water
and the seeping blood refuses     to lend it either.

6.

A family in its infancy     plays at home     uninformed.
Reasons scratch against broken walls     to find ways
of banishing the magical gun     from the pop culture of war.
Mirages of hope smile amidst scattered sands of anguish.

 

-Sonnet Mondal

notes:
Maa – Mother
Bauls- Mystic singers in Eastern India
Mumbai- City in India

These four previously unpublished poems by Sonnet Mondal were written in English and, as such, are untranslated.


 

Sonnet Mondal photo credit John Minihan

Sonnet Mondal. photograph by John Minihan (2017).

Sonnet Mondal is an Indian English poet, editor and literary curator. His latest collection of poems, Ink and Line, was released in 2014. Sonnet has read at literary festivals in Macedonia, Ireland, Turkey, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Hungary, Germany, Slovakia, and in many festivals throughout India. He received the 2016 Gayatri Gamarsh Memorial award for literary excellence for an Indian English author whose work has appeared in major North American publications. Sonnet was one of the authors of Silk Routes project from the International Writing Program at University of Iowa from 2014 to 2016. He is one of the current directors of Odisha Art & Literature Festival, an editor of the Indian section of Lyrikline Poetry Archive (Haus für Poesie), and the series editor of The Enchanting Verses Literary Review. He was a guest editor of Poetry at Sangam, India in 2017. His poems have appeared in Kyoto journal, Irish Examiner, the World Literature Today, the Mcneese Review, Blesok, Palestine Chronicle, Drunken Boat, Indian Literature, Asia Literary Review, Fieldstone Review, and Two Thirds North. He is currently a Writer in Residence at the Sierra Nevada College as part of their MFA in Creative Writing. Sonnet represented India at the 10th anniversary of the International Istanbul Poetry and Literature Festival. He conducted poetry workshops at the Fairway Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka in January 2018 and acts as a curator for Dutch poets travelling to India on behalf of The Dutch Foundation for Literature. His poetry has been translated into Hindi, Italian, Slovenian, Hungarian, Spanish, Portuguese, Slovakian, Turkish, Macedonian, Bengali, and Arabic. website: www.sonnetmondal.com

 

 

 

 

Featured Writer Yury Zavadsky: One Poem

Distance

My personal fear of you coming out in a moment
stepping up while I am wordless, unplugging my coldness,
throwing my coldness away as an empty can,
and a space wrinkle, and a sorry wrinkle
and a teacher wrinkle, and a violin wrinkle,
and a chat wrinkle, and a coldness wrinkle,
and a distance wrinkle, and a hryvnia wrinkle,
and a dictionary wrinkle, and a dying wrinkle,
and a good day wrinkle, and a brow wrinkle,
and a shooting wrinkle, and a passion wrinkle,
and a morning’s wrinkled shirt wrinkle,
and a cold november rain wrinkle,
and a friends wrinkle, and a door-to-own-self wrinkle,
and a five poems wrinkle,
and a lipstick smelling microphone wrinkle,
and a earnings wrinkle, and a dissolver wrinkle,
and an apple wrinkle, and a parenthood wrinkle,
and an expression of the will wrinkle, and a faith wrinkle,
and Faith wrinkle, and Holly wrinkle,
and Yurko wrinkle, and Yuliya wrinkle,
and Maria wrinkle, and Andriy wrinkle,
and Olya wrinkle, and Vasyl wrinkle,
and Yaryna wrinkle, and the air wrinkle,
and a stiff bodies of homeless people wrinkle,
and a sunset-that-had-to-be-swallowed-alone wrinkle
and a morning Kyiv wrinkle, and an alcohol wrinkle,
and a somebody unborn wrinkle, and a wrinkle
that greets with a moving brow, and a wrinkle
that eradicates itself, and a wrinkle
that is eager to finish the conversation,
and again a cold morning, and a cold rain,
and a light from the alternating current wrinkle,
and an all-of-this-compensatory-love wrinkle,
and the one-that-turns-true wrinkle,
although I’ll stand there as if facing the bulletproof glass,
and a look wrinkle.

-Yury Zavadsky

translated from Ukrainian by Yuliya Musakovska

 

ВІДДАЛЬ

Персональний страх, що за мить вийдеш до мене,
безслівного, холод мій відкоркуєш,
і холод мій викинеш, як порожню бляшанку.
І зморшка-простір, і зморшка-пробач,
і зморшка-вчитель, і зморшка-скрипка,
і зморшка-чат, і зморшка-холод,
і зморшка-віддаль, і зморшка- гривня,
і зморшка-словник, і зморшка-вмирання,
і зморшка-добридень, і зморшка-брова,
і зморшка-стрілянина, і зморшка-закоханість,
і зморшка-зім’ята сорочка вранці,
і зморшка-холодний листопадовий дощ,
і зморшка-друзі, і зморшка-двері до себе,
і зморшка-п’ять віршів,
і зморшка-мікрофон, що пахне помадою,
і зморшка-заробіток, і зморшка-розчинник,
і зморшка-яблуко, і зморшка-батьківство,
і зморшка-волевиявлення, і зморшка-віра,
і зморшка-Віра, і зморшка-Галина,
і зморшка-Юрко, і зморшка-Юля,
і зморшка-Марія, і зморшка-Андрій,
і зморшка-Оля, і зморшка-Роман,
і зморшка-Наталя, і зморшка-Василь,
і зморшка-Ярина, і зморшка-повітря,
і зморшка-здерев’янілі тіла безпритульних,
і зморшка-схід сонця, котрий довелося проковтнути наодинці,
і зморшка-Київ уранці, і зморшка-алкоголь,
і зморшка-ненароджений хтось, і зморшка,
що рухомою бровою вітається, і зморшка,
що викорінює сам себе, і зморшка,
що хоче нарешті закінчити розмову,
і знову холодний ранок, і холодний дощ,
і зморшка-світло від змінного струму,
і зморшка-любові, компенсаторні,
і зморшка-одна, що справжньою стане,
хоч залишатимусь, як перед шклом непробивним,
і зморшка-погляд.

– Юрій Завадський (Yury Zavadsky)

 

The audio version of ‘ВІДДАЛЬ’ was recorded at шпиталь рекордс in Ternopil.

 

ВІДДАЛЬby Yury Zavadsky was first published in ТАКСИСТ (Taxi Driver) by Krok Books in 2015. The English translation of the poem by Yuliya Musakovska, ‘Distance’, was published in the anthology Letters from Ukraine (Krok, 2016). They have been republished, along with the sound recording by Yury Zavadsky, in Rochford Street Review with the full permission of the author.


Yury Zavadsky. photo by Uri Sobi

Yury Zavadsky (ЮРІЙ ЗАВАДСЬКИЙ). photo by Uri Sobi.

Yury Zavadsky (ЮРІЙ ЗАВАДСЬКИЙ) is a Ukrainian poet, translator and publisher with a strong body of work comprising of both free verse and sound poetry. He is the author of ‘ЦИГАРКИ’ which was initially released on CD in 2006 and is one of the first hypertextual poems published in the Ukraine. Yury has published ten books of poetry, including, ТАКСИСТ (Taxi Driver), a collection of free verse and sound poetry which was shortlisted for the Ukrainian Book of the Year in 2015. His most recent collection of poems, ТІЛОМ (The Body), is forthcoming. In collaboration with Barcelonan poet, Andriy Antonovsky, Yury created and published Rotvrot/ Bocaaboca (Krok 2010), a bilingual book of concrete and zaum poetry. In 2010, he recorded the album zsuf yuryzavadsky with the band, ZSUF. It was the first recorded Ukrainian project of music and sound poetry. He is a member of the noise band, Suprodukt. Yury was one of the editors of AU/ UA: Contemporary Poetry of Australia and Ukraine, a collection of poetry from Ukrainian and Australian poets with translations in both languages published by Krok Books in association with Meuse Press in 2012. He is the director of the Publishing House, Krok (http://krokbooks.com) and holds a PhD from the Ternopil Volodymyr Hnatyuk National Pedagogical University. website: http://yuryzavadsky.com/

 

To purchase ТАКСИСТ (Taxi Driver) in Ukrainian directly from Krok Books phone +38 068 744 24 39 (Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm Ternopil, Ukraine) or e-mail info@krokbooks.com

 

Featured Writer Fahredin Shehu: One Poem

The Crystalline Side of Time

There’s sunlight and your words like thunder split my being
there’s a flashlight in my Soul
perhaps you waited hardly– out of empty stomach to see a smile in his face
there are no tears in a full stomach you shall know this too
and I see the smile of ignorant as the most ignorant
one can be – I’m the one who stands as rock and watch with binoculars
down the lake and the swan couple I see in the pond playing the erotic game
perhaps you recall how we met in a Crystalline side of Time
and you hold now the empty shell echoing my name
the war ended roughly two decades ago and we still Love
as mad as no one can be, in here where the age of smirks rolls its dice and
in a place of serenity we call heart

– Fahredin Shehu

translated from Albanian by the author

Ana kristaline e kohës

Ka dritë dielli dhe fjalët e tua ndajnë qenien time
ka një rrufe në shpirtin tim
ndoshta kot ke pritur të shohësh buzëqeshjen nga barku bosh i tij
nuk ka lotë as në stomakun e plotë, këtë mbase e di po ashtu
dhe shoh buzëqeshjen e injorantit si askush tjetër
që mund të jetë – Unë jam ai, i cili qëndron si shkëmb dhe me dylbi shikon
atje poshtë në liqe dhe çifti i mjellmave atje në pellg lozin vallen erotike
mbase të kujtohet si u takuam në anën kristaline të kohës
e tani ti mban guaskën boshe tek jehon emrin tim
lufta mbaroi afro dy dekada më parë dhe ne ende duam
si të çmendur si askush tjetër, këtu brenda ku epoka e të vetëkënaqurve
qeshë nër buzë, hedh zarin e sajë
në vendin e rehatisë që e quajmë zemra

– Fahredin Shehu

‘Ana kristaline e kohës’ by Fahredin Shehu and English translation, ‘The Crystalline Side of Time’, were first published together during the 32nd Vilenica International Literary Festival in Slovenia in September 2017. They have been republished in Rochford Street Review with the full permission of the author.


 

Fahredin Shehu. photo by John Sellekaers

Fahredin Shehu. photograph by John Sellekaers

Fahredin Shehu was born in 1972 in the village of Rahovec in Kosovo and graduated from Oriental studies at the University in Priština. He is a poet, writer, essayist, editor, an independent researcher of the world spiritual heritage and sacral aesthetics, and a calligraphy enthusiast. He writes mystical and transcendental poetry, prose, essays, and articles in Albanian and English. Fahredin’s recent books range from a collection of poetry, Crystalline Echoes (2011) to essays and articles on culture and spirituality, Makadam i Smagradtë (Emerald Macadam, 2012), and the novel, Hojet (Honeycomb, 2013). In 2014, he released NALIVPERO (The Pen) and the epic poem, MAELSTROM – The Four Scrolls of an Illyrian Sage (Inner Child Press), in which he writes about spiritual visions and the author’s creative unrest that oscillates between Theurgy and Revelation. Fahredin’s poetry has been translated into over twenty languages, and included in many anthologies and literary journals around the world. He is a frequent guest of literary festivals. Fahredin is the director of the renowned, international poetry festival, Poetry and Wine, that takes place in his birth village. He is a founder of the fund for Cultural Education and Heritage (www.fekt.org).

 

Featured Writer Sudeep Sen: One Poem

Disembodied

1.

My body carved from abandoned bricks of a ruined temple,
.                                                           from minaret-shards of an old mosque,
.           from slate-remnants of a medieval church apse,
.                                               from soil tilled by my ancestors.

My bones don’t fit together correctly                                     as they should —
the searing ultraviolet light from Aurora Borealis
.                                               patches and etch-corrects my orientation —
magnetic pulses prove potent.

My flesh sculpted from fruits of the tropics,
.                                                           blood from coconut water,
skin coloured by brown bark of Indian teak.

My lungs fuelled by Delhi’s insidious toxic air
.                                   echo asthmatic sounds, a new vinyl dub-remix.
Our universe — where radiation germinates from human follies,
.                                                           where contamination persists from mistrust,
.                       where pleasures of sex are merely a sport —
where everything is ambition,
everything is desire,                            everything is nothing.
.                       Nothing and everything.

2.

White light everywhere,
.                                   but no one can recognize its hue,
no one knows that there is colour in it —                   all possible colours.

Body worshipped, not for its blessing,
.                                               but its contour —
.                                                           artificial shape shaped by Nautilus.
Skin moistened by L’Oreal
.                                   and not by season’s first rains —
skeleton’s strength not shaped by earthquakes
.                                               or slow-moulded by fearless forest-fires.

Ice-caps are rapidly melting — too fast to arrest glacial slide.
.           In the near future — there will be no water left
or too much water that is undrinkable,
.                                                                       excess water that will drown us all.
Disembodied floats,                afloat like Noah’s Ark —

no gps, no pole-star navigation,                                  no fossil fuel to burn away —
.                       just maps with empty grids and names of places that might exist.

Already, there is too much traffic on the road —
.           unpeopled hollow metal-shells                                   without brakes,
swerve about               directionless —                       looking for an elusive compass.

 

-Sudeep Sen

‘Disembodied’ by Sudeep Sen first appeared in the June- July issue of the London Magazine (UK) in 2017. ‘Disembodied’ has been republished in Rochford Street Review with the permission of the author.


 

!! Sudeep Sen (hands) by ARIA SEN (new)

Sudeep Sen. photograph by Aria Sen

Sudeep Sen’s prize-winning books include Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems (1997), Rain (2005), and Aria (2011), winner of the A. K. Ramanujan Translation Award. A special commemorative edition of his collected poems, Fractals: New & Selected Poems | Translations 1980-2015 (London Magazine Editions), was released by Derek Walcott. His latest book, EroText, is experimental fiction and was published by Vintage: Penguin Random House. Blue Nude: New Poems & Ekphrasis, winner of the Jorge Zalamea International Poetry Prize, is forthcoming. Sudeep’s works have been translated into over twenty-five languages. He has translated and edited poetry for numerous anthologies, including The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry by Indians (2012). He has a Masters in Journalism with articles published in the Times Literary Supplement, Newsweek, Guardian, Observer, Independent, Telegraph, Financial Times, Herald, Poetry Review, Literary Review, Harvard Review, Hindu, Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, Outlook, and India Today. Sudeep has been recorded for, and broadcast on, BBC, PBS, CNN IBN, NDT, AIR, and Doordarshan. His poems have been included in several anthologies. His newer work appears in New Writing 15 (Granta), Language for a New Century (Norton), Leela: An Erotic Play of Verse and Art (Collins), Indian Love Poems (Knopf/ Random House/ Everyman), Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe), Initiate: Oxford New Writing (Blackwell), and Name me a Word (Yale). He is the editorial director of AARK ARTS and the editor of Atlas. Sudeep is the first Asian honoured to speak and read at the Nobel Laureate Festival. The Government of India awarded him the senior fellowship for “outstanding persons in the field of culture/literature.”

 

 

Featured Writer Sudeep Sen: Biographical Note

!! Sudeep Sen (hands) by ARIA SEN (new)

Sudeep Sen. photograph by Aria Sen

 

Sudeep Sen’s prize-winning books include Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems (1997), Rain (2005), and Aria (2011), winner of the A. K. Ramanujan Translation Award. A special commemorative edition of his collected poems, Fractals: New & Selected Poems | Translations 1980-2015 (London Magazine Editions), was released by Derek Walcott. His latest book, EroText, is experimental fiction and was published by Vintage: Penguin Random House. Blue Nude: New Poems & Ekphrasis, winner of the Jorge Zalamea International Poetry Prize, is forthcoming. Sudeep’s works have been translated into over twenty-five languages. He has translated and edited poetry for numerous anthologies, including The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry by Indians (2012). He has a Masters in Journalism with articles published in the Times Literary Supplement, Newsweek, Guardian, Observer, Independent, Telegraph, Financial Times, Herald, Poetry Review, Literary Review, Harvard Review, Hindu, Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, Outlook, and India Today. Sudeep has been recorded for, and broadcast on, BBC, PBS, CNN, IBN, NDTV, AIR, and Doordarshan. His poems have been included in several anthologies. His newer work appears in New Writing 15 (Granta), Language for a New Century (Norton), Leela: An Erotic Play of Verse and Art (Collins), Indian Love Poems (Knopf/ Random House/ Everyman), Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe), Initiate: Oxford New Writing (Blackwell), and Name me a Word (Yale). He is the editorial director of AARK ARTS and the editor of Atlas. Sudeep is the first Asian honoured to speak and read at the Nobel Laureate Festival. The Government of India awarded him the senior fellowship for “outstanding persons in the field of culture/literature.”

Featured Writer Sudeep Sen: ‘Disembodied’

 

Featured Writer K. Satchidanandan: One Poem

The Girl of Thirteen

The girl of thirteen
is not the boy of thirteen.
She has died drowning in nightmares
until she forgot her butterflies.
She has passed through caverns of darkness
leaving the lullabies behind.

The girl of thirteen is forty-three.
She knows a bad touch from a good one
She knows it’s not wrong
to tell a lie in order to survive.
She knows how to fight a war,
with teeth or with songs.
You see only the rose on her body;
but it’s full of thorns

The girl of thirteen can fly.
She doesn’t want to leave the sun
and books just for men.
Her swing circles the moon
and moves from melancholy to madness.
She doesn’t dream of the prince
as you seem to think.

The girl of thirteen has her feet
in the netherworld even as she
touches the rainbow.
One day, sword in her hand, she
will come riding a white horse.
Listening to the hooves echo in the clouds
you will know, the tenth avatar in the puranas prophesy is a woman.

-K. Satchidanandan (സച്ചിദാനന്ദന്‍)
translated from Malayalam by the poet

 

പതിമൂന്നു വയസ്സുള്ള പെണ്‍കുട്ടി

പതിമൂന്നുവയസ്സുള്ള പെണ്‍കുട്ടി
പതിമൂന്നുവയസ്സുള്ള ആണ്‍കുട്ടിയല്ല.
പൂമ്പാറ്റകളെ മറക്കുവോളം അവള്‍
ദുസ്വപ്നങ്ങളില്‍ മുങ്ങി മരിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്
താരാട്ടുകളെ പിന്നിലാക്കി അവള്‍
ഇരുട്ടിന്റെ ഗുഹകളിലൂടെ കടന്നുപോയിട്ടുണ്ട്

പതിമൂന്നുവയസ്സുള്ള പെണ്‍കുട്ടിയ്ക്ക്
നാല്‍പ്പത്തിമൂന്നു വയസ്സുണ്ട്
അവള്‍ക്കു നല്ല സ്പര്‍ശവും
ചീത്ത സ്പര്‍ശവും തിരിച്ചറിയാം
അതിജീവനത്തിനായി നുണപറയുന്നത്
തെറ്റല്ലെന്ന് അവള്‍ക്കറിയാം
അവള്‍ക്കു യുദ്ധം ചെയ്യാനറിയാം,
പല്ലുകൊണ്ടും പാട്ടുകൊണ്ടും.
നിങ്ങള്‍ അവളുടെ ഉടലിലെ
പനിനീര്‍മാത്രം കാണുന്നു,
പക്ഷെ അതില്‍ നിറയെ മുള്ളുകളുണ്ട്‌.

പതിമൂന്നുവയസ്സുള്ള പെണ്‍കുട്ടിയ്ക്ക്
പറക്കാനാവും, അവള്‍
സൂര്യനെയും പുസ്തകങ്ങളെയും
പുരുഷനുമാത്രമായി വിട്ടു കൊടുക്കില്ല
അവളുടെ ഊഞ്ഞാല്‍ ചന്ദ്രനെച്ചുറ്റി
വിഷാദത്തില്‍നിന്ന് ഉന്മാദത്തിലേയ്ക്കാടുന്നു
അവള്‍ നിങ്ങള്‍ കരുതും പോലെ
രാജകുമാരനെ കിനാക്കാണുന്നില്ല

പതിമൂന്നുവയസ്സുള്ള പെണ്‍കുട്ടി
പാതാളത്തില്‍ കാല്‍ കുത്തി നിന്ന്
മഴവില്ലുകളെ സ്പര്‍ശിക്കുന്നു
ഒരു ദിവസം അവള്‍ വെളുത്ത കുതിരപ്പുറത്ത്‌
വാളുമായി പ്രത്യക്ഷപ്പെടും.
മേഘങ്ങളില്‍ കുളമ്പടികള്‍ കേള്‍ക്കുമ്പോള്‍
നിങ്ങളറിയും, പുരാണങ്ങളില്‍ പറയുന്ന പത്താമത്തെ അവതാരം പെണ്ണാണെന്ന്.

-K. Satchidanandan (സച്ചിദാനന്ദന്‍)

Rochford Street Review are proud to republish K. Satchidanandan’s poem, ‘The Girl of Thirteen’ (‘പതിമൂന്നു വയസ്സുള്ള പെണ്‍കുട്ടി’), in both English and Malayalam, with the full permission of the author. The Malayalam original, ‘Pathimoonnu Vayassulla Penkutti’, was first published in the Mathrubhumi Weekly, Calicut, Kerala, 2-8 July 2017. The English translation, ‘The Girl of Thirteen’, was first published in The Indian Quarterly, 5th Anniversary Issue, October -December 2017.


 

! K.Satchidanandan സച്ചിദാനന്ദന്‍ photo by Shikha Malavya

K. Satchidanandan (സച്ചിദാനന്ദന്‍). photograph by Shikha Malavya

K. Satchidanandan (സച്ചിദാനന്ദന്‍) is an award winning, bilingual, Indian poet, playwright, editor, literary columnist, and translator who writes in Malayalam and English. He is perhaps the most translated, contemporary, Indian poet with twenty-six collections of poetry published in nineteen different languages. In addition to all the major Indian languages, such as Tamil, Bengali and Hindi, Satchidanandan’s poetry has been translated into Chinese, English, Irish, Arabic, French, German, and Italian. K. Satchidanandan’s While I Write: New and Selected Poems was published by HarperCollins in 2011. Poetrywala, Mumbai, released his most recent book, The Missing Rib, in 2016. Three volumes of his collected poems, and four volumes of his collected translations of poetry, were published in 2006 and 2015, respectively. K. Satchidanandan writes poetry in Malayalam, the Indian language of Kerala, and prose in both Malayalam and English. He has published more than twenty collections of poetry, as well as several books of travel, plays and criticism, including five books in English on Indian literature. He has participated in many Literary Festivals and Book Fairs around the world. He has represented India in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin, Sarajevo, Moscow, Rotterdam, Beijing, Shanghai, Damascus, Dubai, Delhi, Mumbai, Lahore, Medellin, Caracas, Lima, and Havana. He was a professor of English, and later, the chief executive of the Sahitya Akademi, the Indian National Academy of Literature. He was the Director of the School of Translation Studies at Indira Gandhi Open University, Delhi, and the National Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. K. Satchidanandan is a Fellow of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi, the State Academy of Literature. He has won thirty-four literary awards, including the National Akademi award, the World Poetry Peace Prize from the UAE, the India-Poland Friendship Medal, and the Dante Medal from Ravenna. He received a Knighthood from the Government of Italy and was in the Ladbroke final shortlist of Nobel Prize for Literature probables in 2011.

 

Featured Writer K.Satchidanandan: Biographical Note

! K.Satchidanandan സച്ചിദാനന്ദന്‍ photo by Shikha Malavya

K. Satchidanandan (സച്ചിദാനന്ദന്‍). photograph by Shikha Malavya

 

K. Satchidanandan (സച്ചിദാനന്ദന്‍) is an award winning, bilingual, Indian poet, playwright, editor, literary columnist, and translator who writes in Malayalam and English. He is perhaps the most translated, contemporary, Indian poet with twenty-six collections of poetry published in nineteen different languages. In addition to all the major Indian languages, such as Tamil, Bengali and Hindi, Satchidanandan’s poetry has been translated into Chinese, English, Irish, Arabic, French, German, and Italian. K. Satchidanandan’s While I Write: New and Selected Poems was published by HarperCollins in 2011. Poetrywala, Mumbai, released his most recent book, The Missing Rib, in 2016. Three volumes of his collected poems, and four volumes of his collected translations of poetry, were published in 2006 and 2015, respectively. K. Satchidanandan writes poetry in Malayalam, the Indian language of Kerala, and prose in both Malayalam and English. He has published more than twenty collections of poetry, as well as several books of travel, plays and criticism, including five books in English on Indian literature. He has participated in many Literary Festivals and Book Fairs around the world. He has represented India in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin, Sarajevo, Moscow, Rotterdam, Beijing, Shanghai, Damascus, Dubai, Delhi, Mumbai, Lahore, Medellin, Caracas, Lima, and Havana. He was a professor of English, and later, the chief executive of the Sahitya Akademi, the Indian National Academy of Literature. He was the Director of the School of Translation Studies at Indira Gandhi Open University, Delhi, and the National Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. K. Satchidanandan is a Fellow of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi, the State Academy of Literature. He has won thirty-four literary awards, including the National Akademi award, the World Poetry Peace Prize from the UAE, the India-Poland Friendship Medal, and the Dante Medal from Ravenna. He received a Knighthood from the Government of Italy and was in the Ladbroke final shortlist of Nobel Prize for Literature probables in 2011.

Featured Writer K.Satchidanandan: ‘The Girl of Thirteen’ (‘പതിമൂന്നു വയസ്സുള്ള പെണ്‍കുട്ടി’)

Featured Writer Remi Raji: One Poem

Does the earth turn?

In cycles, in circles of turns…
The earth turns, yet it does not

The sterile never does the womb dance
Nor the eunuch celebrate songs of birth

The vulture never refuses the ritual’s entrails
As the hyena never struts with the clan of dogs

The dung beetle does not travel empty-handed
The ember-carrier catches haste homeward

The dog’s dream, lives in the dog
The wisdom of pigs rots with the pig
The bushrat may strut, it will not become the hunter

The bastard may imitate, it will remain father’s counterfeit
When my lion roars, the earth swallows the fox on prowl.

Does the world turn?
The earth turns, yet it does not…

– Remi Raji

translated from Yoruba by the author

 

Òbìrìkótó, Ayé ńyí bìrí bí?

Òbìrìkótó, ayíbírí, ayìbìrí…
Ayé ńyi ́bìrí, bẹ́ẹ̀ni kò re’bì kankan

Lákíríboto, wọn kìi ́gb’ọ́mọ jó
Ẹgbẹ́ òkóbó, wọn kìí ṣ’ayẹyẹ ìbí.

Ìran igún kan kìí d’ẹbọ nù
Ikọ̀ ìkookò kan kìí k’ẹ́gbẹ́ ajá

Yínmínyínmin kìí sán’wọ́ r’àjò
Bẹ́ẹ̀ni kò s’áfọwọ́fọnná tíí dúró ṣ’awẹ́wa

Àlá ajá, a gbé’nú ajá pẹ́ pẹ́ pẹ́…
Ọgbọ́n ẹlẹ́dẹ̀, a gbé’nú ẹlẹ́dẹ̀ rà bí ìtì ọ̀gẹ̀dẹ̀
B’ókété fẹ’sẹ̀ méjì rìn, kò lè p’adán ọdẹ

Ọmọ àlè lè f’ara jọ ni, kò lè ṣe bíi baba mi
Bí kìnìun mi búú, kọ̀lọ̀kọ̀lọ̀ a bìlà.

Òbìrìkótó, ayé ńyí bí?
Ayé ńyí bìrí, bẹ́ẹ̀ni, kò re’bì kankan…

– Remi Raji


 

Remi Raji. photograph by Humboldt Foundation David Ausserhofer

Remi Raji. photograph by Humboldt Foundation/ David Ausserhofer

Remi Raji is the pen name of the award winning, Nigerian poet and scholar, Aderemi Raji-Oyelade. He is the author of six collections of poetry, including A Harvest of Laughters (Kraftbooks, 1997), which was the joint winner of the Association of Nigerian Authors/ Cadbury Poetry Prize and the winner of the Association of West African Young Writers’ VOCA Award for Best First Published Book. His most recent collection, Sea of My Mind (Kraftbooks, 2013), was shortlisted for the NLNG Prize for Poetry. He is a Salzburg Fellow and has been a visiting professor and writer at several institutions, including Cambridge University. He has received national and international recognition. Aderemi Raji-Oyelade is the recipient of the 2017 Humboldt Alumni Award for Innovative Networking Initiatives and the 2017 Humboldt Kolleg International Conference Grant which will be hosted by University of Ibadan in 2018.
website: http://www.remiraji-nigeria.com/

 

 

Featured Writer Remi Raji: Biographical Note

Remi Raji. photograph by Humboldt Foundation David Ausserhofer

Remi Raji. photograph by Humboldt Foundation/ David Ausserhofer

 

Remi Raji is the pen name of the award winning, Nigerian poet and scholar, Aderemi Raji-Oyelade. He is the author of six collections of poetry, including A Harvest of Laughters (Kraftbooks, 1997), which was the joint winner of the Association of Nigerian Authors/ Cadbury Poetry Prize and the winner of the Association of West African Young Writers’ VOCA Award for Best First Published Book. His most recent collection, Sea of My Mind (Kraftbooks, 2013), was shortlisted for the NLNG Prize for Poetry. He is a Salzburg Fellow and has been a visiting professor and writer to several institutions, including Cambridge University. He has received national and international recognition. Aderemi Raji-Oyelade is the recipient of the 2017 Humboldt Alumni Award for Innovative Networking Initiatives and the 2017 Humboldt Kolleg International Conference Grant which will be hosted by University of Ibadan in 2018.
website: http://www.remiraji-nigeria.com/

Featured Writer Remi Raji: ‘Does the earth turn?’ (‘Òbìrìkótó, Ayé ńyí bìrí bí?’)

 

Featured Writer George Mario Angel Quintero: One Poem

The moth stutters,
stares, voracious,
knots staying,
cloud, cloud.
Silhouette
of the cold,
bat,
tides,
relamps
pride,
cricket, cricket.
Night
lightnings,
fireworks
in a jar,
floods
its river
with an iris.

-George Mario Angel Quintero

translated into English by the author

 

La polilla gaguea,
mira, voraz,
amarra estadía,
nube, nube.
La silueta
del frío,
murciélago,
marea,
relámpara
el orgullo,
grillo, grillo.
La noche
relampaguea,
pólvora
en un frasco,
inunda
su río
con un lirio.

-George Mario Angel Quintero

 

This untitled poem by George Mario Angel Quintero was first published in Spanish in his third collection of poetry, ‘Tentenelaire’, by Editorial Párpado in 2006. George Mario Angel Quintero also translated the poem into English. Both the original poem in Spanish and the English translation have been republished in Rochford Street Review with the author’s permission.


 

George Mario Angel Quintero. photograph by Berta Nelly Arboleda

George Mario Angel Quintero. photograph by Berta Nelly Arboleda

George Mario Angel Quintero is a multitalented, bilingual poet, author, playwright, theatre director, artist, and musician who was born in San Francisco, California to Colombian parents. He studied literature at the University of California and was awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Fiction from Stanford University. He has published two books of fiction in English under the name George Angel: The Fifth Season (FCII, 1996) for which he received the Nilon Award from Fiction Collective 2 and Globo and Design for a Tablecloth (Will Hall, 1996). His poetry and essays in English have been published in literary magazines, the chapbook Globo (1996), and most recently in a collection of new and selected poems, On the Voice (2016). Since 1995, George has lived in Medellin, Colombia, where he has published six collections of poetry and three books of plays in Spanish, under the name Mario Angel Quintero. He has been the director and playwright of the theatre company Párpado Teatro since 2003. George has also exhibited and published his visual art, illustrated books, and is a founding member of the musical groups Underflavour and Sell the Elephant.