Sriramgokul Chinnasamy lives in India and has M.A. in Creative Writing from Teesside University, UK. His poems have appeared in Envoi, Taj Mahal Review, Live from Worktown, Through the Cracks, and Muse India. In 2016, he was shortlisted in the Cinnamon Press Poetry Pamphlet Prize. Tweet @sriramsrg
By Kanwar Dinesh Singh
Recipient of the Muse India-Satish Verma Young Writer Award (2016) and Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize (2016), Goirick Brahmachari is worth mentioning in the new tribe of Indian poets writing in English. He brought out his maiden collection of poems, For the Love of Pork (2016), from Les Editions du Zaporogue. Rich in content and craft, this slim collection of forty-five poems in the Neo-Beat parlance was received well by the critics and lovers of poetry. These poems have propelled him as a writer having maturity and solemn engagement with current social issues and humanity at large.
Goirick Brahmachari’s second chapbook of travel notes and experimental poems, joining the dots, published by Nivasini Publishers, is a significant addition to the genre of travel writing. His poetic eye captures the mystifying curves of the ascending mountains from Bilaspur to Kullu-Manali in Himachal Pradesh during an overnight journey by bus. In a transit from the plains of Punjab and Haryana to the mountain pass of Rohtang, these short poems, one after the other, bring about a newer mis en scène of people and places. Goirick writes in a fairly anti-romantic mode, artfully confronting the idealistic and panegyric outlook of the romantics: “clouds tear the moon apart” (p. 13), “moon melts / over the snow…” (p. 17), “those fat trucks make love to the / lonesome roads” (p. 30) and so on and so forth. His diction, imagery and style mostly verge on the anti-poetic: breaking away from the normal conventions of traditional poetry, carrying deliberate solecisms and omissions of syntax, punctuation and rhyme, besides incorporating anti-sentimental feelings and reactions in poetry. Goirick’s poems are experimental, down-to-earth, hard-headed and now and then purposely pessimistic and sceptical, and they have sufficient material to incense a stern grammarian. All the same they have their own significance and appeal to the contemporary audience.
All the poems along with the title of the book are in the lowercase. Using the lowercase throughout is not altogether new, as many poets have been writing in this mode―following in the tread of the American poet, E. E. Cummings. Even though scholars find this experimentation at odds with the standard orthography of English language and/or merely as a writer’s pretension to create a trademark, many critics have viewed the rebellious use of all-lowercase as an aesthetic conception under poetic license. In the present chapbook, the use of small letters seems to be either the traveller-poet’s need for typing out the poems on a laptop without interrupting the flow of typing by searching for the ‘Shift’ on the keyboard time and again. Or implicitly it may represent the smallness of a journeyer/sojourner in the mighty expanse of the universe, as manifest in the traveller-poet’s tedium of the mountains and “inertia / of hours of travel / on parabolic roads in an ordinary bus” (p. 23).
In joining the dots, there are two sections: “dots” and “letters”. The captions assigned to “dots” are the geographical coordinates, probably to impart precise geographical identity to the places the poet traverses. In this way, the places remain well-defined in memory as well. The “letters” bear the postcodes as titles, probably with a view to recollecting the trail of travels undertaken by the poet in the past. The “dots” present not just idyllic descriptions of nature, but depicture the difficult and demanding life in the hills too:
hills can drain you
and leave you hungry
only to show up
with some ice and a big
white moon for free
Here is a poignant exposé of the winters making human life unpleasantly cold, sluggish and unpredictable in the hills:
snow has painted everything white…
the cold has sketched wrinkles
over our weary, blue faces…
fire takes its own time to burn here
people talk in smoke
Sayan Aich Bhowmik is currently serving as the Head of the Department of English at South Calcutta Girls’ College. When not under the burden of answer scripts and meeting deadlines, he can be found nurturing his love for movies, writing and poetry. A published poet, he is also the editor of the blog Plato’s Caves, a semi-academic space for discussion on life, culture and literature.
Amrita V. Nair was born in Kerala, India. Her first collection of poetry, Yours Affectionately, was published in 2009 and received the Jury’s commendation at the Muse India National Literary Awards 2011. In 2013, she received the Jury’s commendation at the Poetry Society of India All India Poetry Competition and was long-listed for the Toto Funds the Arts Writing Award. Her poetry has been published in Indian Literature, Kritya and The Nervous Breakdown. She now lives in Singapore, where she works as a policy researcher.
Shahnaz Bashir was born and brought up in Kashmir. His widely reviewed and critically lauded debut novel The Half Mother won the Muse India Young Writer Award 2015. His short fiction, memoir essays, poetry and reportage have been widely published and anthologised.
Shahnaz teaches narrative journalism and conflict reporting at the Central University of Kashmir, Srinagar. He is a university gold medalist in journalism and was also awarded the prestigious Shamim Ahmad Shamim Memorial Kashmir Times Award 2007. His second book Scattered Souls, a collection of interlinked stories, has just been published by Fourth Estate HarperCollins. He is currently working on his third book.
Shahnaz Bashir’s two evocative poems on Kashmir’s present where stones write the elegy of loss and newspapers announce news of more massacres yet speak of an undying hope.
Dusty, calloused hands of hope write
Heavy, hard sentences of stones
And throw them
Word by word,
On the streets and lanes and by-lanes of a paper.
They fall off the paper and heap up—powdered words:
Detritus of truth, the alphabets of stones.
Strewn at crossroads and near spiked iron barricades
That guard the barbarians of the strife-torn city
Who are even afraid of the stones of tombstones,
Yet order gouging out of eyes of dreams
To deconstruct the stones.
In the darkness the guardians of dead conscience
Search for clues of pens—nab nibs,
Soiled with motes of words,
Battered words that distort even the stones.
Trailing after the lost voice of the fugitive ink,
Spirit of the bullets breaks where
They shatter the hearts of stones.
From each hand that has thrown words,
Come the cries of wounded stones:
Tears of stones, blood of stones.
They throw them stone by stone,
In the memory of stones.
And from each eye that sheds stones,
And each lip that croons,“stones,”
Come these amorphous words.
Each stone is a word, petrified,
In each hand that smells of freedom.
Ritanshu Sharma is a freelance writer and a poet. He loves writing and composing poems on motivational topics, personal transformation, creativity inspiration, religious topics and spirituality.
Ritanshu Sharma has completed his Bachelors in Commerce from Gujarat University in 2012. He currently works as a freelancer and provides services in the fields of accountancy, finance and tax.
Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful – Rita Frances Dove
Poetry is to literature what soul is to the body. The rhythmic verses swell with the deepest emotions of the poet and settle in the heart of the readers. Belonging to the rich history of Indian literature, these poets bring alive the magic of poetry every time we revisit their oeuvre. Even though the new avatar of short poetry forms has become the most favoured style, the magic of literary verses woven by these authors will never fade away. On World Poetry Day, read poems by these 10 authors and revisit the surrealism created by their magical words. Read more
Source: The Times of India
Alton Melvar M Dapanas is the general editor of Bukambibig Poetry Folio of Spoken Word Philippines, essay editor of Bulawan Literary Zine of Northern Mindanao, and co-editor of Libulan: Binisaya Anthology of Queer Literature. He is author of Gayzes, a self-published poetry zine, and The Cartographies of Our Skin, a chapbook of lyric essays and prose poems. He spearheads Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro, a young writers collective, and is a co-founder of the annual Cagayan de Oro Writers Workshop. He is based in the southern Philippines.
Vani Rao is a US citizen, originally from India. She has been a corporate IT person for over twenty years. In all that time, reading was her passion, writing her dream.
She has been privileged for the past four years in pursuing her dream of writing full time. She lives in Pittsburgh PA with her husband and son.
Her work has appeared in The Zodiac Review, EastLit and Indian Review.
Lika Posamari (the pen-name of Bree Alexander), loves to write in English and Spanish. She is a Master of International Development student at RMIT University, Australia and draws influences from experiences in Malaysia, India and Spain. She has been published in Westerly Magazine 61.2 and blog, as well as on The Red Corner.