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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

19 September, 2009

Poetry Masterclass

Friday, October 9 - Wednesday, October 14, '09, 2.30pm to 6.30pm,
at Open Space

Open Space invites participation in a 6-day workshop which will help participants deepen their understanding of the techniques and art of poetry writing and reading.The workshop will be conducted by poet and novelist Priya Sarukkai Chabria. Her publications include the novels Generation 14 (Penguin-Zubaan, 2008) and The Other Garden (Rupa&Co, 1995), poetry collections Not Springtime Yet (HarperCollins, 2008) and Dialogue and Other Poems (Indian Academy of Literature, 2005, reprint 2006). The anthologies All Poetry is Protest (2006) and 50 Poets 50Poems (2007) are edited by her. She is currently translating the hymns of 8th century Tamil poet, Aandaal. A seminar-cum-utsav The Image of the Writer in Literature was curated by her in 2007 for the Indian Academy of Literature and more recently, she curated for them the literary salon, The Self and Its Translations. Priya Sarukkai Chabria has collaborated with artists from classical dance, film and painting. Her work is published in various journals and websites in Europe, the US and India. She was invited to participate in the writers' salon, Worlds 2009: The Creative Writer by the New Writing Partnership, UEA, UK. Aim:

This is conceived as a demanding and challenging workshop for both teacher and student. Rather than settle for a how-to-write-a-good-poem workshop that offers notes on types of poems and operates largely on students passively receiving inputs from the teacher, this is primarily meant to be a conduit to the student’s creativity, encouraging him/her to take creative leaps across restricting boundaries.
The aim is to facilitate students to know how their minds work on creative problems, how to tackle the exploration of their subject, arrive at ideas and work towards a form.
The workshop will cover five days during which:
Participants will be introduced to the poetry of different cultures and poets to examine the techniques and methods of idea exploration and elaboration.
Rather than how-to reading, participants will be encouraged to read actively and ask creative questions that should feed into their own writing.
The workshop will be a space in which participants experiment and innovate, debate and discuss, free of market pressures so that their innate creativity can be encouraged to flow freely.
Students will be encouraged to interact with each other as well as spend time by themselves, taking writing exercises that will later be discussed in class.
Students will, over the days of the workshop, be encouraged to work on their own poem that will periodically be reviewed.
Each participant will be given some individual time by the teacher where their work is discussed.

Rather than a fixed structure that will operate as per a timetable, it is advantageous for participants to follow a more fluid model. Therefore, the workshop is conceived as an interactive mode of dialogue, discussion, critiquing and writing exercises which should lead to the near completion of a poem by every participant as well as enabling each one to think about poetic ideas and constructions.Sessions will be in a creative mode. However, on each day there should be a period allocated to:
mandatory reading of a select poem
a teaching session
a group discussion on critiquing poems
working on writing exercises (this will be a substantial part of each day)
working by oneself on his/her poem
articulation and presentation

The theme of the poetry workshop is Relationships: Social, environmental, interpersonal, with one’s self, with language et al.

Application Criteria:
Those who have faith that something will emerge from the play of language and sound and are prepared to experiment with words and are passionate about writing are invited to apply.
Participants should be emerging poets who will be selected on the basis of the poems they send in prior to the workshop. All applications (CVs) must be accompanied by four original poems by the applicant and mailed to Priya Sarukkai Chabria at and cced to with the subject: Poetry workshop master class. All applications should be mailed before Wednesday, September 30th, 09.
Participants short-listed for the workshop are required to pay a fee of Rs 2000/- at Open Space by October 4th, ’09 anytime between 11am and 5.30pm. The workshop fee includes a membership for the applicant to the Open Space library for a period of one year from the date of registration. The library offers over 2,000 books, 400 documentaries and 200 world cinema classics (an additional deposit amount of Rs 500 is payable for library membership but this is refundable at any time).

For further information on any of these programs call Openspace at 25457371
Open Space encourages debate and action on rights, justice and sustainable development.Open Space is an initiative of the Centre for Communication & Development Studies (CCDS) aimed at strengthening civil society and mobilising citizen’s action.


08 September, 2009

Celebrate Bandra Festival Souvenir - Call for Submissions

The Celebrate Bandra Festival happens once every two years in Bandra. This year, the festival will be in November. I'm helping curate the literature section. More about past festivals at (the site won't be updated with this year's schedule for a little while yet).

Here's the brief.

"You're My Home": you live in Bandra, so what makes it home? (If you don't live in Bandra, imagine it). The trees, the birds, the air, your nosy neighbours, your generous and helpful neighbours, their culture and yours, the sea, the waves, the aromas, the convenience, the excitement. It's home, so like every home, it has ups, it has downs. But what is it about the environment of Bandra, seen as broadly as you can, that makes it home for you?

You can submit anything that can appear in print (without spending enormous amounts of money): essays, short fiction, poetry, play scripts, illustrations, photographs.

Please email your submissions to

Last date for submissions: September 30th, 11:59p.m. October 4th, 11:59p.m.

You can make more than one stand-alone submission, but please do so in separate emails, to help the selection process.

For text submissions
• Your submission must be close to, but not over, the 1000 word mark.
• Please paste your text into the body of the email. No attachments, please.
• Please use one of these subject lines: Souvenir Submission - short story, Souvenir Submission - poem, Souvenir Submission - essay, or Souvenir Submission - script.

For photographs, scanned illustrations or computer-generated art
• Please submit only one piece. (A picture being worth a thousand words and all that.)
• You can include a short (not more than 100 words) descriptor or caption in the body of your email.
• If your image is a very large file, please upload it online somewhere* and mail in a link.
• If you think you must submit more than one image as part of the same entry, then please mail in only one, but add a description of what the rest of the series will be like, or upload the additional material elsewhere and send in a link. If we want to see the rest, we'll mail you.
• Please use one of these subject lines: Souvenir Submission - photograph, Souvenir Submission - illustration, or Souvenir Submission - digital art

In one paragraph at the end of your email, please include your name, postal address, email address and a phone number, land or cellular, where you can be reached during the day and in the evenings.

By submitting, you declare that the work is your own, or that you have collaborated in its creation and are authorised to submit on behalf of the collective. Please remember India's laws on libel and obscenity. And for visual art submissions that depict people, especially photographs, please make sure you have your subject's permission. For any form of 'found art,' text or visual, please ensure that you are not infringing India's copyright laws.

Entries will be short-listed by Rahul Goswami. Rahul is an intermittent Bandra resident, and otherwise a researcher working on the links between economic growth, livelihoods and agriculture.

The short-list will then be judged by Dilip D'Souza, writer and journalist, who is the editor of the souvenir, and Joe Campana, and the selected submissions will appear in print. Updates on the lists will be posted to this blog, and, if it's ready by then, the updated Celebrate Bandra website.

Rewards: the joy of seeing your work in print, and contributing towards the Celebrate Bandra effort. We are trying to get some small prizes for the best entries, but this is very unlikely, so don't count on it. Update: The top five entries, across categories, will be marked as such in the souvenir, and, yes, will get small prizes.

Do please pass this on to friends and well-wishers, from Bandra or elsewhere. Feel free to copy this text to your website or blog, and to online forums where you know it will be welcome.

* Possible sites where you can upload your work: Flickr, Photobucket, OurMedia, Picassa.