Word Masala Foundation Takes Diasporic Poets to the Mainstream
As an example, Todd Swift of Eyewear Publishing announced a contract deal for Word Masala Award winner Usha Kishore at the House of Lords. Many projects, books and awards presented at the House of Lords.
'It was an inspirational evening-truly wonderful to meet and hear such remarkable poets,' Baroness Prashar.
London-based non-profit Word Masala Foundation's innovative vision was very evident in its major celebration of Indian diaspora poetry on 22 June 2016 at the House of Lords. Poets received awards for excellence in poetry and the British publishers reaching out to the South-Asian diaspora internationally received awards as the Champion of the South-Asian Diaspora Poetry allowing them to be distinctly proud for the work they are doing to include BAME authors and poets in their publishing programme.
In his welcome address, Yogesh explained that it was an occasion to bring together to honour selected Indian diaspora poets from Britain and the USA, and British publishers, large and small, who have brought out work by diaspora poets and are committed to giving fair consideration to work submitted by such poets in the interest of both cultural diversity and the highest literary standards. He also announced a few exciting publishing projects, and then introduced Zata Banks, founder of Poetry Film, whose inspirational keynote speech was about 'creative opportunities at the intersections of poetry and film'.
Yogesh Patel, Foundation's founder-director and poet, said, "The diaspora writers have a huge problem finding publishers and agents. There is a general apathy against them, and deep-rooted attitudes deny them a fair opportunity. The Foundation will strive to bring the diasporic writers to the mainstream by working with publishers and other organisations active in the British literary field, and give them the recognition they deserve."
Lord Parekh, the Foundation's patron, and Baroness Prashar presented awards to two American poets Meena Alexander and Usha Akella who had flown in from the USA, especially for this occasion, and in absentia, to Saleem Peeradina and Pramila Venkateswaran . The British poets receiving awards were Shanta Acharya, Siddhartha Bose, Kavita A. Jindal, Daljit Nagra, Usha Kishore, Reginald Massey, Bobby Nayyar and Debjani Chatterjee. Mona Dash, a London-based poet whose novel was just published in India, received Foundation's first Crowdfunding award with the contract of publication with Skylark Publications, Yogesh's publishing arm. To introduce the quality of their work, poets were showcased with the brief reading from their work, to the accompaniment of an excellent slideshow highlighting each speaker and poet's poetry and achievements.
The Foundation is about taking diasporic writers to the next level.
The Word Masala Awards are conferred on published South-Asian diaspora poets with a substantial quality of work, upholding their achievements to the highest standards, akin to 'Lifetime Achievement'. The Champion of the South-Asian Diaspora Award is conferred on publishers, editors and organisers who demonstrate the support for the diaspora and actively engage with the Foundation to fulfil their objectives for the POC or BAME talent, especially from the South-Asian diaspora.
For more information, please contact Yogesh Patel as above and visit www.skylarkpublications.co.uk
Yogesh Patel, Founder-Director, Editor and Poet
Page Updated Last on: Jun 29, 2016