Monday, December 7, 2020

Yuyutsu Sharma to read at HRH International Poetry Festival, South Africa

Yuyutsu Sharma to read at HRH International Poetry Festival reading on 8 Dec, 2020, 6.00 pm South African Time Zone with poets from around the world: Delah Dube, Zimbabwe, Monde Komsana, South Africa, Andiphe Mangaza, South Africa, Tinashe Tafirenyika, HRH International Poetry Festival Zimbabwe, Thuli Mashazi, South Africa, Irina Henriquez, Colombia, Negma Coy, Guatemala, Zheng Xiaoqiong, China, Graham Mort, United Kingdom

Hosted by Jami Proctor-Xu & Malibongwe Mgaga

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Upcoming Pratik Special International Online Reading on Sunday, 22 Nov

 Upcoming Pratik Special International Online Reading on Sunday, 22 Nov, 12 noon Pacific/3pm Eastern/8pm Irish/UK with Zoom link to register:

(Zoom Poetry Studio opens at 11:30am Pacific/2:30pm Eastern for readers; attendees will be in waiting room until closer to reading which begins at 12 noon Pacific/3pm Eastern/8pm Irish/UK

Join Cultivating Voices host Sandy Yannone as we welcome Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma, editor of Pratik: A Magazine of Contemporary Writing, for a reading to celebrate the Fall 2020 issue with current and past contributors.
Zoom Link to register:
(Zoom Poetry Studio opens at 11:30am Pacific/2:30pm Eastern for readers; attendees will be in waiting room until closer to reading which begins at 12 noon Pacific/3pm Eastern/8pm Irish/UK
Pratik is a purely non-profit quarterly literary publication and is published by White Lotus Book Shop, Kathmandu.

Charles Bernstein
Tony Barnstone
Chard DeNiord
Grant Hier
Yuyutsu Sharma
Jill Hoffman
Kerrin McCadden,
Bill Wolak
Judith Mok
Gerard Beirne 
Sydney Lea
Cleopatra Mathis
Suzanne Lummis
Flaminia Cruciani
Patricia Carragon
Seymour Mayne
Gloria Mindock
Chuck Joy
Margaret Saine
Howard Pflanzer
Highlights of the Current Issue:
Art, Poetry and Music collaboration;
Dreams of a Sleeping World;
Art of Oscar Oiwa;
Plus an interview with Hollywood Musician Chad Cannon
Chard deNiord David Huddle Tony Whedon Major Jackson Cleopatra Mathis Joan Aleshire Kerrin McCadden Karin Gottshall Sydney Lea
Marshaling the Milliards
A tribute to Harlem Renaissance Hero, James Weldon Johnson
Four Poets from Nicaragua
Ernesto Cardenal, Rubén Darío, Salomón de la Selva, Joaquín Pasos
Shai Ben-Shalom, Seymour Mayne Nicola Vulpe, Betty Warrington-Kearsley, Erwin Wiens
Claudia Russo, Flaminia Cruciani,
Rita Stanzione, Zairo Ferrante,
Paolo Staglianò, Antonello Airò,
Cinzia Marulli, Gabriella Becherelli, Vittorio Fioravanti Grasso,
Antonio Blund, Adriana Scanferla
Afterlife: Two Poems by H.K. KAUL (1941-2020)
Now available on Amazon USA, UK, Canada and India, Links below:
Upcoming Cultivating Voices LIVE Poetry Events (All Sundays at 12 Noon Pacific):
November 29th:
New Books Showcase with Jan Beatty, Don Krieger, and Lauren Russell
December 6th:
LIVE Poetry Open Mic
(8 readers - 10 minutes each)
sign up begins Thursday, Dec 3rd at 12 Noon Pacific until filled 
See less

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

My daughter, Sukrity Sharma's interview in The Irish Times.


‘I actually didn’t know Ireland existed. But I read about it and knew it was perfect for me’

New to the Parish: Sukrity Sharma arrived from Nepal in 2019

 Sukrity Sharma moved to Ireland a year ago to study for a masters in journalism. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Sukrity Sharma moved to Ireland a year ago to study for a masters in journalism. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw


When asked what attracted her to study in Ireland, Sukrity Sharma answers without a moment’s hesitation. The books, the poetry and the playwrights, she replies. “Famous writers like Yeats, his poetry inspired me to come here. And Ireland had good opportunities for work and study, that’s why I came.”

The Nepalese student later reveals that it was, in fact, her father’s influence that led to her decision to move halfway around the globe to study journalism. The daughter of famous Nepalese-Indian poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma, who has travelled the world sharing his prose and poetry, Sharma says she felt drawn to follow in the footsteps of her father.

She recalls joining him on treks in the Himalayas where she watched him jot down words he would later read to international audiences. “I could see my father was always writing something. He is also a journalist and had written for lots of newspapers. It was him who suggested I come to Ireland, I actually didn’t know it existed. But when I read about this place and its poetry, I knew it was perfect for me.”

I was given the opportunity to go abroad and study; lots of women in Nepal never get that chance

Sharma had discovered, as she grew up, that women in her home country struggled to find career opportunities and develop their professional lives. “Nepal has always been a patriarchal society. Women are considered as wives and are not expected to work as much. Especially in remote areas, women are considered as objects of pleasure and seen as delicate. It’s very hard for a woman to reach a high post in Nepal, you have to fight your way there.”

Having worked with an NGO supporting women who are trafficked, Sharma was also conscious of the privileges she had in her own life. “I was given the opportunity to go abroad and study; lots of women in Nepal never get that chance. I hope to bring something back from my time in Ireland, to help empower women in Nepal.”

However, the reality of living in a strange country thousands of kilometres from loved ones was not quite what Sharma had imagined studying abroad would be like. She arrived in Dublin in September 2019 ready to embark on a year-long master’s in journalism and public relations from Griffith College. After a lifetime of living at home in Kathmandu with family, being in Dublin was not easy.

“In Nepal even adults live with their families, it’s not like western countries. It was my first experience of living alone, and that led to a lot of anxiety. I felt depressed and settling in was hard.”

After briefly staying with a Nepalese family, Sharma found a waitressing job to pay for rent in shared accommodation. She started questioning her decision to move to Ireland and cried herself to sleep each night.

“I felt like I was broken inside. I kept moving houses because the rent was so expensive. In one house, the tenant advertised the room against the will of the landlady and she then kicked me out. I was homeless for two days. It was difficult moving all the time, I was in complete breakdown, I was a mess. At the same time I had to keep going to college and do assignments and presentations. I lost all my self-confidence and felt completely useless.”

Sharma’s father advised her to stay strong, that possibilities would come her way, while a friend reminded her that everyone faced challenges when moving abroad. “She reminded me that crying wouldn’t solve anything, that everyone is facing problems and instead of crying I should find a solution.”

Sharma was working in a Spar deli when Covid-19 arrived in Ireland and briefly signed on to the Covid-19 payment in July after losing her job. At the time of this interview, which was before Level 5 restrictions came into effect, she was back working as a waitress in an Indian restaurant.

Having completed her master’s degree, Sharma started applying for journalism internships with Irish media companies, undeterred by the challenging climate she’s living through. “I think journalism is a very powerful medium; it gives you a voice. I’d also like to earn the money to bring my family here for a trip. I’ve always wanted to do that.”

In 2019 I regretted coming here. But I’ve learned so much and met new people and that helped me to be stronger

Having blogged about her experiences over the past year, she now plans to write a book about moving abroad as a young woman. “Through my experiences they can gain knowledge of how to live alone. For a person who is dependent on their family, all of a sudden you’re thrown into this big world with no one to help you. I don’t want people to get lost like I did.”

Living in Ireland has also helped the 29-year-old develop a new appreciation for her home country.

“Nepal is a small country but, from my point of view, it’s the most beautiful place in the world. The moment you land there you fall in love with the people and the environment. In Nepal we have Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, our religions live in harmony. India was ruled by the British but we were never ruled by a foreign power. That’s why we can live together. Now I always dream of going back to Nepal where I can properly start my own career.”

But for now, Sharma plans to stay and find work in Ireland. She admits she’s still struggling to settle in this country but has learned a lot over the past 14 months.

“In 2019 I regretted coming here. But I’ve learned so much and met new people and that helped me to be stronger. I’ve learned to be patient and work hard and to know you have to survive on your own. I recently had a bad break-up but I’m still strong and I’m determined to stay here.

“I want to prove to myself that I can do this. There are millions of people around the world like me suffering, I’m not a special person. Everyone has tough times but I’m tired of complaining. Actions speak louder than words.”

We would like to hear from people who have moved to Ireland in the past 10 years. To get involved, email

Monday, October 26, 2020

"Open, fearless & candid: The mantra to decode modern poetry," Yuyutsu Sharma Interview in London-based iGlobal magazine

Open, fearless & candid: The mantra to decode modern poetry

Open, fearless & candid: The mantra to decode modern poetry

In this series for ‘iGlobal’, UK-based writer and poet Yogesh Patel hand-picks some poets of pride from across the Global Indian diaspora to showcase their works and poetic journey.

In this edition, we meet Yuyutsu Sharma, who is a world-renowned Himalayan poet and translator and recipient of fellowships and grants including the Rockefeller Foundation; Ireland Literature Exchange; Trubar Foundation, Slovenia; the Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature; and the Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature.

He has published 10 poetry collections including, ‘The Second Buddha Walk’, ‘A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems’, ‘Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems’ and ‘Annapurna Poems’. Three books of his poetry, ‘Poemes de l’ Himalayas’, ‘Poemas de Los Himalayas’ and ‘Jezero Fewa & Konj’, have appeared in French, Spanish and Slovenian, respectively.

Half the year, he travels and reads all over the world and conducts Creative Writing workshops at various universities in North America and Europe but goes trekking in the Himalayas when back home on the Indian subcontinent. Currently, Yuyutsu Sharma is a visiting poet at Columbia University and edits ‘Pratik: A Quarterly Magazine of Contemporary Writing’.

Q: You are a Himalayan poet in the sense of not only the landscape you are one with but also in the leaps of your Himalayan intensity of poetry. Coming from Punjab, moving to Nepal and having a second home in the US, how have you preserved the incorruptibility of your contrasting and simultaneous existences?

A: Excellent question sketching my journey as a poet. Life has been brutal as well as kind to me. I was born in a small Punjabi town, Nakodar, and spent most of my early life with my mother there. My father from the Indian Himalayas worked as a welder in a small hillside town, Nangal Town Ship, where yearly during summer school break I would join him and visit a shrine of Naga Sadhus on the bank of river Satlej.

It’s in this Himalayan town I learnt elementary lessons in poetry and worldly wisdom. Later, as I moved to Nepal and taught at a university campus in a small hillside village, Bhimphedi, I rediscovered my connection with the mountains and poetry. It was my rebirth as a poet. My Punjabi blood and upbringing made me travel fearlessly, first to the remotest Himalayan for over a decade and later to Europe and North America.

During the later wanderings, I carried with me the treasures of silence I’d gathered in the Himalayas. The quiet ennobling life I lived there had ushered a new spring in my writing and made me win the hearts of countless readers I came across. It’s the silence of the snow peaks that has kept me going.

Q: As an editor and publisher exposed to a great range of poetry worldwide, in what context do you see it against your output and poetry being written elsewhere?

A: Indian devotional poet Kabir says, if you want to be a poet, first set your house on fire and come with me and be a poet. I used to teach at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, but one day quit my job to take the forbidden path Kabir talks of.

It was like walking on a razor’s edge in the beginning. It’s only in the West I mastered the art of what the Irish would call “singing for supper”. Each nation has its special historical background and life patterns to determine the content and scope of its literature. Over the years, I’ve learnt a great deal from each continent I’ve entered.

Since 2004, my recurrent visits to London have put me in touch with the verve of contemporary British verse and idiom, away from snooty bookish poetry in English that we are attuned to in our subcontinent. The spoken word circles of the British poetry energised my work. Editing a special British poetry issue of ‘Pratik’ with Pascale Petit made me explore the diversity of content and style in British poetry.

Later travelling to the Americas enriched lines of my poems. The grand landscape of North America has expanded my stanzas and their experiments with self, soul and individual freedom have further metamorphosed my vision as visible in my ‘Space Cake, Amsterdam’ and ‘A Blizzard in my Bones’.

Latin America has made me look inwards with a surreal eye and my African counterparts have shaped my urgency to utter the mantra of human dignity and equality, making me look at own demons from a fresher light.

Q: How would you advise readers to approach modern poetry; can you suggest any handles to allow a better grasp of the meanings kneaded in any poem?

A: To understand my work, I do not think they need any handles, only a pure heart. To approach modern poetry, I want my readers to be open, fearless and candid, shed academic trappings, expand their horizon, discard snobbery and respect the ones that have suffered get space and attention.

Like in India for long, the Indian English scene was monopolised by soft-nailed elites and smug bureaucrats. Now with the internet and freedom of communication and reach, there’s a chance for an average middle-class Indian like me to come forward and explore the opportunities hidden meticulously from the masses by our colonial cushions.

When the leading figures in Indian literature were striking deals with the Western counterparts, our forefathers were struggling to survive in India, getting acquainted with the idiocy of newer regimes of oppression.

Finally, a new India is rising to grab the laurels received in proxy by those close to colonial masters. Honestly, without democracy, education and internet, I wouldn’t have been able to step out of my hometown in Punjab, what to talk of becoming known worldwide as a Himalayan poet. If you stay cloistered in a prescribed world, nothing happens. Those who sleep, find nothing, as the Indian saying goes; only those who wake up will discover the treasures of life.

Yogesh Patel MBE runs Skylark Publications UK as well as the non-profit Word Masala Project to promote South Asian diaspora literature. He is the recipient of many awards, including as Poet of Honour at New York University in April 2019. By profession, he is a qualified optometrist and an accountant.

In this regular series for ‘iGlobal’, he will be profiling Global Indian poets from around the world.

*Register here for poetry sessions such as these and much, much more at DiwaliFest 2020.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Yuyutsu Sharma to appear at the Asian Literary Society live session on 'Feminism in Modern English Literature'

Yuyutsu Sharma to appear at the Asian Literary Society live session on 'Feminism in Modern English Literature' with Santhini Govindan, Mandira Ghosh and Kiren Babal in the 3rd Asian Literary Confluence 2020 on 23rd October 2020, 4:00 pm

You are cordially invited to attend the live session of Ms. Santhini Govindan (Eminent Writer), Mr. Yuyutsu Sharma (Eminent Writer), Ms. Mandira Ghosh (Eminent Writer) in the 3rd Asian Literary Confluence 2020.
Topic: Feminism in Modern English Literature
Date and Time: 23rd October 2020, 4:00 pm (at the Asian Literary Society Facebook group)
This session will be moderated by Ms. Kiren Babal (Ambassador, ALS)

Monday, October 19, 2020

Yuyutsu Sharma to read at Asia Pacific Writers & Translators & the New York Writers Workshop's monthly reading series, Isolation Break v.6 hosted by Ravi Shankar

Join the Asia Pacific Writers & Translators and the New York Writers Workshop for our monthly reading series, Isolation Break v.6 featuring the best established and emerging voices from around the world. In this edition, join T.S. Eliot Prize winning poet and memoirist George Szirtes, Moth International Short Story Award winner and novelist Mandy Beaumont, poet, columnist for the Financial Express and cofounder of The Indian Novels Collective Ashwani Kumar, 2020 Varuna Fellowship winner and Queensland Premier's Award nominated playwright Emilie Collyer, and Rockefeller Foundation Fellow and one of Nepal's finest poets Yuyutsu Sharma. Hosted by Pushcart Prize winning poet and memoirist Ravi Shankar, Isolation Break is archived on YouTube and open to all. Click on the link to register for the event. You'll get a reminder when the event goes live this Saturday

APWT Official FB Page 

APWT Group Page 

Isolation Break v.6 Link:

APWT is also on Twitter, Insta and Linkedin.