Thursday, October 4, 2018

Reading the Himalayas at Cornelia St Café Readings & Book Launch


Reading the Himalayas at Cornelia St Café
Readings & Book Launch
Plus a Select Open Mike
Thursday, Oct 25, 2018, 6-7:30 pm
  29 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014, USA Phone: +1 212-989-9319
http://corneliastreetcafe.com/


Renowned Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu Sharma travels to read at New York’s famous West Village venue along with distinguished fellow poets, namely Jill Hoffman, Robert Scotto, Anna Halberstadt and Mike Jurkovic. Yuyutsu will read from his new work based on The Rubin Museum Exhibit, The Second Buddha focused on Padmasambhava along with his Himalayan poems. A launch of his Pratik Magazine’s Double Summer/Spring Issue carrying special material on Europe along with the Pre-launch of the American poet, Robert Scotto’s new book of poems, Imagined Secrets ( Nirala, 2019) by acclaimed NYU Professor, Poet and Curator of New York Writers Workshop,  Tim Tomlinson will also take place.

Recipient of fellowships and grants from 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, Yuyutsu RD Sharma is an internationally acclaimed South Asian poet and translator. He has published nine poetry collections including, A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems, Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems, Nepal Trilogy, Space Cake, Amsterdam, & Other Poems from Europe and America, and Annapurna Poems. Widely traveled author, he has read his works worldwide and held workshops in creative writing and translation at Queen's University, Belfast, University of Ottawa and South Asian Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany, University of California, Davis, Sacramento State University, California, Beijing Open University and New York University, New York. Yuyutsu is the Visiting Poet at Columbia University, New York and has just returned from China where had gone to read and conduct workshops at Beijing Normal University. Half the year, he travels and reads all over the world to read from his works and conducts Creative Writing workshops at various universities in North America and Europe but goes trekking in the Himalayas when back home. 

Jill Hoffman is the Founding Editor of Mudfish (Box Turtle Press), and the Mudfish Individual Poet Series. Box Turtle Press has just published The Gates of Pearl, a book-length poem in two voices, hers and her mother Pearl's, as Mudfish Individual Poet Series #11. Black Diaries (Mudfish Individual Poet Series # 2) was published in 2000. Her first book of poems, Mink Coat, was published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in 1973. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1974-75. Jilted, a novel, was published by Simon & Schuster in 1993. She has a B.A. from Bennington College, M.A. from Columbia University and Ph. D. from Cornell University. She has taught in major universities (Bard, Barnard, Brooklyn, Columbia) and published in major magazines, such as The New Yorker and Paris Review. She has led the Mudfish Writing Workshop in Tribeca since 1990. She is also a painter.

American poet and scholar, Robert Scotto was a professor of English at Baruch College, CUNY, until his retirement. His previous publications include A Critical Edition of Catch-22, a book on the contemporary American novel and essays on Walter Pater, James Joyce and other major and minor nineteenth and twentieth-century writers.  The first edition of his biography, Moondog, won the 2008 ARSC Award for Best Research in Recorded Classical Music and the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2008 bronze medal for biography. The second edition, published in 2016, is the basis for a documentary, to be released in 2018, featuring him as a participant. He has also written the entry for Moondog in the second edition of The Grove Dictionary of American Music. Although he has published poems occasionally in small journals throughout his life, his 2010 book, Journey Through India and Nepal, was his first collection.

New York-based poet, psychologist and translator, Anna Halberstadt has published six books, including, Vilnius Diary, 2014, Transit, 2016, Green in a Landscape with Ashes, 2017 and Gloomy Sun, 2017, and two books of translations: Selected Selected by Eileen Myles and Nocturnal Fire by Edward Hirsch, in Russian.  Her work has appeared in over 60 literary journals and anthologies, such as Alabama Literary Review, Alembic, AmarilloBay, Atlanta Review, Bluestem, Caliban, Café Review, Cimarron ReviewEast Jasmine Review, FatherNature, Literary Imagination, (Oxford Journals) and many others. Halberstadt was a finalist of the 2013 Mudfish poetry contest and she was nominated for the Pushcart prize twice.She is a recipient of the International Merit Award by Atlanta Review, 2016, Award for Poetry by the journal Children of Ra in 2016. Her book Vilnius Diary in Lithuanian translation had won TOP 10 by Lt.15– named one of the best ten books published in Lithuania in 2017. It also won the Award of the Association of Lithuanian Translators in 2017. Anna was named Translator of the Year 2017 by the journal Persona PLUS for her translation of Bob Dylan’s poem. She is a member of the American PEN center.

American poet, Mike Jurkovic is the 2016 Pushcart nominee, poetry and musical criticism have appeared in hundreds of magazines and periodicals. Full-length collections, smitten by harpies & shiny banjo catfish  (Lion Autumn Press, 2016) Chapbooks: Eve’s Venom (Post Traumatic Press, 2014) Purgatory Road  (Pudding House Press) Anthologies: WaterWrites and Riverine (Codhill Press, 2009, 2007). President, Calling All Poets, New Paltz, NY and producer of CAPSCASTS, performances from Calling All Poets Series. Features & CD reviews appear in All About Jazz (August 2017 - ) & the Van Wyck Gazette. He loves Emily most of all.






Saturday, September 29, 2018

Yuyutsu Sharma visits Lake Town Pokhara Plus a Poem on the Lake Fewa

Just came back from Pokhara where I had time some quiet time with my beloved Lake Fewa                                         
Revisiting my favourite cafe, TeaTime, Bamboostan, Lakeside Pokhara where I gave final touches to "Annapurna Poems" nearly two decades ago ...



Found a tiny cafe towards the root of the Lake to recall what two decades ago the Lakeside looked like...






The Lake Fewa, An Unfinished Poem

From the shoulder of a hill
from a garden restaurant where
exhausted tourists lie, massaging
hysteric limbs of a nightmare,
from dingy tea-shop
of a grandma, crying from
the smoke of her charred dreams,
from the balcony
of a hut where a blonde Buddhist nun
sleeps with a local drug addict,
from Naudada,
from Lumle, from the luminous sheets
of the windows of a racing car
or like a despot
of once a famished principality, Sarangkot,
from an aeroplane
with the nose of snobbery ticking
the gleaming summits of fishtail
from the colourful pages
of a coffee table book,
from the fury of the goddess
who created the lake to avenge
the unkind inhabitants of the valley,
from the sunken sockets
of a porter's eyes where
magnificent draggers of Himal have grown,
from the obscene columns
of a magazine on frozen peaks of Himal,
printed from the evil ink donated
by some treacherous NGO,
from the bedroom of trekking couple,
about to reach an orgasm in unison,
from the bleeding eye of a folksinger
in love with local Sahu's daughter,
from the prow of a ferry
scurrying over the surface to measure its secrets,
from the tip of the fishtail
where lamblike sun bounces defunct,
from the unfinished draft
of this poem that I tear off
to look at the blue
of the Eye-lake, Fewa. 

From The Lake Fewa and a Horse
@Yuyutsu Sharma







Monday, September 17, 2018

UPCOMING PRATIK MAGAZINE OBITUARY -- In Our Wanderings: Remembering Jazzman John Clarke By British Poet Maria-Heath-Beckett


   Photo by Yuyutsu Sharma

On 5th August 2018, the poet known as Jazzman John, birth name, John Robert Clarke, passed away, taking friends and fellow poets by complete surprise. Because I was in Paris at the time, no internet, this sad news first reached me a few days later from Yuyutsu Sharma, and, like Yuyu himself, and others who had known John, I felt literally knocked over with the shock. Yuyu described the feeling like this:

The ball of my breath froze in my throat as I heard my best friend, British Poet Jazzman John Robert Clarke has passed away in London, suddenly I have to sit down and rethink — how cruel can life be, after 5 years I was planning to finally meet him this year and work on his dream visit to New York City.

John, writer of the poetry collections: All the Way from Kathmandu: Selected Jazz Poems and Ghost on the Road, based on his love of jazz and the Beats,     was renowned as a vibrant, talented performer on the London poetry circuit, and for sure, he will be, and is already, sadly missed, his future potential poems only to be guessed now instead of reading or hearing.

 Life can be cruel, to deal us such blows. Not only was I faced with this loss, but a deep regret at my relative neglect of a nascent friendship that could have become still deeper, and richer had I made time, had I not been too preoccupied with the vicissitudes of a turbulent relationship to attend his birthday, or the pending lunch date we had pencilled in at the Café de Provence over the road from me, never ‘inked in’, no definite plan made. For sure, if I could make it happen this week, next week, as soon as possible, then I would because my life feels emptier without John.

Why hadn’t I found the time? I castigate myself, for not doing so, often reliving his kindness the day we had met there, the day he had delivered a box of books for me from New Delhi - several copies of the anthology, Eternal Snow, in which my long narrative poem, Parnassus to New York, had been published, a copy of David Austell’s Garuda, and Yuyutsu Sharma’s Quaking Cantos, a series of poems stimulated by the Nepalese earthquakes. I had looked forward to this delivery for days, perhaps a time when all was not so well in my life, a rift in the aforementioned relationship leaving me feeling quite isolated and desperate, then, to see any friend. My best friends have all moved to Hastings, miles away from my home on Drury Lane, and John walked into this void for me like an angel, a shaman, a companion, a man who may perhaps hold my hand.
Photo by Yuyutsu Sharma

I remember his wonderful stories over coffee that morning, his Dublin parentage evident in the detailed retellings of this raconteur, his kind offer to buy us lunch, the photographs we took together, delighted to read our poems from Yuyus Eternal Snow, a day that was up there with the happiest of days, like the first day we met, at Heathrow. That day, a few years ago, I was seeing Yuyu off to New York, the start of a journey of poetry readings and teaching, a meeting in a café in Queens Park over coffee and poetry books, a taxi ride to the airport together, the arrival of Jazzman John, at once as if placeless, timeless, Shamanic, defiant of fashion and context, with his anachronistic scarves and mirrored sequins, his vivid colours, velvets and longish hair, and yet so much a part of London. Quickly I began to absorb John’s encouraging words, delight in his cheerful banter, his anecdotes and stories enriched with all the wisdom distilled from a life evidently, and unusually, led with true integrity, curiosity and passion.

 Curiosity led John to discover jazz, initially in the music collection of Greenwich library, during the years he lived in Greenwich from childhood to adolescence. Later I heard that he befriended Basie band played Eddie Lockjaw Davies who ran Minton’s in New York, and developed a life-long passion for jazz, and beat poetry, his concept and delivery of sound and rhythm always inspired by jazz and earning him the name, Jazzman John Clarke. The tribute from Y Tuesday, one of the poetry nights he frequented, reads:

for many I feel, it was John's live performance for which he will be most remembered.
On stage he seemed to be inhabited by the spirit of the San Francisco Jazz poets of the late 50's and early 60's, and few will forget his live rendition of "Messages from drunken blowfish.”

       Photo by Yuyutsu Sharma

It is not only jazz that inspired John - a fusion of Dada, surrealism, psycho-geography, and Zen can be felt playing through his poetic word-play and syncopated rhythms. John loved diversity, the drawing together of styles and genres into the poetry venues he loved to attend, describing (in the Londonist): singers, musicians, dancers, poets and comedians rubbing shoulders with burlesque artists at live events. When you think about it Vaudeville and Dadaists were doing it long ago!

Meeting John, I sensed a pulling together of influences into his words, character and a persona that flowed seamlessly into his writing and his everyday demeanour, so one never really felt he had to put on a performance but he was the poet, the performer, through and through. Turning to John’s words in an interview for The Londonist about his sources of inspiration, John said:

My poetry amounts to the sum total of my inspiration… Currently, I draw enormous inspiration from the intimate juxtaposition of the multi-arts approach. Traditional routes tend to bore me rigid - I want to plough my own furrow, take chances, try to be different without being overly contrived, which I know from experience is easier said than done. For me inspiration can drop out of the sky and I find the source is infinite. Jeremy Reed (himself a prolific writer) once said that his source of inspiration was rather like switching on the electric light - it was always there.

In John’s company, I had the sense that he was always inspired. Every moment seemed it seemed as if strings of fairy lights were sparkling, his mind alive with stories of poets, musicians and club nights he had run, London an always rich seam of possibility for him in terms of performance, encounter and stimulus for his work. John threaded inspiration from journeys around London, with music and Eastern thought and psychology to create works that, in his hands, create a vibrant invitation to a way of thinking, a way of life, never vague or too abstracted but grounded in a sense of connection with other minds, an attitude so visible in the way that he interacted with me. The inspiration that saturates his work breathed through his life as a breeze through chimes. In this sense, there seems to be an indefinable spirituality in his work, which at the same time can be visceral, earthbound and sensual.

After my first meeting with John, which continued from Heathrow airport, a place suspended, that day, as if between ground and celestial spheres, into the underground as far as one of the central tube stations but I forget which, I wandered next to the River Thames, composing a narrative, Parnassus to New York, and that day I felt quite transported as if Yuyu and John were able to grant me some lightness that carried me out of whatever personal difficulty I was experiencing into a more poetic, liberated space. I get the sense that Jazzman John always wanted to ‘follow his own star.’ Not for him the life of a City banker which he pursued for some years, instead he wanted the freedom to wander, explore, write and make friends, a true bohemian and beat poet, and surely then an influence I will remember and treasure throughout my life, although the hours I have passed in his company were all too briefly, and unexpectedly ended this summertime.

London has lost unique voice and spirit, very much loved and missed. To keep that spirit alive, in my mind, I have been listening to his recorded poems on YouTube: Poems by the River, a selection of poems, some of which are set to an abstract sound collage, recorded at Enderby Studios in 2016 and displayed for the internet with a striking, psychedelic array of visuals and self portraiture. In Everlasting Contrast, John writes –

‘You are a sunshine stumbling across a rainy beach,
You are the anchor midway to lean upon…’

And I like to think of him like this, as lightness and weight, gravity and grace. I like to visualise him rather as an angel looking down, watching over me.

Angels control us, even when we cannot see or immediately recognise them.  (Angels)

Victor Hugo said, Errer est Humain, flaner est Parisien. My lack of alacrity delaying another meeting with John I regard as a mistake but I will learn from this. I don’t think to wander is specifically Parisian, but the way of poets everywhere, and I am glad that in our wanderings our paths at least crossed.



Maria Heath Beckett was born in North Yorkshire and currently lives in London, UK. Maria is finishing two novels and a memoir and collating her first poetry collections. Her writing has been published in magazines and anthologies, such as Strands, Tumbleweed Hotel, and In the Company of Poets. She has also performed at many venues in London and Paris, and staged a short drama-poem at The Royal Court Theatre Upstairs.




Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Upcoming homage to departed Nepalese Litterateurs



INVITATION
Remembering Nepalese Litterateurs
Jagdish Rana
Nagendra Sharma
Homage with a Poetry Reading and a Recollection
Friday, 31 August 2018, 3;30 pm at Nepal Tourism Board,
Exhibition Road, Kathmandu, Nepal
Organized by
White Lotus Book Shop,
Kupondole, Kathmandu
in collaboration with
Peace and Development Center, Kathmandu
RSVP 5520248/9803171925

Nepali poets will gather along with some of the close associates and friends of these distinguished Nepali authors and pay homage to the departed souls by reading poems in their honour and discussing their influence on Nepali literature and society





Monday, July 9, 2018

Diane Frank's Letters from a Sacred Mountain Place: A new addition to Nirala Series on Nepal!

A new addition to Nirala Series on Nepal!

Letters from a Sacred Mountain PlaceA Journey through the Nepal Himalayas – Photographs and Text by Diane Frank
ISBN 81-8250-095-8 2018 Hard Cover pp 145 plus Photo pages

"




























Diane Frank's Letters from a Sacred Mountain Place evokes the citadels of silence that define the essence of the Himalayas. The strength of the book rests in her ecstatic recollection of the minute details of the mountain world and her humble encounters with the beautiful people of the high Himalayas. The glory of idyllic life enjoyed during her treks in 1988 and 1989 has become a thing of the past, thanks to the merciless encroachment of the Western world and homegrown greed of senseless politicians in Nepal. "
~ Yuyutsu Sharma

Diane Frank trekked four hundred miles in the Nepal Himalayas and wrote most this book sitting on boulders on the trails and by a kerosene lamp at night.  She is the author of seven books of poems, including Canon for Bears and Ponderosa Pines, Entering the Word Temple, Swan Light, and The Winter Life of Shooting Stars.  Blackberries in the Dream House, her first novel, won the Chelson Award for Fiction and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She is editor of the bestselling anthology, River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the 21st Century.
She has written documentaries on Eastern and Sacred Art for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Oakland Museum, and the Maxwell Museum in Arizona. She teaches writing workshops at San Francisco State University and Dominican University, leads workshops for young writers as a Poet in the School, and directs the Blue Light Press On-line Poetry Workshop.  She plays cello in the Golden Gate Symphony and likes to create her life as an art form

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Nirala Book Party in Manhattan: Book Launch & Readings


Friday, June 29, 2018– 7:00PM - 9:00 PM at Red Room, 85 E 4th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, New York 10003


Nirala book Party: Launch of Five New Books and Reading by Nirala authors
Tin Man By David Austell
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CJTDLLK
Word Has it by Ruth Danon
https://www.amazon.com/dp/8182500974
Cats, Love & Other Surprises 
by Otis Kidwell Burger & Katherine Burger
https://www.amazon.com/dp/8182500893
A Prayer for Less Violent Offenders by Mike Graves
https://www.amazon.com/dp/8182500931
Eternal Snow; A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Twenty Five Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/8182500885
Select Contributors to the anthology including Irene O Garden, Karen Herceg, Bari Falese, Su Polo and Eugene Hyon will read at the Anthology
Plus several prominent authors previously published by Nirala including Irene O Garden
https://www.amazon.com/dp/8182500869
Fran Antmann 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/818250063X
Keren Herceg
https://www.amazon.com/dp/8182500850
Bill Wolak
https://www.amazon.com/dp/8182500699
and Others will read briefly from their books and display their works...
Also Spring Issue of Pratik; A Magazine of Contemporary Writing to be launched at the Party

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Yuyutsu June 2018 Readings

Thursday, June 7, 2018– 7:00PM - 9:00PM: Yuyutsu Sharma to read in the NYWW First Thursdays Reading Series with Maureen Brady, Tara Isabella Burton and Jessica L. Wilkinson at Red Room, 85 E 4th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, New York 10003. Hosted by Tim Tomlinson


Monday, June 11, 2018– 7:00PM - 8:45PM: Yuyutsu Sharma to Feature at Starbucks Little Neck 254'41 Horace Harding Expy Little Neck, NY 11362  (718) 428-2489) Hosted by: James T. Romano


Saturday, June 16 at 2:30 p.m.: the Himalayan poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma Reading as Poet in Residence at Park Plaza Restaurant, 220 Cadman Plaza West Brooklyn Hts., NY 11201 718-596-5900 Free Admission— Open Mic author copy $8 and additional copies $10 each non-author copies $12 each SUBWAYS: 2, 3 to Clark St. A, C to High St. 4, 5 to Borough Hall Hosted by Patricia Carragon

Friday, June 29th, 7pm-9 pm at Yuyutsu Sharma to launch Pratik Magazine, and read his new work at Red Room,85 E 4th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, New York 10003


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Delighted be the Poet-in-residence at The Brownstone Poetry Anthology this year!

Delighted be the Poet-in-residence at The Brownstone Poetry Anthology this year! Yuyutsu Sharma at Brownstone anthology Reading

Friday, May 4, 2018

THE KATHMANDU TRIBUNE NEWS: Pratik resumes its publication after a decade

 The Spring 2018 Issue of Pratik: A Magazine of Contemporary Writing has just been released.
https://kathmandutribune.com/pratik-resumes-its-publication-after-a-decade/

KATHMANDU — The Spring 2018 Issue of Pratik: A Magazine of Contemporary Writing has just been released.
Founded by Nepalese poet, Hari Adhikary and edited by Yuyutsu RD Sharma, the current issue has ‘History & Poetry’  by Columbia University Professor  David Austell as the cover story and a photo feature With All That Is Nepal, a Photo Tribute by  American photographer, Joni Kabana.
The main focus of the Issue is Eight distinguished Chinese Poets including Jidi Majia, Chen Si’An, Duo Duo, Xi Chuan, Zheng Xiaoqiong, Yuan Yongping, Li Yawei, Shen Wei.  Pratik also features famous Indian poet Sitakant Mahapatra, American poets, Tony Barnstone & Jami Proctor Xu.
In addition, Nine Young Nepali Poets including Pramod Snehi, Shyam Rimal, Sahadev Poudel, Padma Gautam, ‘Punya Gautam Bishwas, Keshav Silwal, Bhuwan Thapaliya, Ramesh Shrestha & Arun Budhathoki have also been included to give a flavor of contemporary Nepali poetry.
The issue also includes American critic Stephen Massimilla review of NYU poet and professor Ruth Danon‘s new book, Limitless Tiny Boat and other regular features.
Pratik has been publishing significant Nepalese voices from Nepal and abroad for last two decades. It has published works distinguished Nepali authors like BP Koirala, Bhupi Sherchan, Gopal Prasad Rimal, Tara Nath Sharma, Krishna Bhakta Shrestha, Jagdish Rana, Madhav Ghimire, Shailendra Sakar, Bimal Nibha, Druv Chandra Gautam, Sita Pandey and Durga Lal Shrestha along with several writers of younger generations in the past.
It has also published Special Issues focused on Contemporary British and Dutch Poetry.
The forthcoming Summer 2018 issue of Pratik will have special material on Nepali literature along with a selection of contemporary Poetry from Europe and Ukraine along with a selection of Younger Indian poets as its special attraction.
Pratik is published quarterly. It’s published and distributed by White Lotus Book Shop, Kupondole, Lalitpur, Kathmandu.