Issue 1 — April 2023
EDITED BY — Ankit Raj Ojha & Tejaswinee Roychowdhury
COVER PHOTO — D.C. Nobes
COVER & INTERIOR DESIGN — Tejaswinee Roychowdhury
EDITORIAL — Ankit Raj Ojha
FEATURE — Nandan (National Award-winning filmmaker)
WRITING ADVICE — Shih-li Kow
POETRY — Ace Boggess | Ali Ashhar | Alka Balain | Ankur Jyoti Saikia | Ashwini Gangal | Christina Chin and Michael Hough | Clayre Benzadón | Gerard Sarnat | Gopal Lahiri | Gretchen Filart | Ilana Drake | Jennifer Jones | Jose Hernandez Diaz | Joshua St. Claire | K Weber | Kate Deimling | L M Cole | Laszlo Aranyi (translated from the Hungarian by Gabor Gyukics) | Moira Walsh | Mozid Mahmud | Pramod Subbaraman | Ronita Chattopadhyay | S.T. Brant | Sahana Ahmed | Sanjeev Sethi | Shiksha Dheda | Uchechukwu Onyedikam | Yusuf Olamilekan
FICTION — Aniket Sanyal | Bupinder Singh | Casandra Hernandez Rios | DC Diamondopolous | Elisha Oluyemi | Esther Mubawa | François Bereaud | Imelda Wei Ding Lo | Judy Darley | Mehreen Ahmed | Mugdhaa Ranade | Sahana Ahmed | Sara Dobbie | Shih-Li Kow | Sreelekha Chatterjee | Sumitra Singam | Sunil Sharma | Swetha Amit | Tom Ball | Victoria Leigh Bennett | Wayne McCray
CREATIVE NONFICTION — Colin Dardis | Irene Gentle | Katherine Varga | Melissa Flores Anderson | Melissa Nunez | Rebecca Minelga | Sonia Dogra | Tabish Nawaz
ESSAY — Jayant Kashyap
DRAMA — Amit Majmudar | Bryan William Myers | Gary Beck | Jacob Holley-Kline | Kerry Langan | Mike Guerin | William Kitcher
BOOK REVIEW — Ankit Raj Ojha | Mohini Sharda
ART & PHOTOGRAPHY — Aaron Bowker | Anthony Acri | Arunava Bal | D.C. Nobes | Edward Michael Supranowicz | Jerome Berglund | K Weber | Merlin Flower | Michael Noonan
COMICS — Bethany Jarmul | Shivalika Agarwal | Sowmya
I come from a culture where we worship rivers, for like mothers they oversee everything along their course. Birth of civilisations, sustenance of nations, fall of empires have all been brought about by varying moods of rivers — generous, loving, and furious mothers. Breathing into being not just public epics, rivers also serve our personal ends: a solitary stroll or just silent sitting by the waters is all one needs to calm a soul in flames.
Dreaming of Words, the documentary film, is about Njattyela Sreedharan, a fourth standard drop-out, who compiled a dictionary connecting four major Dravidian languages. Travelling across four states and doing extensive research, he spent twenty-five years making the multilingual dictionary. This unique dictionary offers a comparative study of Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu. Dreaming of Words traces Sreedharan’s life, work, love for languages and the struggles to get the dictionary published. The film also explores the linguistic and cultural diversity in India. It has won the National Film Award 2020 for Best Educational/Motivational/Instructional Film.
Contributors (in order of appearance)
Irene Gentle is a journalist, editor, writer and aspiring drummer in Toronto, Canada, with words in the Eunoia Review and scattered anywhere they can take seed and grow. A former editor-in-chief of the Toronto Star, she’s currently a VP with the Star and Metroland Media.
Sanjeev Sethi has authored seven books of poetry. His latest is Wrappings in Bespoke (Hedgehog Poetry Press, UK, August 2022). He has been published in over thirty countries. His poems have found a home in more than 400 journals, anthologies, and online literary venues. He is the joint winner of Full Fat Collection Competition-Deux, organized by Hedgehog Poetry Press, UK. He lives in Mumbai.
Kate Deimling is a poet, writer, and translator from French. Her poems have appeared in Slant, Notre Dame Review, Tar River Poetry, I-70 Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Plainsongs, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, and other magazines. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and is an associate poetry editor for Bracken.
Merlin Flower is an independent artist and writer.
Ali Ashhar is a poet, short story writer, and columnist. He is the author of a poetry collection, Mirror of Emotions. Following the release of his book, he received India Prime 100 Authors Award 2021 and the Best Debut Author Award 2021 by The Indian Awaz. His works appear in Indian Review, The Raven Review, and Bosphorus Review of Books, among others.
Amit Majmudar’s forthcoming collection of essays is Black Avatar and Other Essays (Acre Books, 2023). Twin A: A Life (Slant Books, 2023) is his forthcoming memoir, in prose and verse, about his son’s struggle with congenital heart disease. The first volume of his Mahabharata retelling, The Book of Vows, is forthcoming in India (Penguin India, 2023).
Judy Darley is a fiction writer, journalist and occasional poet from Bristol, UK. Her fiction has been described as ‘shimmeringly strange’, possibly because she can’t stop writing about the fallibilities of the human mind. Judy is the author of three fiction collections: The Stairs are a Snowcapped Mountain (Reflex Press), Sky Light Rain (Valley Press) and Remember Me to the Bees (Tangent Books).
D.C. Nobes is a scientist who spent the first half of his life, aside from 2 years on Vancouver Island, in or near Toronto, Canada, then 23 years based in Christchurch, New Zealand, 4 years in China, and has now retired to Bali. He used to enjoy winter, but admits that he doesn’t miss the snow or the cold. He is a physicist, a photographer, and a poet. His work has appeared in Tarot Poetry NZ, The Violet Hour, and miniMAG, and is in press in miniMAG, Karma Comes Before, Poetry as Promised, Whimsical Publishing Press, Boats Against the Current, and Sixpence Society Literary Journal.
Ashwini Gangal is a clinical psychologist by training, a media journalist by profession, and a storyteller at heart. She has lived, learned and loved in Mumbai, India, for 36 years. She now lives in California. For the last 12 years, Ashwini worked at afaqs.com, a business publication that covers the Indian advertising, media and marketing industry; her last held designation there was Managing Editor. She’s passionate about mental health and animal welfare.
Melissa Nunez lives and creates in the caffeinated spaces between awake and dreaming. She makes her home in the Rio Grande Valley region of South Texas, where she enjoys observing and exploring the natural world with her family. She is a column contributor at The Daily Drunk Mag. She is also a staff writer for Alebrijes Review and Yellow Arrow Publishing.
Swetha is an Indian author based in California and a recent MFA graduate at University of San Francisco. She has published works across genres in Atticus Review, JMWW journal, Oranges Journal, Toasted Cheese, and others (https://swethaamit.com). Her two stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prize 2022 She is an alumni of Tin House Winter Workshop and the Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop 2022.
Katherine Varga is a writer and theatre critic living in Rochester, NY. Her plays have been performed across the United States. Her creative prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Passengers Journal, Qu Literary Magazine, Arasi, The Evermore Review, Welter, and The Paper Crow. On an ideal day, you’ll find her biking to the public library.
Edward Michael Supranowicz is the grandson of Irish and Russian/Ukrainian immigrants. He grew up on a small farm in Appalachia. He has a grad background in painting and printmaking. Some of his artwork has recently or will soon appear in Fish Food, Streetlight, Another Chicago Magazine, The Door Is A Jar, The Phoenix, and The Harvard Advocate. Edward is also a published poet who has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple times.
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn’t earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger, and a salvage diver. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and his published books include 37 poetry collections, 14 novels, 4 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 7 books of plays. Gary lives in New York City.
Elisha Oluyemi won the 2022 Lagos-HCAF Writing Contest (Prose) and came 1st runner-up in both the Shuzia 2021 Short Story Contest (2nd Ed.) and the 2022 Flash Fiction Contest. In addition, he co-edited the PROFWIC Crime Fiction Anthology, Vol 1. Elisha has writing published or forthcoming in journals, including The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Dark Winter Magazine, Mystery Tribune, Brittle Paper, Ngiga Review, 100-Word Project, Iris Youth Mag, Hotpot Magazine, African Writer, Salamander Ink, Erato, Neurological, Kalahari Review, Nymphs, Shallow Tales Review, Sledgehammer, Arts Lounge, and elsewhere. He writes in the psychological and literary genres. For fun and relaxation, Elisha learns Korean, listens to classical music, and studies criminal minds.
Sreelekha Chatterjee’s short stories have been published in various national, international magazines and journals like The Green Shoe Sanctuary, Storizen, Indian Periodical, Femina, Indian Short Fiction, eFiction India, The Criterion, The Literary Voyage, World of Words, Writer’s Ezine and Estuary, and have been included in numerous print and online anthologies.
K Weber’s words have been featured in online and print publications such as Roi Fainéant, Writer’s Digest, and Memoir Mixtapes. Her digital photography has appeared in Barren Magazine and Nightingale & Sparrow. K has self-published 7 online poetry collections in PDF and audiobook formats. Her latest 3 chapbooks feature collaborative poems she created using donated words from over 200 people.
Gopal Lahiri is an India based, bilingual poet, critic, editor, writer and translator with 29 books published, including eight jointly edited books. His poetry is published across anthologies and journals of India and abroad. His poems are translated in 16 languages and published in 12 countries. He has been nominated for Pushcart Prize, for poetry in 2021. He is the recipient of Setu Excellence Award, US, 2020.
Christina Chin is a Malaysian painter and a widely published haiku poet. She is a four-time recipient of top 100 in the mDAC Summit Art Contests, exhibited at the Palo Alto Art Center. She is the sole haiku contributor for MusArt book of Randall Vemer’s paintings; winner of the 34th Annual Cherry Blossom Sakura Festival 2020 Haiku Contest, and the 8th Setouchi Matsuyama 2019 Photo-haiku Contest.
Michael Hough is a retired musician and professional photographer, with decades of experience in both careers. He toured as a member of the Mustards Retreat folk group for 44 years. He lives in Northern lower Michigan, USA continuing to write poetry across several genres, songs, and short fiction as well as essays. He has been a student of the Haiku form and tradition for many years.
Mehreen Ahmed is an award-winning Australian novelist born in Bangladesh and has won multiple contests for short fiction. Her historical fiction The Pacifist is an audible bestseller. Included in The Best Asian Speculative Fiction Anthology, her works have also been acclaimed by Midwest Book Review, DD Magazine to name a few. She is a featured writer on Flash Fiction North and Connotation Press, a reader for The Welkin Prize, Five Minutes, a juror for KM Anthru International Prize. Her works have been translated into German, Greek and Bangla, reprinted, anthologised, and have made it to the top 10 read on Impspired Magazine multiple times.
J.D. Holley is an asexual writer living in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. He primarily writes horror and literary fiction. His fiction has been published in Understory and his poetry in The Amazing Eclectic Anthology edited by John Garmon.
Ace Boggess is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Escape Envy (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2021). His writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, Harvard Review, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble. His seventh collection, Tell Us How to Live, is forthcoming in 2024 from Fernwood Press.
Jose Hernandez Diaz is a 2017 NEA Poetry Fellow. He is the author of The Fire Eater (Texas Review Press, 2020) and Bad Mexican, Bad American (Acre Books, 2024). His work appears in The American Poetry Review, Bennington Review, Cincinnati Review, Huizache, Iowa Review, The Nation, Poetry, The Southern Review, The Yale Review, and in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011. He teaches, edits, and writes in Southeast Los Angeles.
Gretchen is a writer of poems and creative nonfiction. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Rappler, Philippines Free Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, Janus Literary, Rejection Lit, Maudlin House, and elsewhere. She resides in the Philippines with her daughter and kooky cats and dogs.
Ilana Drake is a nineteen-year-old writer and student activist, and she has been writing since she was a young teen. Her words have been published in Ms. Magazine, PBS NewsHour, and XQ Institute. Her poetry has been featured in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Community Poem with Kwame Alexander as well as CHINCHILLA LIT, WriteGirl’s Lines & Breaks, and Divot Lit among others.
Laszlo Aranyi (Frater Azmon) is a poet, anarchist, occultist from Hungary. His earlier books include (szellem) válaszok, A Nap és Holderők egyensúlya. His latest book is Kiterített rókabőr. Laszlo has known spiritualist mediums, art and explores the relationship between magic. He is marginalised in his own country!
Gabor G Gyukics, (b. 1958) Hungarian-American poet (jazz-poet), translator, author of 11 books of poetry in five languages, 1 book of prose and 19 books of translations including A Transparent Lion, selected poetry of Attila József in English published by Green Integer in 2006, an anthology of North American Indigenous poets in Hungarian published in 2015 and a brand new Contemporary Hungarian Poetry Anthology in English titled They’ll be Good for Seed published by White Pine Press in the fall of 2021. He was honored with the Hungarian Beat Poet Laureate Lifetime award in September 2020 by the National Beat Poetry Foundation, Inc. based in Connecticut. He recently finished editing and translating the Hungarian version of Essential Allen Ginsberg titled Nélkülözhetetlen Allen Ginsberg. He is writing poetry in English and Hungarian. At present he resides in Szeged, Hungary.
Alka Balain loves to paint and write. She is exploring her creative side at a late stage in life. Her poems deserved mention in the Wordweavers contest 2022, Catharsis 2021, Poetry Festival Singapore, and Asian Literary contests. Her writings have appeared in Livewire, Kitaab, Usawa, VisualVerse, Poet mag, Readomania, Women’s web &c. She is presently club chair of the Writing club of the Indian Women’s Association, Singapore.
Jayant Kashyap has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net, and has published two pamphlets – Survival (Clare Songbirds, 2019) and Unaccomplished Cities (Ghost City Press, 2020) – and a zine, Water (Skear Zines, 2021). Jayant’s work appears in POETRY, Magma and elsewhere.
Prof. Mohini Sharda is Ex-Associate Professor and Head, English Department KMV Jalandhar. She has published and presented papers at national and international levels and compeered many national/international events and edited many books. She has been Director, Women’s Studies Centre, KMV, besides having been a member of Juvenile Justice Board, Punjab government. She has presented poems in online poetry meets and attended World Poetry Conference IV. Her poems are published in Vibrant Voices: An Anthology of 21st Century Indian Women Poets, (Sahitya Akademi publication) Mosaic of Poetic Musings: Contemporary Women Poets from India besides online international journals ESBB and Setu.
Ankit Raj Ojha is a poet, assistant professor of English, former rock band frontman and former software engineer from Chapra, Bihar, India. His writings appear in ten countries. He is the author of Pinpricks (Hawakal, 2022). Ankit works with DHE Haryana, has a PhD from IIT Roorkee, is an editor with Essence & Critique: Journal of Literature and Drama Studies, is a consulting editor with Routledge, and edits The Hooghly Review.
Bethany Jarmul is a writer, poet, and artist. Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and been nominated for Best of the Net and Best Spiritual Literature. Bethany enjoys chai lattes, nature walks, and memoirs. She lives near Pittsburgh with her family.
Sowmya is an artist and writer. She writes fiction, poetry, and weekly menus for her family. Her work has been published in The Ekphrastic Review, Failed Haiku, 3Moon Magazine, The Visual Verse, The Birdseed and is forthcoming in more. She can be found sleepwalking online.
Shivalika Agarwal is a doctoral fellow in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee. She is an aspiring writer. Her interests include Indian motherhood studies, women studies, feminine psychology. Shivalika enjoys coffee, music, and Indian Cinema. She lives in Roorkee.
Sara Dobbie is a Canadian writer from Southern Ontario. Her stories have appeared in Fictive Dream, JMWW, Sage Cigarettes, New World Writing, Bending Genres, Ghost Parachute, Ruminate Online, Trampset, Ellipsis Zine, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Static Disruption is available from Alien Buddha Press. Her collection, Flight Instinct is available from ELJ Editions.
Sunil Sharma, PhD (English), is currently Toronto-based academic, critic, literary editor, and author with 25 published books: Seven collections of poetry; five of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, ten joint anthologies on prose, poetry, and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is, among others, a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015. Sunil currently edits the English edition of Setu Bilingual.
Michael Noonan is from Halifax, Yorkshire. Has had artworks published in literary journals in the US and UK, including, After the Pause, Utopia Science Fiction Magazine, and Wild-Roof Journal. Won a runners up prize for a drawing in a competition run by Arts and Illustrators Magazine in the UK, and his own painting can be seen on the cover of a volume of his short stories, entitled, SEVEN TALL TALES.
Victoria Leigh Bennett (she/her) lives in Greater Boston, MA area and was born in WV. She has a Ph.D. in English/Theater. In-Print: Poems from the Northeast, 2021. OOP but on website, Scenes de la Vie Americaine (en Paris), [English] 2022. Victoria has as many as 29 publications: Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art, The Unconventional Courier, Barzakh, Bullshit Lit, Roi Faineant Press, Amphora Magazine, Alien Buddha, Madrigal Press, Discretionary Lov, and more. She is one of the three organizers of Poets on Thursday, a poetry collective. She is disabled ocularly/emotionally.
Anthony Acri is a cartoonist, illustrator, and a social critic, in the terms of Croce or Vidal, who lives in the suburbia of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his sister and brother and all that is left of a family of Italians who had coddled and warned him of the quagmire he was going to be dealing in and with as a boy.
Mike Guerin is a writer of stories and a roarer of poetry. His plays have been produced by several amateur drama groups in Ireland. He won Listowel’s Bryan McMahon short story award in 2022. He has had stories included in New Irish Writing, The Same Page Anthology, Howl, The Martello Journal and The Galway Review.
Bupinder Singh is an educator based in Kashmir, India. He teaches English to high school students. He also works as an Associate Editor for The Universe Journal and as a Reader for The Masters Review. His works have been published in The Week, The Delacorte Review, Non-Binary Review, The Antihumanist, Bending Genres, Whale Road Review, and several others. He is currently working on his first novel.
Imelda Wei Ding Lo (she/her) is the founder of Fortunus Games and a graphic novelist, podcaster, and writer. Her short stories have been published in the Victoria Literary Festival, Trash to Treasure Lit, and the Sixpence Literary Journal. She is also one of the co-editors of The Unconventional Courier, a digital zine focusing on the human experience. Imelda lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Casandra Hernández Ríos received her MFA in Creative Writing, Fiction, from CSU Long Beach. Her cuentos have appeared in The Bangalore Review, In Parentheses, The Acentos Review, Verdad magazine, and the Santa Ana River Review, among others. Casandra was born in Ciudad de México, raised in Los Angeles, California, and now writes from Denver, Colorado.
Clayre Benzadón received her MFA at University of Miami, and currently works as an educator at Miami Dade College. Her chapbook, Liminal Zenith was published by SurVision Books. Her full-length collection, Moon as Salted Lemon was a finalist for the 2021 Robert Dana-Anhinga Poetry Prize and Semifinalist for Sundress Publications’ Reading Period. She’s been published in places including SWWIM, Bluestem Magazine, and Olney Magazine.
Pramod Subbaraman is a dentist from India who lives and works in the United Kingdom. He returned to poetry after a long absence during the Covid19 lockdowns of 2020 and has since been published in many countries around the world. He credits poetry with keeping him alive during the dark days of the pandemic.
L.M. Cole is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet residing on the US East Coast. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming with The Pinch Journal, Roi Fainéant, Corporeal, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Gastropoda and others.
François Bereaud is a husband, dad, math professor, mentor in the San Diego Congolese refugee community, and mediocre hockey player. His work has earned Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations. The Counter Pharma-Terrorist & The Rebound Queen is his published chapbook and the realization of a dream.
Aniket Sanyal was born in India, and has grown up in America where he graduated from Rutgers University-New Brunswick with a degree in English Literature. Aniket’s work has appeared in APOCALYPSE CONFIDENTIAL, Fugitives & Futurists, Expat Lit, and Daily Science Fiction among other places.
Rebecca Minelga is an author and speaker who uses the power of words to navigate the liminal spaces between who we are and who we are becoming. She raises Guide Dog Puppies and two sons - in that order - with her husband just north of Seattle. She has been previously published in The Mark Literary Review and Crêpe and Penn.
Tabish teaches Environmental Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay. He has published a short-story collection Opening Clouds, Fermented Rain (Hawakal, 2020). His short stories, poems and book reviews have been published in Outlook, nether Quarterly, Madras Courier, The Bombay Review, Woolgathering Review, The Critical Flame, The Punch Magazine, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Wire, and Yearbook of Indian Poetry in English 2021 among other venues.
Kerry Langan has published three collections of short stories, My Name Is Your Name & Other Stories, the most recent. Her fiction has appeared in more than 50 literary magazines published in North America, the U.K. and Asia, including in Persimmon Tree, StoryQuarterly, The Saturday Evening Post, West Branch, Cimarron Review, Other Voices, The Seattle Review, Literary Mama, Rosebud, The Blue Mountain Review, The Fictional Café, JMWW, Reflex Fiction, Fictive Dream, Capsule Stories, and others. Her stories have been anthologized in XX Eccentric: Stories About the Eccentricities of Women and in Solace in So Many Words. She was a recently featured author on the podcast, Short Story Today. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions 2023. Her nonfiction has appeared in Working Mother and Shifting Balance Sheets: Women’s Stories of Naturalized Citizenship & Cultural Attachment.
Jerome Berglund has many haiku, senryu and tanka exhibited and forthcoming, most recently in the Asahi Shimbun, Bear Creek Haiku, Bamboo Hut, Bottle Rockets, Cold Moon Journal, Daily Haiga, Failed Haiku, Frogpond, Haiku Dialogue, Poetry Pea, Scarlet Dragonfly, UtB, Wales Journal, and the Zen Space. He is furthermore an established, award-winning fine art photographer, whose black and white pictures have been shown in New York, Minneapolis, and Santa Monica galleries.
Sumitra writes in Naarm/Melbourne. She travelled through many spaces to get there and likes to write about it, pretending it’s fiction. She’ll be the one in the kitchen making chai (where’s your cardamom?). She works in mental health.
Jennifer Jones currently lives in Colorado, USA with her husband and child. She teaches Astronomy at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, CO. The experience of living in multiple states in the US, Colorado, Maryland, and Michigan, is reflected in her work. She is also passionate about blending science into her work. Her work is also influenced by the fact that Jennifer lives with anxiety, depression, and hearing loss.
Melissa Flores Anderson is a Latinx Californian whose creative work has been published in Maudlin House, The Write Launch and Rejection Letters, among others. She was nominated for Best of the Net for CNF. She is a reader/editor for Roi Fainéant Press’.
Aaron is an amateur artist, poet, writer, and photographer whose day job is nothing close to the joy brought by his passion for creative artistry. First published in The Hooghly Review with his sketches and haiku, he’s drawn to the deeper meaning of the dark and light side of art which come to life in his artistic creations.
Sonia is an accidental poet and short story writer. Her writings have appeared in The Kali Project, Write in Power, Recipe for a Perfect Marriage, Amity - peace poems, Kitaab, Tell Me Your Story & Flash Flood Journal among others. An ex-educator, copyeditor, and nature enthusiast, she dreams of owning a book café in the hills.
Esther Mubawa is the pen name for a Zimbabwe woman who works as a maid in Cape Town, South Africa. She is a single mother who writes about the lives of Shona women like her who have had to leave the country in order to make a living or those who have chosen to remain in Zimbabwe. She looks forward to writing more stories about the struggles of her sisters and the complexities of their lives both in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Ronita Chattopadhyay is fascinated by words and the worlds they help create and represent. Writing has been a consistent thread across successive avatars as journalist and consultant (process documentation and research) in the development sector in India. The personal and professional have taken her to locations across India and all of these universes ground her. A mountain person at heart, she lives closer to the waters in Kolkata (India).
Joshua St. Claire is an accountant who works as a financial executive in rural Pennsylvania. His haiku have been published widely in journals in North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. He is Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. His work was included in the 2022 Dwarf Stars Anthology, and he is the winner of the 2022 Gerald Brady Memorial Senryu Award.
Bryan William Myers traveled to 12 countries in 2019. He spent most of the pandemic in Vietnam, writing poems, stories, plays, his first full-length screenplay, and a pilot he optioned to an app startup. He’s self-published 15 books. His first chapbook of poems, Empty Beer Cans: Quarantine Poems from Da Nang, Vietnam, was released in May 2022 by Alien Buddha Press.
Wayne McCray is a Susurrus 2022 Pushcart Prize Nominee. His short stories have appeared in Afro Literary Magazine, Bandit Fiction, The Bookends Review, Chitro Magazine, The Dillydoun Review, Drunk Monkeys, The Green Hills Literary Lantern, Ilinix Magazine, The Ocotillo Review, Ogma Magazine, Pigeon Review, Roi Faineant, The Rush Magazine, Sangam Literary Magazine, Swim Press, and Wingless Dreamer. He works diligently at becoming a Minimalist from his book-laden junk room.
Arunava Bal is a cardiac non-invasive technologist, nature lover, and art lover from Kolkata, India, Asia. He feels it as a great blessing whenever he gets to know, learn, or create new things stepping out of life’s mundane. His works have previously appeared in Chestnut Review and Jaden Magazine.
Mozid Mahmud is a poet, essayist, and novelist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Born in Pabna, he is recognized as a major poet in the country. He is the author of more than 50 titles, some of which are In Praise of Mahfuza (1989), Toward the Pasture (1995), Odyssey of the Ball (2001), The Fable of the Apple (2002), The Birth of the Maternity Clinic (2006), and Nazul: The Poet of the Third World (1997). He has been awarded the Rabindra-Nazrul Literary Prize in 2006, the National Press Club Award in 2008, the Bengali Writers’ Honors in London in 2010, and the Binoy Mazumder Literary Award in 2011, the Bangladesh Writers’ Club Award and the Jibanananda Das Award. Recently, his fiction and essays have appeared in Singapore Unbound, Provenance Journal, Indian Review, Writer’s Lane, Taint Journal, Borderless, and in Commonwealth Writers’ Adda forum. Many of his works have been translated into English, Chinese, Hindi, and French.
Gerard Sarnat MD’s authored four collections: Homeless Chronicles: Abraham to Burning Man, Disputes, 17s, and Melting Ice King. His work’s been published by Stanford, Harvard, University Chicago, Columbia, Penn, Dartmouth, Brown, Review Berlin, New Ulster, Gargoyle, American Journal Poetry, Northampton Review, New Haven Poetry Institute, Vonnegut Journal, Poetry Quarterly, Buddhist Poetry Review, Free State Review, Texas Review, San Antonio Review, Poetry Circle, MainStreet Rag, NewDeltaReview, Brooklyn Review, LA Review, Monterey Review, SF Magazine, NYTimes.
Yusuf Olamikelan is an undergraduate in the University of Ilorin where he studies for his degree in Biochemistry. He believes strongly in the power of anything written. His works have recently featured in Self Portrait by CultureCult and is upcoming in Literary Revelations.
Bill lives in Toronto and his stories, plays, and comedy sketches have been published, produced, and/or broadcast in Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Czechia, England, Guernsey, Holland, India, Ireland, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, and the U.S. His novel, Farewell And Goodbye, My Maltese Sleep, will be published in 2023 by Close To The Bone Publishing.
Colin Dardis is a neurodivergent poet, editor, and sound artist from Northern Ireland. His work, largely influenced by his experiences with depression and Asperger’s, has been published widely throughout Ireland, the UK and USA. His latest book is Apocrypha: Collected Early Poems (Cyberwit, 2022). His latest album is Funerealism (Inner Demons Records, 2022).
Note: We selected the order of the contributors' appearance in the magazine based on visual aesthetics and also to take the readers through a smooth roller-coaster of emotions; the order has nothing to do with our preference because believe us, we are in awe of every single piece! The opening and closing pieces are designed to set the mood and make a closing statement.