Who am I kidding? No one hangs around when there is no activity for more than two years. But would you all come back? I’ve missed this place and all that went on here.
So I’m hoping to give this another shot. I might not be as regular as I was before, but I really do need to get back into the writing zone. Fingers crossed to this (umm fourth?) try being a successful one.
Submissions should be sent in the body of the email (except images).
We request a brief cover letter with all submissions. This should include your name as you wish it to appear, contact information including email, and a brief bio including previous publications.Give us fun facts about yourself. We want to know your quirks. Tell us who you love to read. A photograph would be appreciated too.
We’d love to go through 3 of your finest poems. Free verse is king, but we give formal poetry a chance too. Give us imagery that is haunting. Write to us about love and hate and long walks and buzzing rooms. We’re looking for surprises, poems that have jumping up and down for sheer joy or tearing out our hair at the immense grief.
Mixed up forms are what we love —don’t be afraid to throw in some genre. We dig the literary stuff too, don’t let our sci-fi stories fool you. Throw your crazy murderers, demure heroines, solitary spaces at us. We ain’t afraid of magic either. We will consider up to 5000 words if you manage to knock our socks off, but our comfort zone is right around 3,000 or fewer.
Satire, humor, downright gripping; we love character sketches, memoirs, journal entries, letters, and flash nonfiction.
Abstract, portraits, scribbles, doodles. Send us your most daring work.
We will consider artwork based on web ready .jpgs
Please, no watermarks over the images. We like images, not links to a portfolio.
I hope to run a bookstore one day. A comfortable, homely place, with floor cushions and coffee and notepads and pens. And so many books that it would be like a dream come true for book lovers. You would want to run around, checking out one book, then another. Sniffing the pages and opening them up to read a paragraph or stanza.
There’ll be a section for book-club meetings, and free cookies (as long as you promise to wash your hands before touching the books).
There’ll be reams of paper and lots of different colored pens for when you need to jot down a few thoughts while you go through a title, or maybe if you want to make a wish-list for books you wish to be added to the store.
There’ll be people to talk to, a wall to write and doodle on, and lots and lots of books for all.
I hope to see you all there when it’s ready and up and running!
My encounter with Sylvia Plath was something of an accident. I had heard of her but had never bothered to read her work. But when I did read her work (a few of her most popular poems), instead of reading other poems, I settled onto my beanbag with a fresh sheet of foolscap paper and addressed a letter to her.
I don’t do that often, write to dead people, I mean, but I wrote a letter to Sylvia Plath; a woman who has been dead for decades. This was in September 2011. It is February 2013 now and I have a notebook full of letters that will never be read by whom they were written for.
I wrote to her at first because I was intrigued by her life, her poetry, her death. What had she gone through to make her write like that? And then die the way she did? I knew I wouldn’t get answers to these by writing to her, but I still did.
She became my ghost, someone who didn’t exist for others but was there whenever I felt the need to vent, my 50+ letters to her are testament to that. I wrote to her because I knew she wouldn’t judge me (she wasn’t alive, how could she) but no, it wasn’t that. There was a connection. From what I know of her, she would have understood me and that is all that counts.
23rd September, 2011
This is the first time I am writing a letter that I know won’t be read, acknowledged or replied to. I’m still writing this because sometimes there are things that you just have to do, no matter how crazy and pointless they seem. I don’t know much about you, but I have a feeling you would understand what I mean by that.
It’s not always that I need to address my writings to a person in particular, but reading parts of your biography today, I knew I should write to you. I have yet to explore my jumbled maze of thoughts to find a reason for that, but I will, and when I do, you’ll be the only person I’ll care to share it with.
If only you had lived for another fifty years or so, I would have actually posted this abysmal piece of writing in the hope that it would reach you and you’d find it in your heart to reply. Even a tiny note would do, any sign that you received and read it. But why would you read it? If you were still alive, Miss Plath, you’d be a celebrated poetess, someone who obviously wouldn’t have time to go through a delusional letter from a girl halfway across the planet who has just been introduced to your world, your world of poetry that is haunting to the extreme. You wouldn’t, I’m sure. Maybe there is comfort to be found in your death.
I read about you in a literary forum that I have taken to visiting quite often since the past month or so. It said there that you were a woman poet at a time when women poets weren’t respected and given credit for the great contributions they made to the literary scene of the time. That, somehow, has wound up being a cliché. Poets and authors are almost always revered when they have passed away.
And then I saw your name in, (I beg your pardon) a section titled “Neurotic Poets”. That piqued my interest enough to want to read your work. I searched poetry archives online but your work seems to have copyright issues and is not widely available. This was two weeks ago.
Yesterday, I decided to give it another shot. And I got lucky. Apparently Stanford University’s Literature program has an entire module devoted to you and your husband. There I found most of your poems.
I read a few, gave others a cursory glance and then decided to read up on you. You, Miss Plath, intrigue me in a way no other poet has ever done. I, for instance, have never had the inclination to go through every article on World Wide Web about Emily Dickinson or Tennyson, or Edna St. Vincent Millay; the three poets I admire over all else.
And there’s just one thing that I’ll say right now. I see a lot of me in you.
24th September 2011
Please accept my apologies for having left off so abruptly yesterday. The slightest things have begun to overwhelm me. By the time I ended my last letter to you I had come to the realization of the reason behind this seemingly eccentric act of writing to a woman, long dead, who had absolutely no connection with me. I relate to you. Maybe not by blood, culture or any other relation two individuals might have. But reading about you has made me see how much like you I am in person.
Many would frown upon that, I know. But what you are, were, shines through me. Many would object to the word ‘shine’ too. I don’t care. So what if people don’t think of you as role model material. I don’t need to make you my role model. I’m already too much like you for my liking. I would, without doubt, want to have even a quarter of your poetic prowess, as an aspiring poet there’s nothing more that I could want.
I’m going to start reading more of your work today. I hope to find books, reading on the computer gives me splitting headaches.
I’ve been finding the nerve to do this since ages.
Ages, I tell you,
I have spent trying,
to think big,
that one day I will
make it big.
I’m trying now.
Sorry for that. To put long story short, I’m working on a new story. I hope it amounts to something, because this time, I’m taking it slowly. This time, I’m actually planning before writing. This time, I won’t give up before I’m done. Because this time, I need to do it for myself.
(It’s my best friend Hiba’s birthday today and since she’s in Islamabad at the moment, I can’t possibly pop up at her place and give her a surprise, and eat the Kitchen Cuisine chocolate cheese cake as per tradition. And so I come back to this corner with my laptop and write a public declaration of my love for her).