Indira Chandrasekhar is a scientist, a fiction writer and the founder and principal editor of Out of Print, an online short story magazine. In 2012, she co-edited the anthology Pangea, Thames River Press. Polymorphism, a collection of her short stories was published by HarperCollins at the end of 2017.
MD: You have won the TOTO award, RL Poetry Award and more accolades for your poetry. How important are such awards for English poetry in India?
SB: Very important, I’d say. Especially because there are so few that poets can apply to since they are also very specific (there’s an age limit on some, for instance, which may not be ideal for writers who start out late). To be read by experienced readers, who are most often very accomplished writers and practitioners, is great. We do need validation, of one kind or another. And the money always, always helps. Fortunately for our generation, a few but very supportive organizers and arts enthusiasts have come forward, even with first manuscript prizes. This year, the TOTO foundation is celebrating fifteen years of their supporting young Indian artists: the work they have been doing is so commendable. And engagement is key, when you’re starting out, sustained engagement can be really nourishing. The good people at the RL Poetry award and at the Great Indian Poetry Collective are creating much needed support systems.
Read the full interview in Vayavya
Sohini Basak is the author of the poetry collection We Live in the Newness of Small Differences, which won the inaugural Beverly International Manuscript Prize in 2017. She studied literature and creative writing at the universities of Delhi, Warwick, and East Anglia, where she was awarded the Malcolm Bradbury Continuation Grant for Poetry. In 2017, she received a Toto Funds the Arts prize for her poetry. She grew up in Barrackpore and currently works as an editor in Delhi.
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