Unveiling the Final Cover Image of Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems

quaking final last

Praise for
Yuyutsu RD Sharma’s Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems

What can a poet do who has planted a foot in each of two worlds, when the earth gives way under one foot? Yuyutsu Sharma has taken up the tools of his craft and expertly begun the process of healing and rebuilding his homeland. In a series of touching outcries, observations, and laments, he bears witness to the ravages of the earthquake in Nepal. But more so, the poems he creates to restore his own balance, help us all understand the fragility of our human condition.
Dr. David B. Axelrod, Volusia County, Florida, Poet Laureate

There are several things immediately noticeable in Yuyu Sharma’s very powerful Quaking Cantos. The poetic form is fairly unusual (the poems are jagged and rapid fire), and even when you bind the short lines tightly in couplets, this does not relieve the feel of sharp edges. There is a great deal of fractured enjambment, for example The earth/opened up/ her jaws… (from “Nipple”) to the point that the poems themselves seem broken. This is highly successful and effective given the very difficult subject matter. Yuyu’s approach to the challenge of form in the Cantos is that of a master. The anger and grief expressed from poem to poem (and even within poems) pop up very quickly then subside like an aftershock. The reader is then often left with some indelible image: a crying lamb, a grandmother who has just died, a baby searching for the sustenance of a mother’s breast. The poetic form certainly enhances this, but it is the images, which are so electric. These are wonderful, troubling, and moving poems. It must have drained Yuyu to the core to write of such catastrophe.
Dr. David Austell, Columbia University, New York

“We cannot leave the reconstruction of the damage done by the earthquake to the conservators alone. Yuyutsu Sharma turns the devastation into vivid poetry to humanize the pain and revive the gracious dignified and loving spirit of the Nepali people in a moment of insurmountable grief, preserving the majestic and mystical ambiance of their ancient artifacts.”
Eckhart Nickel, German novelist & Journalist,

Wasted rubble and cracked-open hearts. Homes, people, and animals destroyed. These rare, raw, and beautiful poems plead with gods and earth in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in Nepal. This must-read book creates an unbroken bridge to understanding the depths of this crisis.”
Kathryn Kysar, author of Pretend the World and Dark Lake, chair of creative writing, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Heartrending and poetic in convoking past and present souls to embrace the essence of spiritual virtue. Beautifully written, my tears fall for all…
Penny Kline, Poet, Actor, Founding Artistic Director of Ovation Stage, Sacramento, CA

Yuyutsu Sharma’s soulfully written earthquake dispatches emanate poetically from the deepest core of the earth’s movement, in the shape and spirituality of the “cantos” of place, where at one time or another we all find ourselves: mirrored in lake and mountain reflections of space and history—pondering on life and loss, hearts “quaking” in the memories of grounded images, but seeking the path for transcendence. We find this transcendent hope in Yuyutsu’s poetic chronicles–beauteous images in words depicting the passage of time, culture, landscape, and spirit.
Kathleen D. Gallagher Poet, Senior Lecturer of English at the University of Akron/Wayne College, author, I See Things are Falling, Editor, Eternal Snow: An Anthology of Poems

In their panoramic sweep, headlong rushing catalogues, visionary moments, their courage and compassion, numinous imagery, and beautiful music, Yuyutsu Sharma’ Quaking Cantos are worthy of comparison to “The Sleepers” of Whitman.
These poems will shake the attentive reader like the quakes they witness. In the dramatic immediacy of their confrontation with the cosmos and powers beyond comprehension or control—powers that seem to have gone utterly mad–they recreate the terror and terrible beauty of what Rudolf Otto has called “The Holy.
As one small example of the flood Sharma provides, consider the conclusion of “A Burning Sun”: in which for a moment a woman has left her baby kicking alone, outside playfully at the eye of heaven:
And it hit again,
the second time, right there,
burying her shoulder
deep under a pile
of mud and damp bricks,
leaving her son
bare and howling
in the bleeding eye
of the growling sun.
Michael Graves, author of Outside St. Jude’s Adam and Cain, Illegal Border Crosser and In Fragility

Reading Yuyutsu´s poetry is to be there with him, at the edge of the abyss, and with tears stained eyes, sing to a new dawn.
Gorka Lasa Poet, essayist, visual artist and editor. Panama

Quaking Cantos is a tribute to the resilience and tenacity of the mountain folk. The poet, who himself is a victim of the life threatening tremor, has captured the shattering experiences of nature’s wrath. He, who claimed that “I usually do not cry’, also cried when he found the thriving capital city turned into debris…
Reading Quaking Cantos is like reaching to an unknown island where people are left at the mercy of Nature’s wrath, where life and its charms hold no significance. What matters is the big ‘sunya’, and a reminder that there is nothing left on the “shelves of the grocery stores” and things have been “cleared out like meat on his bones
Dr. Hemanta K Jha, Professor English Literature, Amity University, India

 

Nirala to release Yuyutsu Sharma’s book on Nepal Earthquakes, “Quaking Cantos” in March

Quaking Cantos
Nepal Earthquake Poems
BY Yuyutsu Sharma
Photographs by Prasant Shrestha
ISBN 9-788182-500815 Paper pp. 84 2016

quake cover-2

Quaking Cantos is the creative response of a world-renowned Himalayan poet to the earthquakes that shook Nepal in 2015, killing thousands and leaving more than a million people homeless, vulnerable to the ravages of the harsh Himalayan environment. In the aftermath of the earthquakes, his North and Central American reading tours suspended, Yuyutsu returns to Nepal to bear witness to the devastation the “cosmic commotion” has caused in his own Himalayan home.

“These are wonderful, troubling, and moving poems,” discerns American poet and educationist, David B. Austell. “It must have drained Yuyu to the core to write of such catastrophe.” Yuyutsu sees his world shaking, lives dislodged, avalanches burying alpine villages, stupas cracking up, shrines shaking, “the Lord’s own body cracked into two lifeless boulders/ his mace, hid scepter, his lotus,/ his splintered quiver full of blunt arrows…” The poet also envisions the stench of the dead bodies and the corrupt polity emanating from the “reeking armpits of politicians” who find this an appropriate moment to make their personal fortunes. He celebrates the resilience and unassuming courage of civilians struggling to re-start normal lives, selling their meager merchandise in the rubble of old buildings without any morbid fear of the aftershocks. He also sees a child crawling on the chest of his dead mother looking for her nipple, and a quake survivor chained to a post in a cowshed in his own home. The poet sees the shrine of his family deity, Gorakathnath, also Nepal’s presiding deity after whom the Nepal nation was once named, cracking up like “a bud of a prophesy / or the fortune of an empire.”

To quote another American poet, David Axelrod, “Yuyutsu Sharma has taken up the tools of his craft and expertly begun the process of healing and rebuilding his homeland.” The poignant world of fright and faith seen in Yuyutsu’s poetry will not only leave the readers stunned, it will also ”help us all to understand the fragility of our human condition.”

!yuyu-eyes-open
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 a distinguished poet and translator.

He has published nine poetry collections including, Nine New York Poems: A Prelude to A Blizzard in my Bones, (2014), Milarepa’s Bones, 33 New Poems, (Nirala, New Delhi 2012), Nepal Trilogy, Photographs and Poetry on Annapurna, Everest, Helambu & Langtang (www.Nepal-Trilogy.de, Epsilonmedia, Karlsruhe, 2010), a 900-page book with renowned German photographer, Andreas Stimm, Space Cake, Amsterdam, & Other Poems from Europe and America, (2009, Indian reprint 2014) and Annapurna Poems, 2008, Reprint, 2012).
Yuyutsu also brought out a translation of Irish poet Cathal O’ Searcaigh poetry in Nepali in a bilingual collection entitled, Kathmandu: Poems, Selected and New (2006) and a translation of Hebrew poet Ronny Someck’s poetry in Nepali in a bilingual edition, Baghdad, February 1991 & Other Poems. He has translated and edited several anthologies of contemporary Nepali poetry in English and launched a literary movement, Kathya Kayakalpa (Content Metamorphosis) in Nepali poetry.

Two books of his poetry, Poemes de l’ Himalayas (L’Harmattan, Paris) and Poemas de Los Himalayas (Cosmopoeticia, Cordoba, Spain) just appeared in French and Spanish respectively.

Widely traveled author, he has read his works at several prestigious places including Poetry Café, London, Seamus Heaney Center for Poetry, Belfast, New York University, New York, The Kring, Amsterdam, P.E.N, Paris, Knox College, Illinois, Whittier College, California, Baruch College, New York, WB Yeats’ Center, Sligo, Gustav Stressemann Institute, Bonn, Rubin Museum, New York, Irish Writers’ Centre, Dublin, Columbia University, New York, The Guardian Newsroom, London, Trois Rivieres Poetry Festival, Quebec, Arnofini, Bristol, Borders, London, Slovenian Book Days, Ljubljana, Royal Society of Dramatic Arts, London, Gunter Grass House, Bremen, GTZ, Kathmandu, Nehru Center, London, March Hare, Newfoundland, Canada, Gannon University, Erie, Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt, Indian International Center, New Delhi, and Villa Serbelloni, Italy.

He has held workshop 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 and New York University, New York.

His works have appeared in Poetry Review, Chanrdrabhaga, Sodobnost, Amsterdam Weekly, Indian Literature, Irish Pages, Delo, Modern Poetry in Translation, Exiled Ink, Iton77, Little Magazine, The Telegraph, Indian Express and Asiaweek.

The Library of Congress has nominated his book of Nepali translations entitled Roaring Recitals; Five Nepali Poets as Best Book of the Year 2001 from Asia under the Program, A World of Books International Perspectives.

Yuyutsu’s own work has been translated into German, French, Italian, Slovenian, Hebrew, Spanish and Dutch. He just published his nonfiction, Annapurnas & Stains of Blood: Life, Travel and Writing a Page of Snow, (Nirala, 2010). He edits Pratik, A Magazine of Contemporary Writing and contributes literary columns to Nepal’s leading daily, The Himalayan Times.

He was at the Poetry Parnassus Festival organized to celebrate London Olympics 2012 where he represented Nepal and India. Yuyutsu will be a Visiting Poet at Columbia University, New York in the spring of 2016.

Half the year, he travels and reads all over the world to read from his works and conducts creative writing workshop at various universities in North America and Europe but goes trekking in the Himalayas when back home.

Your Kiss is a River by Carolyn Wells to be released in March

Your Kiss is a River
Poems of Love, Food and Life
 by Carolyn Wells
ISBN 9-788182-500778  Hard ISBN 9-788182-500761 2016 pp.56

your kiss go press kaveri

Carolyn Wells’s poetry evokes passion and takes in all the senses. Her stunning work entails virtual trips to Chianti country and the South of France, among other destinations, where she vividly describes the essence of place, nature, and exquisite foods. She finds subtlety in the most precious subjects.
Amy Barone, poet and author of Kamikaze Dance

Professional chef Carolyn Wells’s first collection of poems provides a shrewd and sensuous tasting menu of sweet, sour, and bracing servings from life. Spanning three decades and two continents, her poems use ingredients as diverse as childhood losses, youthful passions, Mediterranean languages, and adult decisions to create a deliciously tight, eclectic, and rich body of work. Now living in both Brooklyn, New York, and rural Pennsylvania, Ms. Wells infuses her work with a highly original celebration of nature and human passion.
Zev Shanken, poet and co-director, Thursdays Are For Poetry Center, Teaneck, New Jersey

With “garlic grown from my loins,” in a “tub of champagne grapes” on the “twisted streets of Toulon,” with “my tongue twisted in yours,” on the “back of a Vespa,” Carolyn Wells is a marvelous poet of food and fathers, sex and travel, all of the things worth writing and reading about.
Steve Zeitlin, Founder of City Lore in NYC

A master chef, Wells loads many of these delightful pieces with the joys of culinary experience as well as with other attractions for all the senses. Reading this book, one will learn a thing or two, but more importantly, one will learn to feel in whole new ways.
John Trause, author of Eye Candy for Andy and Inside Out, Upside Down, and Round and Round.

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Carolyn Wells holds a B.A. in French Literature from New York University. In 1983, she moved to France to study French cooking, and remained there for three years, working as a chef on luxury hotel barges. Upon returning to New York, she continued her culinary career as restaurant chef, private chef, and caterer. Currently, she is Executive Chef Manager at St. Bernard’s School in New York.

As a child, Carolyn loved to write poems, and was influenced by her father, an attorney who wrote poetry, much of it love poems dedicated to her mother. Her childhood was spent on a farm in Pennsylvania. She and her sisters rode horses and took care of the sheep, cats, dogs and other pets. Nostalgia for the freedom of farm life is a subject in some of her poems, as is the loss of her mother who died when Carolyn was eleven.

In her poetry, she attempts to recapture childhood joys and losses, and to celebrate the beauty of an outdoor life. In her spare time, she revisits that era by going to her cabin in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

She is a member of brevitas, and has contributed to Alimentum Journal.

New Nirala Release: Inside the Shell of the Tortoise by Distinguished Spanish poet, Veronica Aranda

Inside the Shell of the Tortoise
Poems written in India and Nepal
A Spanish English Edition
Veronica Aranda
Translated by Claudia Routon
with Yuyutsu Sharma
ISBN 9-788182-500747 (Hard) ISBN 9-788182-500754  (Paper) 2016 pp.68

inside shell go press kaveri

Inside the Shell of the Tortoise by Verónica Aranda is an anthology of previously published poems interspersed with new work. The collection celebrates the glory of awakening and the temptation of nostalgia—its critique too, incisive and punishing—all the while grappling with the fierce gravity of realism. The grace and delicacy of these poems are rooted in the solidity of place, mostly the soil of India, always allowing for the ephemeral transience of journey. A simply beautiful book.
–Claudia Routon, University of North Dakota

With Verónica we embark on fresh adventures, travel to the East, and unpack suitcases—postcards in fragments. In the process, we discover what we might have longed for and loved; because, in the end, Verónica’s account of her travels seems so close and intimate that her voice, stunning and compelling, turns vital.
–Elena Medel, Calle20

Vision is fragmentary and temporary; what we see and what we photograph are so easily forgotten. But what we sense and experience remain with no need for visual support; and in this case, the written word, the poem, remains. Verónica has captured it.

AgustínCalvoGalán, Revista de letras

The verbal subject that is Verónica Aranda keeps a suitcase ready under her bed. Such is the recurring motif of evocative and commemorative itineraries. Experience returns as a transmuted sequence, securing the link between self and landscape. Time and energy flux between words; fragmented emotions, faces, and distances are expanded in lines.
José Luis Morante, Puentes de papel


With Aranda, we discover the pleasure of solitude and contemplation.

Ariadna G. García, Culturamas

VeronicaAranda

Verónica Aranda (Madrid, 1982) is a multi-lingual award-winning Spanish poet and translator with an international presence. Not only has her own work appeared in several languages, she has also translated contemporary poetry from Portugal, Brazil, France and Nepal into Spanish. Her professional efforts extend from creative and critical journal contributions and collaboration to participation in international literary events around the world. She has degrees from the University Complutense of Madrid and the Jawaharlal Nehru University of New Delhi. She has lived in Italy, Belgium, Portugal, India and Morocco.

Her Poetry Collections include Poeta en India (Melibea, 2005), Tatuaje (Hiperión, 2005),Alfama (Centro de poesía José Hierro, 2009), Postal de olvido (El Gaviero, 2010), Cortes de luz (Rialp, 2010), Senda de sauces (Amargord, 2011), Café Hafa (Tres Fronteras, 2012), Lluvias Continuas. Ciento un haikus (Polibea, 2014), La mirada de Ulises (Corazón de mango, Colombia, 2015).

Aranda has been awarded many notable poetry prizes including Joaquín Benito de Lucas, Antonio Carvajal de Poesía Joven, José Agustín Goytisolo, Arte Joven de la Comunidad de Madrid, Margarita Hierro, Fernando Quiñones, Antonio Oliver Belmás, El Buscón, and the Adonáis accésit.

She lives in Madrid, Spain.

Claudia Routon translates contemporary poetry and fiction from Spain. Her work appears in numerous literary journals, including a book of poetry and music, La cité des dames(Capellas de Ministrers). She teaches Spanish literature and language at the University of North Dakota.

Nirala to release American poet David Austell’s magnum opus, The Tin Man in March

The Tin Man
by David B. Austell
ISBN 9-788182-500792 2016 pp.320 Hard Demy
The Tin  Man

The Tin Man,by distinguished American poet and educationist, David B. Austell, is a very moving homage to a little known but charismatic figure in the Christian biblical narratives, Saint Joseph of Arimathea.

Completed after five years of research and writing, The Tin Man is the poet’s magnum opus.Based on meticulous research in myriad source materials including archaeology, alchemy, religious texts, scrolls and murals, poetry and private writings, Austell conceives a grand narrative poem in epic style regarding the key intersections of Joseph of Arimathea’s life both with Pontius Pilate, Roman Governor of Palestine, and with the strange and charismatic Jesus of Nazareth. The poem explores the experiences of a dramatically flawed man, and the transmutation of his inner being in the presence of the Numinous.

Joseph of Arimathea appears as a key figure in the “passion narratives,” those sections of the four Christian Gospels that focus on the trial and death of Jesus in Jerusalem immediately prior to the celebration of the Jewish Passover in 33 A.D. It is here that we learn of Joseph’s status in the community as a wealthy man, a secret follower of Jesus, and a member of the high council of Jerusalem. It is also here that we read of Joseph’s unenviable task in the interment of the maverick rabbi who many believed to be the Son of the Living God. In the apocryphal gospels and later writings, Joseph’s influential role in the early years of the Christian Church is brought to light. For the first time, we are introduced to Joseph of Arimathea as a member of the Davidian royal family, the uncle of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the great-uncle of Jesus. Later in the Vulgate, Joseph is referred to as the NobilisDecurio (Noble Decurion). Thereafter he becomes the Roman citizen, provincial Senator, and the legendary Roman superintendent of tin mining operations in the southwestern shires of England. In the final analysis, Austell writes of the life-changes that transform an arrogant and troubled man into a Christian saint, missionary, evangelist, and church leader.

The Tin Man is Joseph of Arimathea’s epic song. As the reader turns the pages, he will find a grand modern day classic which can be read as biography or eclectic rhapsody, either of which demonstrate a vital and visionary saga of great mystery and shared humanity.
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