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Staff Bios

Suneetha_KalakaumudiBlogger Suneetha Balakrishnan is a journalist, writer, editor, creative writing trainer and translator working in two languages, English and Malayalam. She is a fellow of the Sangam House International Writer’s Residency in 2009, a featured poet at the Parkriti Poetry Festival 2010, and the winner of the Desi Writer’s Lounge short story competition 2012. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in anthologies and journals in India and abroad and she has published four translations in two languages.

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Webmaster Sita Bhaskar is the author of Shielding Her Modesty and Flirting with Trouble. Her short stories have been published in Crab Orchard Review, Washington Post Magazine, India Currents, GSU (New South) Review, Total Quality Reading and Desilit Magazine; her work has received recognition in the Best American Short Stories 2008 under “100 Other Distinguished Stories of 2007,” 2008 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, and Central Coast Writers Spring 2010 Contest. She has also contributed to In The Silence of This Room (Grey Sparrow Press, 2009), an anthology that was listed as a novel semi-finalist in 2008 William Faulkner Creative Writing Competition. www.sitabhaskar.org

SoosheBotManaging Editor & Copyeditor Susheela Bhat is a first generation American desi, a Chicago-based multimedia science writer, and newbie programmer who grew up listening to and reading SF/F stories. Having noticed similar disparities within SF/F and the STEM fields (where she worked as a communicator) Susheela is determined to level the playing field for minorities in both worlds. When she’s not immersed in various nerdy activities, you can find Susheela rambling around Twitter @SoosheBot.

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Fiction Editor Simran Chadha is a voracious reader and would gladly read anything that comes her way, 24/7. She moonlights as an Associate Professor with the University of Delhi and works as a full-time mom to her two teenage girls. A doctorate from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, her areas of specialization are Postcolonial Literatures and Theory, the history of ideas, Continental philosophy and of course, feminist lit and theory. Her most recent publication is a book on adaptations in Hindi cinema, entitled “Bollywoodising Literature Forging Cinema”.

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Designer Amrita Chanda does graphic design and writes code to make pretty pictures, occasionally dabbles in film-making, and is obsessed with the classical dance form of Odissi. To contact her, send her email at amrita.chanda@gmail.com.

 

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Copyeditor Selma Carvalho is the author of (non-fiction books) Into the Diaspora Wilderness: Migration stories from the British Empire, A Railway Runs Through: Goans of British East Africa, 1865 – 1980, and Baker, Butcher, Doctor, Diplomat: Goan Pioneers of East Africa. Her area of independent research is the Goan presence in colonial British East Africa. Between 2011-2014, she headed the Oral Histories of British Goans project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. She co-edited the documentary ‘Past Lives’ and curated the first-ever exhibition of East African Goan photographs at the Nehru Centre London. Her love of preserving Goa’s historical past led to editing and introducing The Naked Liberal: an anthology of George Menezes’s writings, and an introduction to freedom fighter Edila Gaitonde’s Tulsi and Other Stories. Her short prose has been published in Muse India and Jaggery Southasian Literary Journal. ‘Anatomy of Desire’ was shortlisted for the 2015 Almond Press UK short story competition and published in the anthology ‘Apocalypse Chronicles’.

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Fiction Editor Michelle D’costa, an Indian, born (1991) and raised in Bahrain, has short fiction/ poetry published in Antiserious, The Bombay Literary Magazine, Open Road Review and many others. Her stories have been longlisted twice for the DNA- Out of Print contest. She loves interviewing writers. She can be found here: https://michellewendydcosta.wordpress.com/

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Poetry Editor Prathim-Maya Dora-Laskey teaches English and Women’s Studies at Alma College (MI) after graduate school on three continents. An alumna of Stella Maris College in Chennai (India), her awards include scholarships from the Pennathur foundation, the FSA board at the University of South Carolina, and a Violet Morgan Vaughan award at the University of Oxford (UK). Previously a poetry editor at DesiLit Magazine and a current moderator at SAWNET (sawnet.org), she has published work in Contemporary South Asia, Interventions: A Journal of Postcolonial StudiesSouth Asian Review, and Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy . She lives with her partner and their four kids (two human, two canine). http://www.pocobrat.net

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Contributing Editor V.V. Ganeshananthan is a fiction writer and journalist whose debut novel, Love Marriage (Random House), was named one of Washington Post Book World’s Best of 2008 and long-listed for the Orange Prize, and chosen a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick. The book, set in Sri Lanka and some of its diaspora communities, was widely translated. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, among others. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard, she teaches in the MFA program at the University of Minnesota. She has also taught at the University of Michigan and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is at work on a second novel, portions of which have appeared in Granta, Ploughshares, and Best American Nonrequired Reading 2014. www.vasugi.com

Blogger Farah Ghuznavi’s work has been widely-anthologised in Europe, North America and Asia. “Judgement Day” was awarded in the Commonwealth Competition 2010, and “Getting There” in the Oxford GEF Competition. She is writer in residence with Commonwealth Writers, has edited Lifelines for Zubaan Books, and is launching her collection Fragments of Riversong shortly.

rupaSenior Fiction Editor Atreyee Gohain teaches English at the University of North Florida. A fiction editor with Rupa in another life, she is also an avid translator and translates from Assamese to English. Her translations have been published individually in Indian Literature and in anthologies brought out by Penguin ( Her Story) and Oxford University Press ( The Oxford Anthology of Writings from North East India). At Rupa, she helmed the series Rupa Kahani and Rupa Ekanki, small collections of short stories and one-act plays, translated from various regional languages into English. She holds a PhD in English from Ohio University, where she wrote her dissertation on the topic of women and mobility in the fiction of women writers in India and the U.S. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with her husband and nine-year-old handful of a daughter.

Contributing Editor Anjali Goyal is a development associate at the Asian American Arts Alliance and serves on the board of the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC). Anjali has freelanced as a research assistant and copy editor for many publications, and from 2003–08, she was the programs director at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in NYC. She received a BA in English from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

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Art Editor Satya Gummuluri is an artist based in southern Germany. Trained in engineering and music, she has devoted herself to writing, music (composition/vocals) and sound over the past decade, as well as doing editorial and translation work. She has performed and recorded with jazz and improvised music groups, and is currently engaged with Surfatial, a trans-local body engaged with questions of knowledge emergence.

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Columnist Minal Hajratwala is the author of Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents (2009), which has been called “incomparable” by Alice Walker and “searingly honest” by The Washington Post. The book won a Pen USA Award, an Asian American Writers Workshop Award, a Lambda Literary Award, and a California Book Award. She is editor of Out! Stories From the New Queer India (2012), the first anthology of LGBT literature published since the decriminalization of homosexuality in India. As a writing coach, she has taught workshops nationally and internationally at universities, online, and via community organizations including the Voices of New America summer program on the University of California-Berkeley campus. She is a graduate of Stanford University and a former National Arts Journalism Program fellow at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She spent 2010–11 as a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in India researching a novel, while also writing poems about the unicorns of the ancient Indus Valley. www.minalhajratwala.com

Essays Editor Wafa Hamid is Assistant Professor in the Department of English, Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR), New Delhi. She is pursuing her doctoral research at the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi where she also obtained her M.Phil in 2011. Her research explores the relationship between aesthetics and politics and focuses on the representation of marginalized subjectivities thereby leading to a negotiation of boundaries between public/private, past/present, centre/periphery, and self/other. Her areas of interest include: Gender Studies, Literary Theory, Popular Culture, Women’s Writing, Culture Studies, and Translation Studies among others.

Webmaster Jed Hartman is a technical writer and former fiction editor whose extracurricular interests include logodaedaly, interdigitation, sesquipedalia, and lapsus linguae. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories, Clean Sheets, Fishnet, Flytrap, Strange Horizons, and Wet.  For more about him (or to read his blog), see his website.

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Senior Essays Editor Fazeela Jiwa is a writer and teacher from Vancouver, living in Ottawa, Canada. She recently graduated from Concordia University’s MA program in English literature, before which she worked in public and alternative education, as well as a crisis worker at a sexual assault centre and transition house. Her published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction considers complicity with, and resistance to, racialized and gendered representations in literature and other cultural productions. www.fazeelajiwa.com

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Blog Editor Soniah Kamal was born in Pakistan, raised in England and Saudi Arabia, and lives in the US. Her debut novel, An Isolated Incident, is forthcoming in 2014 and her short stories and essays have been published in the United States, Pakistan, India, and Canada. Soniah is the guest editor for “No Place Like Home,” Sugar Mule’s special South Asian issue. She writes about books for Atlanta’s premiere online arts publication, ArtsATL.com, and also serves as VP of Social Events for the Atlanta Writers Club, est. 1914. Soniah is getting her MFA from Georgia State University, where she is the recipient of Paul Bowles Fellowship in Fiction. She holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy with honors from St. John’s College, where her undergraduate thesis received the Susan B. Irene Award. www.soniahkamal.com

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Contributing Editor Ellen Kombiyil is a poet, writer, and writing teacher. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Barely South Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cider Press Review, Cordite Poetry Review, Poemeleon, Redactions, Spillway and Spry, among others. Honors include a 2013 nomination the Pushcart Prize, and a 2012 nomination for Best of the Net. She is a Founding Poet of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective www.greatindianpoetrycollective.org which publishes first and second books, showcasing new poetic voices from India.

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Senior Poetry Editor Gowri Koneswaran is a Tamil American writer, performing artist, teaching artist, and lawyer whose family immigrated from Sri Lanka. Based in Washington, DC, she is a Kundiman fellow, poetry coordinator at the non-profit arts organization BloomBars, and co-editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly.

Associate Editor Neha Kumar is a Management major at the University of Illinois at Chicago looking to pursue a career in human resources or public relations. In addition to her studies, she enjoys working on the executive board for the Management Leadership Association, watching documentaries, and cooking Indo-American fusion food.

anuPoetry Editor Anu Mahadev is a left brained software engineer- turned right brained creative poet! Originally from India, she is now based out of New Jersey, with her husband and son. She is a recent MFA graduate of Drew University and a prolific writer. Other words to describe her are dreamer, choir singer, social bee, book and movie addict, avid hiker, lifelong learner and traveler. She writes mostly about love, life and the ties that bind us.

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Essays Editor Sandhya Rao Mehta graduated from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi a millennium ago and got a PhD in expatriate literature as the diaspora was not a very fashionable term just then. She is presently working at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. Diaspora in all shapes and sizes interests her, even more so if its framed in the context of everyday life. Her most recent publications include an anthology on language studies, focusing particularly on the way English is evolving among those who have adopted it as their own.

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Editor-in-Chief Mary Anne Mohanraj was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and is author of Bodies in Motion (HarperCollins) and nine other titles. Bodies in Motion was a finalist for the Asian American Book Awards, a USA Today Notable Book, and has been translated into six languages. Previous titles include Aqua Erotica and Wet (two erotica anthologies edited for Random House), Kathryn in the City and The Classics Professor (two erotic choose-your-own-adventure novels, Penguin), and The Best of Strange Horizons. Mohanraj founded the World Fantasy Award-winning and Hugo-nominated magazine, Strange Horizons. She was Guest of Honor at WisCon 2010, received a Breaking Barriers Award from the Chicago Foundation for Women for her work in Asian American arts organizing, and won an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Prose. Mohanraj has taught at the Clarion SF/F workshop, and is now Clinical Assistant Professor of fiction and literature and Associate Director of Asian and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She serves as Executive Director of both DesiLit (www.desilit.org) and the Speculative Literature Foundation (www.speclit.org). Recent publications include The Stars Change, a Lambda-finalist science fiction novella featuring South Asians who have settled a university planet. She lives in a creaky old Victorian in Oak Park, just outside Chicago, with her partner, Kevin, two small children, and a sweet dog. www.mamohanraj.com

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Contributing Editor Dipika Mukherjee’s second novel, Shambala Junction, won the UK Virginia Prize for Fiction (Aurora Metro, 2016). Her debut novel, Thunder Demons (Gyaana, 2011), was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize and republished as Ode to Broken Things (Repeater, 2016). She won the Liakoura Prize for Poetry (USA, 2016) and the Gayatri GaMarsh Award for Literary Excellence (USA, 2015) as well as the Platform Flash Fiction Prize (India, 2009). Her short story collections include Rules of Desire (Fixi, 2015) and edited collections include Champion Fellas (Word Works, 2016), Silverfish New Writing 6 (Silverfish, 2006) and The Merlion and Hibiscus (Penguin, 2002). She has two poetry collections: “The Third Glass of Wine” (Writer’s Workshop, 2015), and The Palimpsest of Exile, (Rubicon Press, 2009). She lives in Chicago, dipikamukherjee.com

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Blogger Nadia Niaz is a Sri-Lankan born child of Pakistani diplomats and grew up in Islamabad, Geneva, New Delhi, New York City, Washington, D.C., Kathmandu, and Lahore. She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia, where, In 2012, she completed a PhD on the creative expression of multilingual writers, arguing that third culture poetry represents a new paradigm in both the study and the development of multilingualism. Her research examined the movement of three different kinds of multilingual poets between their languages and presented a new framework for studying and understanding contemporary multilingual agency and creativity. When she isn’t teaching Creative Writing or engaging arguments about social justice, languages, and belonging, she works on a collection of poems that may or may not end up being multilingual.

souveekReviews Editor Souveek Pal:  A techie, working with a MNC, my heart plays a tug of war between occasional coding, reading and writing, When not fixing technical issues for clients, I blog about books and movies. I love to read about the Victorian Era in England and The British Raj in India. Crime, Mystery, Adventure, Humor and Horror are my favorite genres.

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Blogger Chaitali Sen is a fiction writer and teacher based currently in Austin, Texas. Previously she lived in New York, where she was on the board of the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC) during its early years. She holds an MFA from Hunter College, and her stories have been published by Colorado Review, New England Review, Kartika Review, Juked, Front Porch Journal, The Asian Pacific American Journal, Better: Culture and Lit, and others, and her non-fiction has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books. In 2013 she attended the Sewanee Writers’ Conference as a Tennessee Williams Scholar. She has recently finished a novel. Links to her stories and other information can be found at www.chaitalisen.com

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Senior Reviews Editor Ravibala (Ravi) Shenoy is passionate about books and reading. She has been a reviewer for Library Journal since 1997. A former librarian, Ravi has published book reviews, short stories, creative nonfiction, and articles in Chicago Tribune, TribLocal, Cooper Street Journal, VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates), India Currents, The Copperfield Review, Sugar Mule.

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Blogger Sumita Sheth, lives in New York and finds fewer hours than projects to fill them with. Previously Editor-in-Chief at DesiLit Magazine, she is currently working on some writing of her own.

 

Reviews Editor Chinmaya Lal Thakur is an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction, especially by Indian writers. Some of his favourite authors include Shrilal Shukla, Amitav Ghosh, Franz Kafka, J.M. Coetzee, Margaret Atwood, and Kazuo Ishiguro. He is also a Research Scholar at the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His areas of interest include Literary Theory, Studies of the Novel, and Continental Philosophy. He has published a few stories, poems, and critical essays in various journals and magazines. He can be contacted at tchinmayalal@gmail.com.

s.badriPoetry Editor Badri Varma is a Hindi poet whose work has appeared in magazines and been translated into English. His collection Boond se Nadi Tak: Ek kavita Yatra was released in 2009. In the 1960s he was a founding member of the Sahaj Kavita, a movement of Hindi poetry. He believes that poets have a responsibility to raise their voices against social injustice and promote consciousness about the suffering of people, especially issues related to minorities and women.

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2 Comments
  1. jayati roy #

    Wow! Simply impressive group of people!

    October 2, 2012
  2. It appears to be an excellent team of individuals getting together and come to the fore.
    Congratulations and wishing you good innings in your combine efforts.

    July 15, 2013