Families are strange things, and I have had my share of learning and unlearning about what families really are. Like halogens and noble gases, apples and roses, and Homer and Bart, poets and madmen have been instrumental in this learning. My family today includes each one of you in addition to the proverbial menagerie that our home and our lives have grown into.
A couple of weeks back, a group of poets were busy chatting outside Landmark Book Store after their monthly meeting to share poetry and poetics. Linda had just returned from launching her first volume of verse at Kolkata and was discussing the title of her next volume with Madhavi. Nivedita and +sandeep ingilela were busy comparing how getting married impacts poetic output. I was busy checking out the landscape for inspiration.
Nivedita is a poet, writer and a publisher who has been instrumental in getting many of us networked. She has already published three books. Linda edits a magazine on education and is an avid (and acclaimed) Haiku writer. Her book Significance of the Insignificant is a collection of Haiku and has nothing to do with Herodotus. You can buy her book online here. Sandeep is an artist, a poet, and a music buff who presently obsesses over animation and computer graphics. I am a self-employed full-time tea drinker. As we passed the smoke around, Nivedita mentioned that her next publishing project was going to be called Family Matters.
All of us asked in unison, "Why Family Matters?"
She explained that it was because family matters matter more than anything else individually, socially and politically, and even more so in today's global scenario. The depiction of "family matters" by writers and poets from across cultures would help create a holistic perspective on this aspect of social life. We all nodded our heads as if we understood what that meant.
The anthology is going to be edited by Frank Joussen, Christina Cowling and Nivedita herself. Like her earlier publications, this project too has put out a global call for submission, and the deadline for submissions is July 1, 2013. You can find detailed guidelines for submission at the Nivasini Publications blog.
The poetry group, recently rechristened Red Leaf, meets every second Saturday at Landmark. The Facebook event page for the next meet on March 9 can be found here. If poetry is your thing, do take a look.
If you long to belong, if you are searching for that sense of family, stop now. What you are feeling right now as you read these line is what family is all about. You are no less important than the sum total of all our beings. Get in touch. Stay in touch. You are home. Family Matters.