A sense of evening pervades Christos Koukis’ Modern Guilt, translated into English by Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke and Elle Arscott. This twilight is historical, ridden by the background of the financial crisis in Greece, as much as poetic, where ‘we are rich in such a way that no bank condescends to accept us’. But like all things Greek, there is the sun, which peeks at odd places and throws light on hidden corners. In Koukis’ world, the sun glints, before setting at nine o’clock behind the Acropolis, even if ‘deep down, the light makes things difficult’.
It is in this sense that Modern Guilt holds a mirror to us, our anxieties and vanities. The earthquakes in Modern Guilt are political. History is ugly and ‘the country does not go to sleep with clear conscience’. Continuing in the tradition of the modern Greek masters, Koukis has use for antiquity, but this antiquity is not removed from history, its pain and betrayal. It provides no respite, only hard lessons. The financial earthquake of Greece is but one more link in that story.
Yet in its moments of crises, hope shines through —‘there is a feeling of life that never abandons us, an honest victory’. There is redemption in love and in the hope of love. Amidst the shadows, for Koukis it ultimately ‘doesn’t matter’, for even ‘Dresden was rebuilt and now it shines’.
Arjun Rajendran's first collection, Snake Wine, was published by Les Editions du Zaporogue in 2014. His poems have appeared in publications including Berfrois, The Missing Slate, Caesura, The Bombay Literary Magazine, Star*Line, Strange Horizons, Mithila Review, VAYAVYA and others. He has also been published in Eclectica?s Best of Poetry Anthology (2016), celebrating the best poems published by Eclectica Magazine in 20 years, and the 40 Under 40 anthology published by Paperwall (2016). Rajendran was the editor of The Four Quarters Magazine until 2014.
Nabina das is a 2017 Sahapedia-UNESCO fellow, a 2012 Charles Wallace creative writing alumna (Stirling University), and a 2016 Commonwealth Writers Organisation feature correspondent. Born and brought up in Guwahati, Nabina’s poetry collections are Sanskarnama (2017), Into the Migrant City (2013), and Blue Vessel (2012). Her first novel is Footprints in the Bajra (2010) , and her short fiction volume is titled The House of Twining Roses (2014). A 2012 Sangam House, a 2011 NYS Summer Writers Institute, and a 2007 Wesleyan Writers Conference alumna, Nabina writes and translates occasionally in English, Assamese and Bengali while her poetry has been translated into the Croatian, French, Bengali, Malayalam, and Urdu. A guest faculty at University of Hyderabad for Creative Writing, Nabina has worked in journalism and media for over a decade, and is the co-editor of 40 under 40, an anthology of post-globalisation poetry (Poetrywala, 2016).
Rati Saxena – Poet/ Translator/ Editor (Kritya) / Director Poetry festivals -Kritya and Vedic scholar. She has 5 collections of poetry in Hindi and two in English (Translated by poet) and one each into Malayalam, Italian, Estonian, and Vietnamese translated by other poets. Her poems have been translated into other international languages like Chinese, Albanian, Spanish, Uzbek, Indonesian, Spanish, German etc. She has a travelogue in Hindi “Cheenti ke par”, a Memoir in English “Everything is past tense “, and a criticism on the work of famous Malayalam Poet Balamaniyamma’s work. Her study on the Atharvaveda has been published as “The Seeds of the Mind- a fresh approach to the study of Atharvaveda” under the fellowship of the Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts. She has translated about 12 Malayalam works, both prose and poetry, into Hindi and two poetry books of Norwegian poets, one each from Welsh, Vietnamese. She has a number of articles published regarding Indology in a number of journals. She has been invited for poetry reading in more than 22 prestigious poetry festivals around the world, among some are very popular e.g. The Struga Poetry Evening (Macedonia) (2010) the prestigious poetry festival in Medellin -Colombia (2011 and 2014), 10th Edition of “Ritratti di Poesia” Feb 2016 and China’s Moon Festival and Shanghai book fair. She is the only Indian participant in some imp poetry festivals like Iran’s Fair Poetry Festival, Iran (2014), International Istanbul Poetry Festival (IIPF) Turkey (2014), 4th international Eskisehir Poetry Festival Turkey (2014). And a Special poetry reading in A Caruna, Spain (2015), Poetry reading at Foundation Vicente Risco, at Allariz (Spain). She has also been invited to some American Universities like Mary Mount University in Los Angeles and University of Seattle (USA) to talk on Vedic poetry and recite her own poetry. She is one of founder member, and member of coordinate committee Of the World Poetry Movement. Her poem was poem been chosen in popular book of china “110 modern poems of the world”) 2015, ” Her poem was also part of space mission by Jaxa, Japan, along with 24 other poems. In 2002. She was also artist in Former Artist-in-residence at Ebenboeckhaus Munich and Artist-in-residence at Künstlerhaus Villa Waldberta. Her Awards- Fellowship by Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts in 2004-5, Sahitya Akademi Award for Translation 2000, Sate Bank of Travancore Award for poetry 2001, Naji Naaman’s Literary Prizes (International) for 2016.
Indran Amirthanayagam writes in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Haitian Creole. He has published thirteen poetry collections thus far, including The Elephants of Reckoning (Hanging Loose Press,NY,1993) which won the 1994 Paterson Prize in the United States, Uncivil war (Tsar/now Mawenzi House, Toronto,2013) and The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems (Hanging Loose Press,NY,2008). His latest books are IL n’est de solitude quel’ile lointaine (Les Editions, Haiti,2017), Pwezi a Kat Men, written with Alex Laguerre (Delince Editions, Miami,2017), and Ventana Azul (El Tapiz del Unicornio, Mexico City,2016). Two new manuscripts, Paolo 9, a suite of poems about the case of Paolo Guerrero and the World Cup and En busca de posada are forthcoming in 2019.
Ashraf Aboul-Yazid (1963) is an Egyptian writer, poet, novelist and journalist.
He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Silk Road Literature Series (since 2016). He has documented his travel writings covering more than 30 countries spanning over two decades.
He was named the Person of the Year in Culture, Kazan, Tatarstan in 2013. He won the Manhae Grand Prize in Literature, Korea in 2014. He was the winner of the Arab Journalism Award in Culture, UAE, in 2015. He is the member of the Egyptian Writers’ Union and the President of AJA (Asia Journalist Association), Korea.
His books in Arabic include-
Washwashat Al Bahr, (The Whisper of the Sea), Cairo, 1989.
Al Asdaf, (the Shells), Cairo, 1996.
Zakirat Al Samt, (The Memory of the Silence), Beirut, 2000.
Fawqa Sirat Al Mawt, (On the Passage of Death), Cairo, 2001.
akirat Al Farashat, (the memory of Butterflies), Cairo, 2005.
Shamawes, Cairo, 2008.
Hadiqaton Khalfeyya (A Backyard Garden), Cairo, 2011.
(31), Cairo, 2011.
AT-Turjoman (The Translator), Cairo, 2018.
BIOGRAPHIES, CRITICISMS AND TRAVELS
Sirat Al Lawn, (the Story of Color), Art Criticism, Cairo, 2003.
Muzakkrat Musafer, (The Memories of a Traveler) Biography on Al-Sheikh Mustafa Abdul Razik travels to France, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2004.
Al Shiekh Mustafa Abdu lRaziq Musaferan wa Muqiman, (Al Azhar Sheikh Travels and Memories at home), Travels, Cairo, 2006.
Sirat Musafer (A Traveler tale), Travels, Cairo, 2008.
Abath al Shabab (The Joy of the Youth), Bayrem Al-Tunsi papers in Tunisia, Alexandria, Bibliotheca, 2008.
Noon Anniswa Nahrol-Fan, Feminine N, River of Art, Biography, Dar Al-Hilal, Cairo 2013
The Silk Road (A Cultural Pictorial Encyclopedia) Alexandria Bibliotheca, 2013
A River on Travel (Travels), Al-Arabi Books, Kuwait, 2015
The Caravan of Moroccan Tales, travels, Milano, 2017
Naguib Mahfouz, the narrator and the artist, art articles, Cairo, 2018
The Story of an Artist Who Lived 5000 Years, History of Art for Children, Cairo 2006.
The Arab World Kids, Poems for Children, Kuwait, 2006.
The Arab Travelers (Rahhalatol Arab), for children, Kuwait, 2009
The Sea Post Fish Poetic story for Children, Kuwait, 2011.
Shurali (The Carpenter and the Evil of the Forest), a folk tale by the Tatar poet Abdullah Tukay, for Children, Kuwait, 2011
The Sheep and the Goat, a folk tale by the Tatar poet Abdullah Tukay, for Children, Kuwait, 2013
TRANSLATIONS INTO ARABIC FROM OTHER LANGUAGES
Korean Folk Tales, for Children, Al-Arabi Books, Kuwait, 2008
I and Surrealism, Salvador Dali, (Biography), Dubai al-Thaqafeyya magazine, UAE, 2010
One Thousand & One Lives, an Anthology of Selected Poems Written by the Korean Poet Ko Un), Dubai Thaqafeyya magazine, UAE, 2012
Qeddison Youhalleqo Baaidan (The Far-off Saint), Translated Poems Written by the Korean Poet Cho O-hyun, Bait-Alghasham, Muscat, Oman, 2013
A Depressingly Monotonous Landscape, Poetry Collection by Indian poet Hemant Divate, Cairo, 2016
TRANSLATIONS IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Shamawes, (Novel), (Korean), Seoul, South Korea, 2008
Una calle en el Cairo, (A street in Cairo), Poetry, (Spanish), Costa Rica, 2010