Saturday, October 09, 2004

This is what we need to do

This is for Shakeel and Dina:

"Sometime in late 1974, Adil Jussawalla, Gieve Patel, Arun Kolatkar and I decided to form a small publishing co-op. The reason for setting it up was that though each of us had a manuscript of poems ready, there were, then as now, no publishers to send the manuscripts to. We called the co-op Clearing House. Half the money for it came from our own pockets, the rest through a pre-publication offer:

Rs 25 fetched you the set. We also shared the labour the best we could, though most of the leg work was done by Jussawalla.

The books, which appeared in 1976, had a square format with black end-papers and were designed by Kolatkar. The cover of Jussawalla's Missing Person showed a man in an overcoat, with the face out of focus; Patel's How Do You Withstand, Body, a kite, a man's bare chest framed in it; Kolatkar's Jejuri, an embossed image of Khandoba and his wife Mhalsa on a horse; and my Nine Enclosures, nine glass paperweights, each viewed from a different angle. Jejuri won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize 1977 and quickly went out of print. Today it is perhaps the only book of poems the English-speaking Indian might have heard of, apart from Tagore's Gitanjali."

More here:,00120001.htm

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