Sreshtha Sen is a writer from Delhi, India. She studied Literatures in English from Delhi University and completed her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College, New York. Her work has been published in Breakwater Review, Bitch Media, MACK, Meridian, The Margins, and won an Amy Award in 2017. She was the 2017-18 McCrindle Foundations Fellow in the Readings/Workshops department at Poets & Writers. She currently lives and teaches in Las Vegas where she’s completing her PhD in English and Creative Writing.
Mostly, I’m looking for words that almost make me wish I had written them while simultaneously realizing I couldn’t possibly have because whoever wrote them was the only one capable of doing so. As a poet, the question I constantly ask of myself and my work is ‘what’s at stake here?’
Her five favourite poems (in no particular order) are:
- Leaving Your City (Agha Shahid Ali)
- Self-Portrait as So Much Potential (Chen Chen)
- Nikki-Rosa (Nikki Giovanni)
- Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong (Ocean Vuong)
- Meine usse yeh kaha (Habib Jalib), and
Ignatz Oasis (Monica Youn)
Shyamolie Singh writes poetry and occasionally, non-fiction. She studied Literatures in English from LSR, Delhi University and recently completed her graduate studies at the Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Kamila Shamsie once wrote an essay about her teacher, Agha Shahid Ali, where she recalled his response to some writer – who, despite his talent and “wordplay”, stopped short of “breaking my [Shahid’s] —and his own—heart.” This has held me in good stead over the years in understanding what I look for when I read poetry, or any writing. It is often hard to pin down and explain, but I love coming across new writing that tells me a story that I may or may not have known before, but does so in ways in that are both political and personal, intimate and intense.
Her five favourite poems in no particular order are:
- Agha Shahid Ali’s “Farewell”
- Adrienne Rich’s Poem XVI from “Twenty-One Love Poems”
- June Jordan’s “From Sea to Shining Sea”
- Namdeo Dhasal’s “Cruelty”
- Salma’s “A Midnight Tale”