Te Aroha - Literature Studio Writers' Retreat started on 3rd Nov in Dhanachuli, Uttarakhand, India

Te Aroha - Literature Studio Writers' Retreat started on 3rd Nov in Dhanachuli, India and this Photo Journey shares about the writers who are participating this retreat planned by teams of Literature Studio and Te Aroha. 

Above are some of the photographs from day1 - Meet n Greet !

Amir Or, born in Tel Aviv in 1956, is the author of eleven volumes of poetry in Hebrew. His latest books are Heart Beast (2010), Prophecy of the Madman (2012) and Loot (Selected poems 1977-2013). His poems, translated into more than forty languages, have appeared in poetry journals, anthologies, as well as in eighteen books in Europe and America. Among them are Poem and Day (Dedalus, 2004, 2006,); The Museum of Time (ArtAark, 2009; Dutch, Azul Press 2012), Miracle/Milagro (Spanish/English, Urpi Editores, U.S. 2011) Loot (Serbian, Arhipelag Press 2012, 2014, Şiirden, Turkish 2014), Le Musée du Temps (Editons de l'Amandier, 2013), Let's Speak You (English/Romanian/Hebrew, Contemporary Literature Press 2014) and Tredici Poesie (Italian, Milan 2014).

Or gave readings and lectured in dozens of festivals and conferences worldwide. He is the recipient of Israeli and international poetry awards, including the Pleiades tribute (SPE 2000) for having made “a significant contribution to modern world poetry”, the Fulbright Award for Writers, the Bernstein Prize, the Levi Eshkol Prime Minister’s Poetry Prize, the Oeneumi literary prize 2010 of the Tetovo Poetry Festival, the Wine Poetry prize 2013 of the Struga Poetry Evenings and the 'Stefan Mitrov Ljubisa' Award 2014 of The Budva City Theater. He was also awarded several poetry fellowships, among them fellowships from Iowa University; the Centre of Jewish-Hebrew Studies at the University of Oxford; the Literarische Colloquium, Berlin; the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Ireland; and the Hawthornden Castle, Scotland.

He translated into Hebrew eight prose and poetry books, including The Gospel of Thomas; Stories from the Mahabharata; and Limb Loosening Desire, an anthology of erotic Greek poetry. For his translations from ancient Greek he was awarded the Culture Minister Prize.

Or has studied Philosophy and Comparative Religion at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he later lectured on Ancient Greek Religion. He has taught poetry and creative writing at Helicon Poetry School, as well as at universities in Israel, Europe, the U.S., and Japan. He has published numerous essays on poetry, classic studies, and comparative religion.

In 1990 Or co-founded Helicon Poetry Society and later on served as Helicon's Chief Editor and Artistic Director. He initiated and developed its various projects, including Helicon's poetry journal and its series of poetry books; the Sha’ar International Poetry Festival; and the Helicon Hebrew-Arabic Poetry School.

Or serves as editor of the Catuv poetry books series. as national editor of the international poetry magazines Atlas and Blesok, and as a national coordinator for the U.N. sponsored UPC venture, “Poets for Peace.” He is a founding member of the EACWP (European Association of Creative Writing Programs) of the international Circle of Poets and of the WPM (World Poetry Movement).

Charu Nivedita - With several novels and short stories to his credit, Charu Nivedita has often been termed as the most controversial Tamil writer of this period as he elicits extreme reactions by his admirers and his critics alike. He is known for his racy style of writing and his ability to write on untouched topics with ease. His novel Existentialismum Fancy Baniyanum used innovative storytelling techniques, whereas his Magnum Opus Zero degree is considered to be one of the best in transgressive fiction. Charu has written numerous articles on topics such as politics, literature, music, cinema, post-modernism, and general human beliefs. He is also a social activist. Charu lives in Chennai.

Geet Chaturvedi (b.1977) is a Hindi poet and novelist. He has authored five books till now. He published three books in 2010, two collections of novellas- namely Savant Aunty ki ladkiyan and Pink Slip Daddy and a collection of poetry called, Aalaap Mein Girah. He was awarded the Bharat Bhushan Agrawal Award for poetry in 2007 and was named one of the ‘Ten Best Writers’ of India by esteemed English daily The Indian Express in 2011. His poems have been translated into eight languages. He, currently, is working on his first full-length novel ‘Ranikhet Xpress’. He lives in Bhopal, India.

Kiran Manral was a journalist before she quit to be full time mommy. Her debut novel, The Reluctant Detective, was published by Westland in 2012 and her second novel, Once Upon A Crush, was published byLeadstart in May 2014. Her blogs,www.thirtysixandcounting.wordpress.com andwww.karmickids.blogspot.com , are both in Labnol’s list of India’s top blogs, and Karmickids is among the top five parenting blogs in India according to Blogadda. She was a Tehelka blogger columnist on gender issues. She is also considered a ‘social media star’ on twitter by the TOI and IBN Live named her as among the 30 interesting Indian women to follow on twitter and among the top 10 Indian moms to follow on twitter for 2013. Sheroes named her as among the top 20 women influencers from India on twitter in 2014. (http://sheroes.in/articles/must-follow-women-influencers-on-twitter/NDAw) Post 26/11, she founded India Helps, a volunteer network to help disaster victims post 26/11 and has worked on long term rehabilitation of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack victims and 13/7 Mumbai bomb blast victims, amongst others. She is part of the core founding team behind CSAAM (www.csaawarenessmonth.com  and Violence Against Women Awareness Month (www.vawawareness.wordpress.com), two very well received social media awareness initiatives across twitter and the blogosphere.

Kulpreet Yadav’s latest novel ‘Catching the Departed’ was shortlisted by Hachette-DNA in a contest called ‘Hunt for the Next Bestseller’ and launched at ‘The Arts House, Singapore’ on 18 July 2014. He is the Founder-Editor of Open Road Review, an international literary magazine that has published over 130 writers from 20 countries in the last three years. As a Creative Writing Mentor, Kulpreet has conducted several workshops for aspiring writers in India. Shortlisted several times in literary contests, Kulpreet‘s stories and essays have appeared in over 30 publications, in India and elsewhere. He lives in New Delhi.

More at www.kulpreetyadav.in. 

A graduate of the Cordon Bleu Culinary School, London, Chef Michael Swamy has done his specialization in Bakery and Patisserie. He has trained under and worked with several Michelin Chefs in the UK. This experience coupled with his culinary expertise has enabled Michael to take Food Styling & Photography in India to a new level of refinement and global appeal. As a food writer, he is also the author of The East Indian Kitchen, which won the Gourmand Award 2011-12 in the Best Indian Cookbook (Technical) category. His latest book Easy Guide to Pairing Indian Food and Wine has also been much appreciated. Michael has also contributed to several lifestyle and food magazines, and his work has also been featured in the internationally-acclaimed Huffington Post.

Preeti Shenoy, among the highest selling authors in India (Source: Nielsen scan) is also on the Forbes longlist of the most influential celebrities in India.

India Today has named her as being unique for being the only woman in the best-selling league. Her second book Life is what you make it ‘continues to top the best-selling charts. Her third Tea for two and a piece of cake made it to the top five best-selling Indian fiction of 2012. Her fourth, The Secret Wish List was among the top ten fiction of 2013. Her fifth, The One You Cannot Have, debuted at No.2 on the Nielsen list. The sixth will be out in December 2014.

In the past she has written for various publications such as Times of India and Readers Digest. She currently writes a regular column in The Financial Chronicle. She has also given several talks in many educational institutions such as IITs and IIMs. She is also an artist specialising in portraiture. Her other interests are travel, photography and yoga.

Sudeep Sen [www.sudeepsen.net] is widely recognised as a major new generation voice in world literature and ‘one of the finest younger English-language poets in the international literary scene’ (BBC Radio). He received a Pleiades Honour (at the Struga Poetry Festival, Macedonia) for having made “a significant contribution to contemporary world poetry”. Sen’s prize-winning books include: Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems (HarperCollins), Distracted Geographies, Rain, Aria (A K Ramanujan Translation Award), Ladakh, and The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (editor). Blue Nude: Selected Poems 1980-2015 (Jorge Zalamea International Poetry Prize) is forthcoming from Partridge | Penguin Random House. His poems, translated into twenty-five languages, have featured in major international anthologies. His words have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, Newsweek, Guardian, Observer, Independent, Telegraph, Herald, Harvard Review, Hindu, Hindustan Times, Times of India, Outlook, India Today, and broadcast on bbc, pbs, cnn ibn, ndtv, air & Doordarshan. Sen’s newer work appears in New Writing 15 (Granta), Language for a New Century (Norton), Leela (Collins), Indian Love Poems (Knopf/Random House/Everyman), Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe), and Initiate: Oxford New Writing (Blackwell). He is the editorial director of aark arts and the editor of Atlas.

As a photographer and graphic artist, his work is part of many professional print portfolios, magazine and newspaper pieces, book jacket covers, and private collections. His publications credits include: Hindu, Deccan Chronicle, New Indian Express, Swagat, Gallerie, Biblio, Prairie Schooner, Molossus, World Literature Today, Indian Design & Interiors, and others; plus books covers for publishers such as HarperCollins, Peepal Tree, Mulfran, Wings Press, Women Unlimited, Gallerie, Aark Arts, UPL, Bengal Gallery, and many others. He has also published two books of photography, Prayer Flag and Postcards from Bangladesh. Sen lives and works in New Delhi.

Sen is the first Asian to be honoured with an invitation to participate at the 2013 Nobel Laureate Week in St Lucia, where he delivered the Derek Walcott Lecture and read his own poetry. A special commemorative edition of his work, Fractals: New & Selected Poems|Translations 1978-2013, was released by the Nobel laureate Derek Walcott himself in the presence of H.E. Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor General (President) of St Lucia. This year, the Government of India Ministry of Culture’s awarded him the senior fellowship for “outstanding persons in the field of culture".

Picture credit: Aria Sen

Vineetha Mokkil graduated from an interdisciplinary Master’s ’s program in humanities at New York University. She is the author of A Happy Place and Other Stories (HarperCollins India, April 2014). Her fiction has appeared in The Santa Fe Writers Project Journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, The Missing Slate, The Northeast Review and in the anthology of contemporary Indian short fiction, Why We Don’t Talk. Her first novel is in the pipeline.

Vineetha has contributed book reviews, interviews and features to publications including The Asian Review of Books, The Times of India, First City, Open magazine, and Earthen Lamp Journal. She is currently based in New Delhi.

Maulshri is an intuitive wordsmith who expresses her myriad ideas on life, at times in two languages. She has a finely tuned sixth sense and displays a forensic ability to provide uncanny insights about a given situation. A spiritual seeker, thinker, dreamer, voraciously optimistic and eternally hopeful, Maulshri identifies most with the word “soulful”. She lives in Houston, Texas, USA and has a daughter, Tarini who has the most sparkling eyes.

Rashmi Nambiar writes stories for “Yaadon ka Idiot Box with Neelesh Misra” aired on 92.7 Big FM. 12 years of hectic corporate life as a HR personnel and writing is how she unwinds. “Somewhere deep within me, the sleepy little town of my childhood and the people whom I saw and heard of are still there and writing is my time machine. I write for myself, my friends,” She says.

Saritha Rao Rayachoti is a Chennai-based writer whose stories have been published in anthologies like Urban Shots:Crossroads and The City of Gods. She is also an independent writer who loves exploring diverse aspects of culture and travel for Indian media publications. Saritha is a self-professed over-thinker and delves into layers, symbols and meaning, sometimes amused by her compulsion to interpret everything.

At 19, Supriya, our fourth contest winner, is the youngest participant of the Retreat. We are sure there is much more to this talented young lady but for now here's her brief biography:

Probing this quaint world of words, Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal has been writing since many years and publishing it here and there. Her poems are the fodder of her mind and help her in quenching the thirst of her wanderlust.

 A journalist for 12 years now, Vikas Vijayovich has predominantly worked in news agencies – UNI and now IANS – save for a brief stint with Times of India in Lucknow. On the desk in a supervisory position from 2004, he has done a considerable amount of reporting spanning political events including elections and parliamentary proceedings, defence events, diplomatic visits, business meets and cultural and literary events in India and abroad. He also writes a weekly column on books for IANS and occasionally review books.

For the full list of participants of the retreat, visit this link: http://literaturestudio.in/somewhere-in-the-yellow-and-green-splendor-the-te-aroha-literature-studio-writers-retreat/

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