The Sunflower Collective “is a blog that celebrates dilettantism in Poetry and aims at showcasing poets who have not necessarily been trained formally. We publish and reprint works of both published and unpublished poets we like. We dig the Beats and Hungryalist schools of poetry and believe in John Coltrane’s introspective philosophy of musical expression, which we feel is both personal and political.
Our aim is not to break the system per se. We are just looking for something new, something that does not talk about wine and cheese, and works only within the sphere of established forms and themes. Here is our manifesto.”
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about The Sunflower Collective.
KUMAR: TSC is a blog dedicated to publishing good poetry/prose, regardless of whether the poet or the writer has had any training. In fact, the less trained, the better it is for us.
HOPKINSON: How/why was The Sunflower Collective originally started?
KUMAR: TSC was started as a revolt against the pusillanimous, petty-minded literary scene we witness in India where poetry has become a zero-sum game: poets win at the cost of other poets. We do not believe in such a demeaning and degrading sense of competition among poets. More specifically, we dig the Beats and the Hungry Generation of writers from India, and we want to promote their work, without making any apology for the faults they may have had as poets and individuals. We believe rather in criticising them harder because we love them.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
KUMAR: Everyone who is not caught up in brazen self-promotion and empathises with the Other.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
KUMAR: Work charged with intensity and feeling, even if not highly accomplished in terms of form. Not merely playing around with language, camouflaging the ugly and the dirty that lies at the core of our souls. We want the warts. Beauty is overrated. And jarring in the age we live in.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
KUMAR: More prose of the experimental variety, the kind that William Burroughs wrote. Or just the free-flowing, all-in prose of Kerouac.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite journals?
KUMAR: Jacobin and Granta, internationally and Raiot and Cafe Dissensus in India, among others. Most are caught in the MFA trap we are trying to avoid.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
KUMAR: All details are on our submissions page.
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
KUMAR: Just send us an e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
FORMAT: digitally online
SUBMISSION FEE: None
FORMS: poetry, experimental/graphic poetry, prose, artwork, photographs, translation poetry