Yavanika is a new digital chapbook press that “hopes to integrate multifarious genres of literature and artwork including Japanese short-forms of poetry, avant-garde, conceptual, and postmodern works of culture and art.”
Chapbooks from the press are published digitally and are available as free downloadable PDFs with beautiful formatting and always gorgeous art. “Yavanika Press is affiliated with the tri-annual literary & arts journal, Sonic Boom. Using the theatre metaphor of ‘the curtain’ as our reference point, we aim to cast the spotlight on bold and new emerging voices, as well as veterans of the craft.” You can download several examples on their web site to become familiar with the work they publish.
I wondered how and why this press came to be, so I asked editor Shloka Shankar a few questions to find out. See my interview with Shankar and a link to their submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Yavanika Press.
SHANKAR: The word “Yavanika,” roughly translated, refers to the “theatre curtain” in Sanskrit. We wanted to use the idea of the metaphorical curtain to cast a spotlight on new/emerging and established artistes. Moreover, the online (available for download) form of our publishing venture makes for greater accessibility of the work of emerging poets. So much of the reading we do these days is online, anyway. The chapbook format also offers a different experience. Writers do not have to wait for a more traditional full-length manuscript to emerge. The reader can dip into a poet’s work and decide if he/she wants to read more.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Yavanika Press originally started?
SHANKAR: Shobhana Kumar and I have been editing the literary & arts journal Sonic Boom for over three years now. I thought we were ready to start an affiliated press where we could publish more work by people whom we’ve long admired. The reason all our chapbooks are electronically produced is to ensure that all titles are widely read. There are no exorbitant shipping prices that would prove an obstacle to accessibility. We want an international audience.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
SHANKAR: Our target audience, simply put, is anyone who loves words, anyone who loves well-produced e-chapbooks that can be downloaded on a variety of platforms, and anyone who shares our passion for the craft of writing and the arts.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
SHANKAR: Our four main verticals are: i. poetry (all forms including experimental and found), ii. Japanese short-forms (all forms from haiku to cherita), iii. short prose (including prose poems and haibun), and iv. mixed-genre.
We want to read your unforgettable lines, your well-crafted images that demand our repeated attention, and a chapbook that is cohesive. We work with our authors from start to finish to produce the best results possible.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
SHANKAR: A collection that is an almost perfect meshing of voice, image, tone, and theme.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
SHANKAR:Otoliths, Right Hand Pointing, Former Cactus, Rogue Agent, The Wanderer, Under the Basho, Failed Haiku, Bones, Otata, Menacing Hedge, Lunch Ticket, Unlost Journal, and many more.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
DEADLINE: September 30, 2019
SUBMISSION FEE: None
FORMS: Chapbooks of Japanese short-forms, mixed genre, flash fiction, vignettes, short scenes/plays, hybrid forms, haibun, and works that resolutely defy categorization