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Akhil Katyal is a writer and translator based in Delhi. His first book of poems, Night Charge Extra, was published by Writers Workshop in 2015. He finished his PhD at SOAS and currently teaches literature at Shiv Nadar University (SNU) in Uttar Pradesh.

Anjana Kothamachu is a visual artist based in Bangalore. She has a degree in Fine Arts and has also  studied animation. She has participated in several residency programs including Khoj and ISCP (NYC) in 2015, and Prohelvetia (Zurich) in 2016. Her work has been part of exhibitions and screening in India and elsewhere, including  the Creative India Public Art Intensive and the Changwon Sculpture Biennale, Korea.

Ashok Vajpeyi is a popular Hindi poet, essayist and critic. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1994 for his poetry collection Kahin Nahin Wahin which he returned in 2015 as a gesture of protest against increasing intolerance in the country.

Balagopalan is a sculptor-painter based in Delhi. He also collaborates with theatre productions and curators. His work, he says, “engages with metaphysical and philosophical ideas combined with traditional and contemporary poetic tradition.”

Civic Chandran is a poet and playwright, especially well-known for his powerful street-plays. He was a school teacher in Wayanad. He edits a journal of resistance, Patabhedam that  raises significant social, political, human-rights and environmental issues.

Divya Rajan‘s works have appeared, or are forthcoming in, Berfrois, After Hours, Missing Slate, Gloom Cupboard, Silk and SpiceChicago anthology, and several others. She has previously served as a co-editor at The Furnace Review.

Gorakh Pandey (1945-89) was a popular Hindi poet from Uttar Pradesh. He is known his collections Bhojpuri ken au geet (1978), Jagte raho sone walon (1983) and Swarg se bidai (1989).

K. Satchidanandan is a widely translated Malayalam poet and a bilingual writer, translator and editor. His most recent works available in English are While I Write and Misplaced Objects and Other Poems. For more on the author and his work see

Latha Viswanathan is the author of a collection of short stories, Lingering Tide, which received honorable mention in the Southern California Book Festival and the New York Book Festival. The story “Brittle” appeared in this collection. Her stories have won several awards including the Goodheart Prize for fiction and two Pushcart nominations.

M.M. Somashekharan is a theoretician of Marxist politics as well as a cultural theorist. He was a student at Government College, Madappally, when he was arrested in connection with the Naxalite attack on Kayanna police station. He  was then jailed in the Central Prison, Kannoor.

The late Muhammad Ali was a voracious reader, poet and activist.

Nilima Sheikh studied history at Delhi University, and painting at MS University, where she later taught between 1977 and 1981. She began exhibiting her work in 1969 and has had 12 solo exhibitions. She has participated in several artists’ camps and residencies, both in India and elsewhere. Her interest in theatre has led her to design theatre sets for several productions;  she has also illustrated books for children, and written essays for journals and art books.

Orijit Sen is a graphic artist, cartoonist, muralist and designer. He is the author of the graphic novel River of Stories, as well as many other works of graphic fiction and non-fiction. He is one of the founders of People Tree – a collaborative studio and store for artists, designers and craftspeople. Sen is also Mario Miranda Chair Visiting Professor at Goa University.

P.K. Parakkadavu has published story collections, children’s literature, essays, memoirs, and translations. He received the S.K. Pottekkad Award for Maunathinte Nilavili (The Wail of Silence); the Abu Dhabi “Arangu” Sahitya Award for P K Parakkadavinte Kathakal; the Vaikom Muhammad Basheer Award of the Kerala Language Institute for the collection Aval Peyyunnu (She Rains); and the Kuttamath Award for the poem “Sneham Kaaykkunna Maram” (“The Love-bearing Tree”).

The late P. Udayabhanu was was a regular contributor of poems to periodicals and also published a book of collected poems. He also wrote the Introduction to the first edition of Thadavarakkavitakal. He also worked with All India Radio. Udayabhanu was arrested when he was a student of history at the Government College, Madappally, and  spent more than 500 days in the Central Prison, Kannoor.

Om Prakash Valmiki (1950-2013) is one of the most important literary voice in Hindi literature. He was a Dalit writer and poet from Uttar Pradesh. His autobiography Joothan (1997) is considered a major milestone in Hindi and Dalit writing.

Pratheesh is a poet and artist. He has published three poetry collections in Malayalam. He Lives and works in Kerala.

Rahul Rai is a poet and a playwright. He has worked with theatre groups such as The Players in Delhi, and Motley in Mumbai. He is the co-founder of the theatre company, T for Theatre. He is an editor and contributor to Kachhikavita, an online journal of poetry in Hindi. His plays include Kaali Ghadi, ShoonyBattaSannata, Daalmot and Virah. His most recent play is Outer Dilli.

Rajesh Joshi is a Hindi poet, playwright and a journalist. He was the recipient of the 2002 Sahitya Akademi Award in Hindi for his collection of poems Do Panktiyon Ke Beech (Between Two Lines); he returned this award  in 2015 in protest against growing intolerance. He currently lives in Bhopal.

Shriranga was the pen name of Adya Rangacharya, (1904-1984), one of India’s most eminent dramatists. He wrote 40 full-length and 67 one-act plays, as well as books and articles on the theatre. He also wrote on the Gita and translated Bharata’s Natyashastra into Kannada and English. He received the Central Sahitya Akademi and the Sangeet Natak Akademi awards, and the Padma Bhushan. He was the first Director of the Kalidasa Academy in Ujjain.

Shashi Deshpande has written novels, short stories, essays and books for children over several decades, and has also translated work from Kannada and Marathi into English. Her most recent novel is Strangers to Ourselves.

K.K. Muhamed did his M.A. in Visual Arts from Kala Bhavan, Viswabarati University, Shantiniketan. He has had eight solo exhibitions in in India and more than more than 45 group shows in India and abroad. He has received several awards, including the Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy Award in 1990; the India International Arts Centre Kolkata Award;  the Working Artists Association Award from Orissa; and the Bombay Arts Society  Award.

Laxman Guru of Nipani is a jogappa (transwoman) who sings devotional songs in Marathi.

Siddappa G. Algonda is a jogappa (transwoman) who sings devotional songs in Kannada.

Sukanya Ramgopal is India’s first woman ghatam player. Disciple of ghatam legend Sri Vikku Vinayakram, she is one of the foremost exponents of Carnatic percussion in India. She has performed extensively at home and abroad. The Ghata Tharang, where she plays melody on multiple ghatams, is her brainchild. She leads an all women’s instrumental ensemble called Sthree Thaal Tharang. Recipient of numerous awards and titles, she received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2014.

Sumana Chandrashekar is a Carnatic vocalist and a ghatam player. A student of Vidushi Rupa Sridhar for vocal music and Vidushi Sukanya Ramgopal for the ghatam, she has worked on music education projects and conducted music/ sound workshops for school teachers. She was the project coordinator for a ghatam- making training project supported by the Sangeet Natak Akademi. In 2015, she received a grant from the Sandbox Collective – Goethe Institut to create an experimental performance work titled Rendu Ghatam. She currently works as a Programme Executive, responsible for the Arts Practice programme at the India Foundation for the Arts.

Uday Prakash is a contemporary Hindi poet, scholar, journalist, translator and short-story writer. He was a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award for his collection of short stories Mohan Das; he returned the award protest in 2015 in response to the murder of scholar M.M. Kalburgi.

V.K. Prabhakaran is a poet and playwright. He was a student at Government College, Madappally, when arrested in connection with the Naxalite attack on Kayanna  police station and spent time in the Central Prison, Kannoor.

Yaseen Ashraf is the Associate Editor of Madhyamam, and the Managing Director of Madhyamam Broadcasting Limited. Earlier, he was Associate Professor and Head of the Department of English at Farook College, Calicut. He has authored several books in English and Malayalam, including two original books, six translations, reviews and articles. He has won the Muttathu Varkey Award, the Calicut Press Club Award and the Pandalam Rama Varma Award for the best editorial in Malayalam.