Poetry and Essays:
Hassanal Abdullah Roni Adhikari Kayes Ahmed Rassel Ahmed Chak Amitava Pallav Bandyopadhayay Stanley H. Barkan Nicholas Birns Jyotirmoy Datta Jyotiprakash Dutta Caroline Gill Nirmolendu Goon Clinton Van Inman John McLeod Manas Paul Matin Raihan Hasan Sabbir Naznin Seamon Amiyakumar Sengupta
Letters to the Editor:
Maria Bennett Laura Boss Stephen Cipot Joan Digby John Digby Arthur Dobrin Kristine Doll Maria Mazziotti Gillan Adel Gogy Mary Gogy Mike Graves Leigh Harrison Yvette Neisser Moreno Marsha Solomon Tino Villanueva Bill Wolak
Letters to the Editor:
Babette Albin Chandan Anwar Mansur Aziz Laura Boss Rumana Gani David Gershator Caroline Gill Isaac Goldemberg Zahirul Hasan Omar Faruque Jibon Gholam Moyenuddin Hasan Sabbir Subir Sarkar Tabrish Sarker Bikul Hossain Rojario
This fifteenth anniversary issue of Shabdaguchha is truly another milestone in the history of poetry. Shabdaguchha is a bridge across the wide waters, from Barisal to Briarwood and beyond, from Woodhaven to the world, as well as across the large divide between man’s basest instincts and his higher civilizing vision.
—Stanley H. Barkan
Shabdaguchha: The 15th Anniversary Issue
It is a pleasure to congratulate Shabdaguchha and its editor, Hassanal Abdullah, on this milestone 15th anniversary. Shabdaguchha is a major addition to the roster of literary journals. Its editor, Hassanal Abdullah, has shown daring and vision with both its content and international flavor. This international poetry magazine is always exciting and thought-provoking that one will want to read again and again.
—Laura Boss, Poet/Editor LIPS
Please allow me to borrow your ear. I have become quite thrilled and familiar with the discovery of one of your poets, Hassanal Abdullah. I first came across the wonderful find of Shabdaguchha at Poet’s House, then found a url online, and then of learning that he is one of your Cross-Cultural Communications poets—and I can well understand why. I have always been impressed by the lyrical rhythm of the Bengali language itself when I’ve heard it spoken—my work has a few native Bengali speakers, and the beauty of the language lulls me into the better part of a dream-like state to which I must surrender, though I cannot understand a word it is to me one of the most beautiful of spoken languages. Second, I have read a number of Hassanal’s translations as well as his own poetry, and I am even more impressed by the versatility and the gravity of the material he covers so easily and proficiently. Each poem presents both a vignette and a world, and much happens between the lines. These worlds are compact and at the same time immense and difficult to grasp, having dream-like qualities that impress upon the reader their beauty, as well as their pathos, for they speak of life imagined and lived; the depths from whence these poems come I can only imagine. Thus the heart of each is larger than the individual, and the purpose of this poetry is expansive. The poems remind we are all involved in the complicated process of living. They throw light on the shadows so that we may see the lines that divide and surround us. Some of the poems are like songs, refined, immense ballads of what religion should be though all too often unfortunately is not, and the doors are opened to us to glimpse the metaphysics of living with a keen eye. The epigraph from Swatantra Sonnet-123, is a prime example of this expansive view, covering both the defined as well as what cannot be easily defined:
We are the witness of our own hazardous time,
And whatever else is scattered around us,
With or without reason; with or without
Considering the non-phased consistency.
And so we stare at the sun, and wonder if we will ever live in peace? Here the implication is that we must implicitly surrender to the beautiful language of poetry and understanding, not war.
—Stephen Cipot, Poet
In this world of electronic minimalism, the publication of print text poetry and the gathering of authors for readings is a powerful gift that Shabdaguchha has given to all. This 15th anniversary is a blessing we celebrate with reverence.
—Joan and John Digby, Professor, LIU
Some of the world's greatest poetry has been in Bangladesh but has been hidden from the American audience. Thanks to Shabdaguchha, the contemporary voices from Bengal and Bangladesh can now be read here. Thanks to a great effort to bring great poetry to a wider audience.
—Arthur Dobrin, Poet, Professor Emeritus
It takes a great deal of vision and courage to publish poetry, even more so if it is poetry in languages other than English. Shabdaguchha is a vibrant, dynamic venue for so many voices that might not otherwise be heard, yet voices that deserve to be heard and recognized. Hassanal has brought us voices in Bengali, in Cajun, in Korean, in Spanish, in Welsh, in English . . . Voices of shared experience and lives. Hassanal's dedication to poetry and culture is incomparable and a true inspiration to all of us.
—Kristine Doll, Poet / Translator
Shabdaguchha is an impressive and eclectic journal. It includes work by poets from around the world and has become a great venue for exploring what is happening in poetry in other countries, as well as in the USA. The editor has done an amazing job of selecting beautiful and powerful work. He is to be congratulated.
—Maria Mazziotti Gillan
American Book Award winner
Editor of Paterson Literary Review
Hassanal Abdullah, through his marvelous journal of international poetry, Shabdaguchha, has done a superb job of bringing the work of Indian, Bengali, Welsh, South American, and even Cajun poets, to name a few, to an American audience. New Yorkers proud of their melting pot heritage need look no further than Shabdaguchha to find voices both similar to and wonderfully different from their own. His dedication to the art of poetry has enriched the form, and his support—editorial, philanthropic, and artistic—has given many poets sustenance and enabled them to create. Jackson Pollock defined the artist as "one who is building things . . . some with a brush—some with a shovel—some choose a pen." Hassanal Abdullah has chosen Shabdaguchha.
—Adel (photoartist) & Mary Gogy(novelist) and Marsha Solomon (artist)
I feel honored to have placed two poems in Shabdaguchha . . .
—Mike Graves, Poet / Presenter of the Phoenix Poetry Series
I first met Hassanal Abdullah when he was a featured guest at a poetry event. His presentation was genial, emotional, and literate. I liked him the minute I met him, and over the years, came to visit him at his home, and to co-read with him at numerous events. In the intervening decade, he submitted wonderful pieces to the magazine I worked for, Medicinal Purposes Literary Review, and he added to the joyousness and flow of ideas that we encouraged. And Hassanal has always been a powerful advocate for cross-cultural events, such as ones where he invited my musical duo, “BlueBird,” to perform at Bangladeshi parties at the high school where he teaches. His magazine, Shabdagucha, is part of that wonderful, necessary tradition of work in dual-languages. George Steiner said "of the tight-rope acts of language, that of the translation of poetry is the most defiant. There is no safety net"—and yet, Hassanal continues bravely on the path to connect people and cultures. I bless him for his work. I'm very proud to be a Consulting Editor to his magazine, and—more importantly—happy to be his friend.
—Leigh Harrison, poet, teacher, songwriter
With great admiration for your bravery and your contribution to cross-cultural understanding through poetry. Congratulations on 15 years of publishing an innovative bilingual magazine.
—Yvette Neisser Moreno, Poet, Translator
Coordinator of the DC-Area Literary Translators Network
In the world of small journals dedicated to poetry, Shabdaguchha ranks as one of the most exciting publications, as much for the steady quality of work appearing in it, as for the diversity of the (international) authors thus far published. Behind it is an energetic editor, Hassanal Abdullah, who makes sure each issue is crisply printed, and therefore readable. When he is not tending to his magazine he is organizing poetry festivals—a noble attempt at taking the spoken poetic word to the community. Congratulations, then, to the editor, on the 15th anniversary of Shabdaguchha. May both thrive for many decades to come.
—Tino Villanueva, Chicano poet / Professor at Boston University
It has been a great pleasure to be associated with Hassanal Abdullah's wonderful publication, Shabdaguchha. It has been even more of a pleasure to witness his involvement with the pure art of literature and its intersection with the pragmatics of its role in political and cultural struggle throughout the world. Our best wishes for continued success with Shabdaguchha!
—Bill Wolak and Maria Bennett, Poet and Professor, CUNY
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