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Publishers for the Diaspora writers and poets Skylark Publications UK A Non-Profit Foundation

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The first poet to receive this AWARD is


An  emerging voice to watch with one collection already under her belt

Find out more about Mona from her interview with Jaydeep Sarangi

Also read her short story on page 121 in Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts:

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Mona Dash

A Certain Way


A New Extraordinary British Poetic Voice to Watch


Mona Dash

Patrons: Lord Parekh & Lord Dholakia

The Word Masala Publication Award

Born and brought up in Orissa, India, Mona Dash moved to London in 2001.

With an education in Engineering and Business Administration, she works in a leading IT company.  She writes short stories and poetry and her work has been published in various magazines internationally such as Kavya Bharati, Muse India, The Lake, Poetry 24, 3 Elements, Dhauli Review, to name a few. Her work has also been anthologised in Suvarnarekha , Dance of the Peacock from India , Foreign Flavours, Foreign Encounters and other recent anthologies.

She gained a M.A in creative writing (distinction) in the London Metropolitan University and is perusing a PhD in Area Studies. Dawn-drops is her first collection of poetry published by Writer’s Workshop, India. Her first book of fiction 'Untamed Heart' was published by Tara India Research Press in 2016.

Mona’s Statement

Books have  been an integral part of my Life. Growing up in the small coastal town of Berhampur in Orissa, books were the way to escape, and experience life in distant countries. Whether it was Enid Blyton or Agatha Christie, the Bronte  sisters or Charles Dickens; by association England of the books was always present somewhere in my mind. And at home, there was a constant stream of writers and poets; I would see my mother writing in the evenings, discussing poetry on moonlit terraces. It was the normal way to be.

But Life intervenes . Studying for an Engineering degree in Burla and then a MBA in XIM, Bhubaneswar meant that my writing was for the odd college competitions and magazines.

I continued writing over the years. From poetry to short stories and full length fiction.  But I was a closet writer and hardly mentioned it in my social network

And that's how it is. If you really love books and really love writing, you will do it. Whether you get rejected a hundred times over, or wait with bated breath for that one phone call, that one email which will support your mad late night or early morning forays into the world of Literature; whether you win literary awards and achieve commercial success or whether you languish  in hope; you will do it only as there is no other way.

It's called writing from the heart, irrationally, stubbornly, persistently.

A certain way

As an immigrant,

I am expected to behave in a way

a certain way.

Colour the walls with turmeric,

fill my soul with lament

for the land whose shores I have left

to become richer economically

poorer emotionally.

Fold oil into long black hair,

dream the stars of the eastern skies,

in this land, the land I call my own,

but never to be my own.

Wrapped in sarees, sapphire blue, sindoor red,

meant to be nostalgic about the

monsoon spray dazzling my eyes

calming my burning skin.

 Instead, my mind

soothed by the nourishing cool green

of the land I live in,

energised by the glowing orange sun

of the land I come from,

decorates ice cubes with spice.

With silver anklets, red stilettoes,

the shortest, blackest dress,

I sip prosecco, spear olives expertly,

pile plates with rice and chicken curry

while in the garden

lavender, jasmine, clematis, and marigold,

spread their roots, dance their petals

into the pale grey wet skies

and the searing sunshine.

Uproot, grow, take root

parallel truths, a little of this,

a little of that.

For an immigrant,

there is no certain way to be.

Sindoor red - vermillion red

Mohini - an enchantress, seductress, a bold, confident, and modern woman. You couldn't be more wrong! This Mohini is a young, married woman trapped within the boundaries of duty and routine, a woman who has lost her passion for life and is fast becoming a frump. But when she finally dares to step out of the confines of her claustrophobic joint family home, she discovers a new world, she re-discovers herself. First the local gym, then a job, an overseas visit and through several men, Mohini starts to feel her power and a new sense of being. No longer inhibited, she moves swiftly from married to pursued to pursuer. But are men the answer? Are they the only way to rediscover her zest for life?

A Certain Way

A British debut collection

by a fresh emerging voice from the fringe

Typically, she mirrors the lives of all migrants, in achieving a poetic disequilibrium suspended between belonging and dislocation.

-Saleem Peeradina, poet, essayist, and author of Heart’s Beast: New and Selected Poems.


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