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Shillong calling

May 3, 2011

Every so often, something comes up that reaffirms one’s faith in the vitality of our country’s diversity… and creativity. The town of Shillong is home to a number of educational institutions- NEHU, the North East Hill University, the Indian Institute of Management, the National Institute of Technology, the Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures… some of which have been around for quite some time- after all, Shillong was the capital of Assam before the creation of Meghalaya, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. We have written earlier about the Vendrame Institute and its publications on our other blog, so this post is about something new and different.

Pyrta is a journal of poetry and other things based in Shillong. Drawing its name from the Khasi (to call out!) the journal calls out across the internet for contributions, and not just poems. As they say,  Pyrta is a little bit local, and mostly universal…. [The magazine]  aims to be a vibrant multicultural space – we’d  like voices from all over to contribute quality work categorised broadly under Poetry, Photo Essays, Prose, Sketches and Local morsels.

They are interested in just about anything, taking their cue from Paul Valery who said once, ” I can’t help it, I’m interested in everything” –

and want to provide authors/ photographers/ artists, whether new or established, a platform to share what they love doing…. [] submissions are welcome from anywhere. about anything.  (An example of a photo-essay, God’s Lonely People…)

The magazine can be read online, and is scheduled to appear five times a year- in keeping with the seasons in Meghalaya:  Pyrem (Spring), Lyiur (Summer),  Por Slap (Monsoon), Synrai (Fall), and Tlang (Winter). Four have appeared so far, with interesting and unusual contributions from a variety of old and new voices. The editor, Janice Pariat, and a small team put together the issues with love, imagination, and not a whole lot of money… They promise to bring out an annual print issue that puts together the best of the magazine- along the lines of Pratilipi, one imagines… From what we have seen on the net in terms of their poetry, prose and art, Pyrta in print is going to be terrific!

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