The Canada into which Contemporary Ghazals No. 1 was published in the summer of 2003 was not exactly a hospitable one. The Canadian literary scene of the day was simply out of sync with editor R. W. Watkins's higher technical standards and international poetic perspective. Too formal and intellectual for the artsy 'hipster' division of Generation X (represented by such publications as Broken Pencil and This Magazine); too exotic and 'indie' for the academics and writers' organisations (e.g., The League of Canadian Poets), who-in the words of Watkins-"merely take solace in each other's mediocrity", the magazine failed to attract contributors or readers in its native country-even among members of the (supposedly) more Eastern-attuned haiku community. Fortunately, the publication managed to get a foot in the door south of the border, where Kashmiri-born poet Agha Shahid Ali (1949-2001) had stirred up enough interest in the ghazal to warrant compiling and editing the Ravishing DisUnities anthology a few years earlier (Watkins was the only Canadian included in said book). Despite a series of delays that prevented the third issue from being published in a timely manner-owing largely to a move away from 'zine' culture and subsequent adjustments to a digital environment-Contemporary Ghazals continued to build a following in the US (and abroad) up until its discontinuation in 2016, when Watkins chose to replace it with Eastern Structures, a magazine more inclusive of various other Asian poetic forms.
Drawing on material from the first three issues, this 'concise Contemporary Ghazals collection' features modern examples of the ancient Asian form by such accomplished and regular practitioners as Steffen Horstmann, Denver Butson, Barbara Little, the recently deceased I. H. Rizvi, and Watkins himself. This sampler is actually the first in a series of slated CG-related archival publications from Nocturnal Iris, so watch this space....
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.07(d)|