The Bombay Literary Magazine‘s mission is to promote writers through their fine work. We are also interested in nonfiction that looks at literature from a “writerly” perspective. We publish stories, poems, essays, reviews, visual narratives and graphic fiction.

Our people are mostly located in India, and hence our content has a certain South-Asian orientation. However, this is only an accident of geography. As our archives spanning 8 years and 50 issues and 263,000+ words will illustrate, we welcome writers from all over the world.

We love literature, but this love is not— at least we try to ensure it is not— a blind love. We like to mull over how something is written, and not get unbuttoned simply by what it is about, or why it was written, or who wrote it, or to which genre it belongs. Of course, we all know that style cannot be so neatly unzipped from content, yes, this we all know, of course. Unpacking this “of course” is of great interest to us.

This is why we aim to publish writing that affect us as readers and writers. Similarly, in forthcoming issues, our essays will focus on the literary, rather than the political or cultural or topical. Our reviews, unavoidably lengthy, will consider the work at hand from a writerly perspective.

But what does “Bombay” have to do with literature? Glad you asked this question. We could yammer endlessly about the spirit of Bombay, its Gully Boy ambitions, colonial hangovers, and how in a country obsessed with origins, it welcomes all, regardless of origin, and how the city is sone chandi ki dagariya tu dekh babua et cetera, et cetera. But basically, like all great literature, any great city is both universal and particular at the same time. Hence the “Bombay” in our name. Hope that has been cleared up?

It is an old truism in writing that a sufficiently long ramble eventually contradicts itself. We will reserve that delightful mode of self-discovery for a later conversation. Welcome to The Bombay Literary Magazine.

Masthead

Benoit Mandelbrot, who gave us the theory of fractals, began his book with the remark: “Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles and… nor does lightning travel in a straight line.” Ditto for organisations. Organisations are not triangles and pyramids. The layout below is roughly based on the order in which people joined The Bombay Literary Magazine.

Founder Editor

TANUJ SOLANKI writes fiction when he’s not busy at his job in a life insurance company. In 2019, he was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar for his short-story collection, Diwali in Muzaffarnagar. His latest novel, The Machine is Learning, was longlisted for the JCB Prize for Literature 2020. He lives in Gurugram and doesn’t mind it much.

Associate Editor

KINJAL SETHIA is a freelance writer-editor based in Pune. Presently she is working as a content strategist for a fin-tech startup. Her work has appeared at nether Quarterly, Borderless, Samyukta Fiction. She is a part of the writing collectives The Quarantine Train and Pune Writers’Group.

Visual Narratives Editor

SIDDHARTH DASGUPTA writes poetry and fiction from cities inflicted with an existential throb. His fourth book—A Moveable East (Red River)—arrived in 2021. Siddharth’s literature has appeared in journals around the world, while he has read in places like Lucknow, Galle, Istanbul, Mandalay, and Paris. The arts & culture being a constant part of his life, Siddharth also articulates stories for a smattering of publications. With a prior background in branding & advertising, his literature is often infused with visual conversations. He lives in the city of Poona.

In the following months, Siddharth will reshape the visual language of The Bombay Literary Magazine, while curating and cultivating arts-based literature and narratives for the journal. You’ll find the author on Instagram @citizen.bliss and https://citizenbliss.squarespace.com

Associate Editor & Social Media Expert

YASHASVI VACHHANI is a writer, facilitator and curriculum developer of children’s creative writing and arts workshops. She has a keen interest in poetry and tea.

Associate Poetry Editor

KUNJANA PARASHAR is a poet from Mumbai. Her poems have appeared in Poetry NorthwestThe Indian QuarterlyASAP|artWhat Are Birds?SWWIM Every DayColumbaHeavy Feather Review, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2021 Toto Funds the Arts award for poetry and the 2021 Deepankar Khiwani Memorial Prize.

Associate Editor

SHIVANI MUTNEJA found her way into print as a feisty feminist poet, but now she writes about ugly husbands, marital conundrums, and bizarre children. Her work has appeared in Nether Magazine, Jellyfish Review, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Two Serious Ladies and decomp journal among others. Her blog on medium which began as a curation of philosophical dilemmas in the kitchen is now steadily transforming into a meditation on Rene Magritte’s clouds.

Sysadmin Deva

Sumit Shetty, when he is not cooking, eating or thinking about either, can be found in his usual habitat of his over-tinkered work desk where he haunts spaces between design and code. He claims he likes to make stuff but mostly dabbles in them until someone says he’s good at it and gets his ass in line. From such experiments have emerged projects like Aetherwise (a web-dev agency) and Webisoda (a platform for Indian OTT content).

He also manages to write (poetry & fiction) whenever he’s trying hard to ignore pressing business matters and has pieces published in The Yearbook of Indian Poetry 2020-21, The Bombay Literary Magazine, The Alipore Post, Unlost Journal, Gulmohur Quarterly. He is an organiser with the Pune Writers’ Group, is working on a science-fiction novel, and also likes to play fast and loose with the term “working”

Editor-in-Chief

ANIL MENON estimates he is about 50% of the way into his hero’s journey. He has the usual list of awards-almost-won, residencies lounged at, stories translated into Igbo, movies acted in, and other happy side-effects of the writing life. He is the author of Half Of What I Say (Bloomsbury, 2015). A collection of his speculative short fiction, The Inconceivable Idea Of The Sun (Hachette) and a novel The Coincidence Plot (Simon & Schuster) will be published this year.

Poetry Editor

PERVIN SAKET was awarded the Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize 2021, and she was the inaugural Fellow for the Vancouver Manuscript Intensive, 2021. Her poems, including the collection A Tinge of Turmeric have been widely anthologised. Her novel Urmila has been adapted for the stage, featuring classical Indian dance forms of Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Odissi. Her work has been featured in The Indian Quarterly, Singapore Unbound, Paris Lit Up, Tiferet, Borderless Journal, The Madras Courier, Cold Noon, and others. Pervin is the co-founder of the annual Dum Pukht Writers’ Workshop and Managing Editor at The Quarantine Train: A Writers’ Collective.

Code God

ADITYA ATHALYE is here to tell you that this site works because of other peoples’ black magic. He’s pinched a book of spells and is trying to keep it up. He thinks the Internet is held together by duct tape and a hodgepodge of shell scripts. Sometimes he writes code that works sometimes. He lives in his head everywhere. But if you do catch him somewhere in meatspace, and it’s after 4PM, and he’s drinking any more filter coffee, please do everyone this favour. Gently pry the cup away from his hands. He can’t handle any more filter coffee after 4PM. His blog is just like this bio; took him forever to type out, and hasn’t really gone anywhere.

Poetry Editor

SAMPURNA CHATTARJI has published twenty books. These include the short story collection about Bombay/Mumbai, Dirty Love (Penguin, 2013); and ten poetry titles, the most recent being Elsewhere Where Else (Poetrywala, 2018) and Space Gulliver: Chronicles of an Alien (HarperCollins, 2020). Her translation of Joy Goswami’s prose poems After Death Comes Water (HarperCollins, 2021) has been described as “a living voice, inventive and vivid as the English of Joyce”.

Social Media & Branding Expert

ISHANI CHATTERJI  is a content and social media consultant. She oscillates between copywriting for brands and writing for herself, the latter being the harder one. You can find her in the nooks and corners of bookstores and small cafes, usually curled up with a book about cities and people, and always with a steaming cup of black coffee. She watches theatre, loves essays and has a new found love for annotating everything she reads.

Associate Poetry Editor

I have always unconsciously read and written snippets and reveries in several languages, walking around or on public transport. Some of these I bring to digital record and paper. It’s surprising to see my words on mothers or the woods make sense to others and my name at the end.

Associate Editor

When not busy with his software development job, Jigar is found thinking about stories. Everything that happens to him is fodder. So nothing in life is good or bad, but yet another opportunity for a workable story. He feels he has found his zen thus.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Arjun Rajendran

We are grateful to Arjun Rajendran, who as poetry editor of TBLM (2017-2020), shepherded some seventy poets through the publication process.

The Kolam Collective

The Bombay Literary Magazine is supported by a grant from The Kolam Collective. This allows us to offer our writers an honorarium.

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