We'd like to think of
Catamaran as encouraging and sustaining writers who have recently
found their creative voice and vision and need a forum to hone their
craft. Catamaran will be published twice a year-once in the Fall and once in the
Spring. Next issue of Catamaran will come out 2009 April-May.
The word "catamaran," although
colloquially associated with a high-speed boat, has its origins
in South Asia. It is an anglicized form of the Tamil phrase "kattu
maram" (which translates literally as "tied wood/log") for a raft.
For us, therefore, "catamaran" has multiple evocations-South Asia,
the shared colonial history of South Asian nations, the contribution
to English of South Asian languages, the sense of adventure in setting
out on a raft, the energy of movement, the turbulence of the oceans.
This first issue of Catamaran
is dedicated to Agha Shahid Ali, the deeply loved and respected
poet from Kashmir who lived in the United States from 1975 until
his death from a brain tumor in December 2001. Shahid wrote eight
books of poetry, the most recent of which was nominated for the
2001 National Book Award; translated the poems of Urdu poet Faiz
Ahmed Faiz; wrote a critical work on T. S. Eliot; and edited an
anthology of ghazals. We commemorate Shahid's dedication to the
craft of poetry and his ebullient spirit and hope that other writers
will find inspiration in his life and work.
Our excitement at launching
Catamaran is not without sadness as well. We are deeply shocked
at the sudden and untimely death of one of our editors, Reetika
Vazirani, and her son. Reetika was an accomplished poet; we will
miss her astute reading of poetry and her keen ear for the word
and phrase that surprises and illuminates.
We thank all those who submitted
to the first issue. We look forward eagerly to submissions for forthcoming
~ Rajini Srikanth