Do You See?



Okay, tomorrow is the day. Project Verse begins June 8. PV is supposed to be a grueling poetry competition, and fun too, designed by poet and activist Dustin Brookshire. Read his blog I Was Born Doing Reference Work In Sin to learn more about it. He has updates coming regularly under the label .

How did I know about it? Well, by browsing blogs… finding Dustin through some Facebook friends and thanking my luck I did. I even posted the initial application call — Project Verse Seeks Applicants — on my FB page for all else to see and join. Why did I join it? Because I felt this competition would allow me to write more and thoroughly, which I often shirk, and besides, would bring me closer to several poets’ work enabling me to learn a lot more. Dustin’s activism and writing itself held my interest when I first read the call notice and browsed his blog.

The inaugural Project Verse Competitors are:

Andrew Clark-Kennedy

Jennifer Werner

Robert Walker

Nabina Das

Emily Van Duyne

Micah Ling

Kristen McHenry

Niina Pollari

Emari DiGiorgio

Martin Ott

To begin with, all applicants were asked to write a note with their material based on a prompt — Ellen Bryant Voigt: “It’s all a draft until you die.”

That line sure came across as challenging to me. I mean if this is what poet Bryant Voigt said about poetry, I do have a right to express my opinion before I die! The line is deep in its implications and provocative in its suppositions. And I felt adamant reading it.

This note, my own expression, a cover letter and a few unpublished poems were submitted as application material. Got to hear from Dustin that I am now one of the 10 short-listed competitors for the honors offered by Project Verse. And by the gods of poesy, isn’t this going to be one rigorous ride.

Dustin’s blogpost teases: ‘Can you write under pressure without breaking a sweat?’ Hell I can’t! I’m mortally scared of competitions although well wishers say I perform well under pressure. Well, be that as it may, I think I do well only if Madame Pressure leaves me alone with my faithful laptop. Wouldn’t I be a Wall Street fatcat otherwise?

More about Dustin Brookshire: “In 2008, Dustin founded LIMP WRIST and Quarrel. He has been featured at poetry readings in Atlanta as well as Savannah, and his work has been published in numerous online magazines as well as in Atlanta’s DAVID magazine. Besides writing poetry and ‘cooking up’ poetry projects, Dustin enjoys serving on the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival Committee, and keeping elected officials on their toes. Contact Dustin via email:

So get out the swords, sheaths and helmets. The rattle and the battle of Project Verse begins! Also, get some body sprays and room fresheners because I will be writing from the heat of Indian summer.
The cover art above is from the current edition of Quay Journal where my poem “The First Apple Sings a Ruba’i” just came out. Although delayed for several months, this journal is a beautiful one with wonderful writings all along. Go to to read mine and others’ works.


  1. riya manna
    June 8, 2009

    > Send gifts to Brazil, Online delivery of flowers to Brazil, gift to Brazil chocolates, cakes, watches, teddy, sweets, fresh fruits, dry fruits.Anniversary, birthday, wedding gifts, cakes to Italy Mithai Same day delivery to Brazil Gift Shop.

  2. The Good Typist
    June 29, 2009

    >Nabina, I'm just popping in to say I thought you were a tough competitor, and I'm sorry to see you go. 😦 I looked forward to reading your poems each week. I'll pop in on your blog regularly and keep up with your goings-on.–Kristen

  3. fleuve-souterrain
    July 3, 2009

    >Kristen! thank you… how kind of you to visit my blog. I'm happy I played on and the judges took a fair decision. Would've loved to go a little far in PV though!Although I'm out, I'd be checking Dustin's site and reading the contestants' work.I wish you all the luck! Have a great time writing for PV:)

  4. Tim Buck
    July 25, 2009

    >Congratulations, Nabina. When do the sparks fly? Or have they already?

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This entry was posted on June 7, 2009 by in Dustin Brookshire, Nabina Das, poetry, Project Verse.
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