Monalisa Dash Dwibedy grew up in the coastal city of Puri, Odisha, India, famous for being the abode of Lord Jagannath and a home to beautiful beaches. As the eldest daughter of family, she was the first to attend and graduate from University. Her siblings, in their own rights, are accomplished. Her father, Rabindra Nath Dash is an author and she inherits the gift of writing from him. Graduating from Utkal University, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Physics followed by a master’s degree in computers applications, she taught computer science in a private college before joining Tata consultancy Services Ltd as Information Technology Consultant. For over a decade, she worked in IT industry. She currently resides in Toronto, Canada with her husband. A lover of mountains, she feels mountains always call her from faraway lands. She is a poet, writer, a lover of music, art and antiques, surrounding herself, always, with books and seeking to learn more. In 2017 she authored and published “Anjulae Smruti “(Palm full of memories), an odia poetry book, which received many beautiful reviews from contemporary poets and huge appreciation from the readers. Her debut English poetry book “Beyond the Strawberry Moon” is going to see the light of day very soon.
Her upcoming poetry book ““Beyond The Strawberry Moon” investigates topics of love, loss, forgiveness, environment, mental health, travel and the intersections of all of those and much more. This collection houses her poems which have been published in many international magazines as well as new poems previously unheard or unpublished.
Her works are featured in prestigious international anthologies and literally journals like, “Galaktika Poetike ATUNIS”, “Different Truths”, “Muse India “and Indian Ruminations. The magazine “Year of the Poet VI” is published every month by Inner Child Press International (USA). She was one of the featured poets in August 2019 edition of the magazine. She has participated in many global poetry contests and won awards for her excellent work. Her poems have been translated into Nepali and Guajarati languages.
Awards and Honors:
- Received “Honored Poets of India" recognition from Seychelles govt accredited literary organization LLSF for writing world class poetry.
- Received “World Poetic Star” award from World Nations Writers Union(WNWU) , Kazakhstan
- Story Mirror, India honored her as “Literary Colonel” for promoting literature.
When she is not writing, She is busy in gardening, making the world a better landscape.
Originally from India, Mona Dash now lives in London. With an education in Telecoms Engineering and Management from Odisha, she works as a sales manager in a leading global technology organisation. She writes fiction and poetry and her work has been anthologised widely and published in international journals. She has a Masters in Creative Writing (with distinction) from the London Metropolitan University.
Her memoir A Roll of the Dice: a story of loss, love and genetics has been published recently by Linen Press UK. This is a powerful story of the triumph of human spirit light of various challenges, exploring a mother’s journey when she loses her first child to a rare genetic condition, and then the struggles as she thinks of second child. She has been supported by noted authors like Neel Mukherjee, Bidisha, Roopa Farooki, Irenosen Okojie and Mahsuda Snaith.
She has two collections of poetry ‘Dawn- Drops’ (Writer’s Workshop, 2001) and ‘A certain way’ (Skylark Publications, UK 2016). ‘Untamed Heart’ (Tara India Research Press, 2016) is her first novel. Mona was awarded a ‘Poet of excellence’ award in the House of Lords’ in 2016. Mona has also participated in readings in prestigious venues in London such as the National Poetry Library, Lauderdale House, Nehru Centre, the House of Lords, The Library, Yurt Café to name some; and in literary festivals in the UK such as Southbank, Durham, Rochdale and Wolverhampton Literature festivals.
Her short stories have been shortlisted and longlisted in various competitions such as Bristol short story, Bath Short story, The Asian Writer, Fish Short story, Strand International, Words and Women to name some. She has won the Asian Writer Short Story Competition in 2018 for her story ‘Formations.’ Her short story collection, ‘Let us look elsewhere,’ was shortlisted for the SI Leeds Literary prize for unpublished work.
Mona’s work has been featured in journals such as Muse India, Kavya Bharati, The Lake, Setu, Episteme, LakeView International, Apocrypha and Abstractions, 3 Elements, Moonlight Review and in anthologies such as ‘The dance of the peacock,’ ‘Suvarnarekha,’ ‘Home Thoughts,’ ‘Searching for the Sublime,’ ‘Momaya Press Anthology,’ ‘Dividing Lines,’ and ‘The Other’ to name the more recent ones.
She is also part of a British South Asian Writer’s Collective called The Whole Kahan; their anthologies ‘Love Across a Broken Map’ (Dahlia Publications, UK) and ‘May we borrow your country’ (Linen Press, UK) have received critical acclaim.
More up to date information about Mona at www.monadash.net
Pankhuri Sinha is a bilingual writer, although she writes more in her mother tongue Hindi than in English. Her first award is for her Hindi poetry “Ek naya maun, ek naya udghosh’ for which she received the Prestigious Girija Kumar Mathur award in 1995, while studying in BA Honours part II, in Indraprastha College, Delhi University. Her first two books are collections of stories published in 2006 and 2008, with Gyanpith, a very prestigious name in Hindi publishing. Both these collections have received the love of readers and critical acclaim. She then, went on to publish two collections of Poems in English, Prison Talkies in 2013 and Dear Suzannah in 2014, both with Xlibris, Indiana. Since then, she has published four collections of poems in Hindi, Raktim Sandhiyan, Bahas Paar ki Lambi Dhoop, Pratyancha, and most recently, Geetil Raatein. She has also received numerous prestigious awards in between---Chitra Kumar Shailesh Matiyani Samman in 2007 for her first story collection koi-bhi-din, Rajeev Gandhi Excellence Award in 2013 for outstanding achievements in writing by Seemapuri Times, First Prize for poetry by Rajasthan Patrika in 2017, Pratilipi Kavita Award and many other prestigious awards. She is a student and teacher of Modern British History, currently teaching in a government college in Bihar, India. She did her Master’s in History from SUNY Buffalo in 2007. She has an incomplete Phd from University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, which she plans to finish in the near future. She received the Dean’s entrance fellowship at the time of her admission in the Phd programme in 2008 in the University of Calgary. Her poems have been translated in several Indian languages like Bengali, Marathi and languages abroad like Spanish, Serbian, Nepali, Turkish and Romanian. These Poems have also been published in magazines of these languages. She herself has translated Hungarian, Romanian, Serbian, Italian and Turkish poets. She also translated stories by Ramnika Gupta from Hindi to English, and the interview of reputed Indian theatre personality Ratan Thiyam by Udayan Vajpai from Hindi to English. She is also a freelance journalist and has interviewed several top politicians and writers like Shashi Tharoor, Mahesh Sharma, Mark Tully, the German dancer Anne Dietrich, Professor Critic Dr Margaret Koves, Prof Istvan Voros.