Narayan Ramchandran is father of two girls, husband of writer, social entrepreneur, columnist and emerging market investor in that order. He worked on Wall Street (mostly at Morgan Stanley) for over 20 years, most recently as head of global emerging market investing and then country head of Morgan Stanley in India.
P Sivakami is a prolific writer, poet and an activist. She has published five novels, four short story collections, five essay collections and two poetry collections. Most of her works are translated in to English and other foreign languages. Her first self translated novel ‘The Grip of Change’, rated as among the first five favourite novels of India by BBC literary review, has been prescribed as a text in translation studies in many colleges. Her second novel ‘The Taming of Women’ was published by Penguin while another novel Kurukku Vettu has been published by the Sahitya Akademi under the title The Cross Section. Sivakami has served the Sahitya Akademi as its advisory member. She founded South India Dalit Writers and Artists Forum in 2002. The forum has successfully organised several seminars and conferences for the writers and awareness camps for the marginalised including the tribal and the transgendered. For the first time the oral traditions of the tribal and the transgendered were published in Tamil through this forum. The continuous struggle by the Dalit Land Right Movement, founded by Sivakami in 2004, has resulted in policy announcement of distribution of 2 acres to the landless and establishing a Commission to restore the Panchami Land to the Dalits by the government. She also founded Women's Forum in 2005 with an objective of creating a support base for the land movement and to promote the cause of downtrodden women. Sivakami is Editor of a monthly literary magazine Pudhiya Kodangi since 1995. The magazine, with over 7000 subscribers in India and abroad, provides space for upcoming Dalit writers and covers issues relating to the marginalised. As an IAS officer from 1980 to 2008, Sivakami served the Government of Tamil Nadu and the central Govt till she voluntarily retired to serve the poor and the disadvantaged. In 2008 she joined BSP and she launched a political party ‘Samuga Samatuva Padai’ in 2010.
Mustansir Dalvi is an Anglophone poet, architect and translator. His first book of poems, Brouhahas of Cocks (2013), was published by Poetrywala. His poems have appeared in several anthologies, including These My Words: The Penguin Book of Indian Poetry (eds. Eunice de Souza and Melanie Silgardo), Mind Mutations (ed. Sirrus Poe), The Bigbridge Online Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry (ed. Menka Shivdasani), and in the Sahitya Akademi’s To Catch A Poem, an Anthology of Poetry for Young People (eds. Jane Bhandari and Anju Makhija). Dalvi's translation of Iqbal’s influential Shikwa and Jawaab-e-Shikwa from the Urdu as Taking Issue and Allah’s Answer (Penguin Classics, 2012) has been described as ‘insolent and heretical’, while making Iqbal accessible to the contemporary reader. His latest book is 'struggles with imagined gods', translations of poems from the Marathi by Hemant Divate (Poetrywala, 2014).
Saad Z Hossain writes in a niche genre of fantasy, science fiction and black comedy which, on the balance of it, very few people actually want to read. Due to the stunning unpopularity of his writing he has been forced to work in various industries. This includes drilling holes, making rope, throwing parties, operating an illegal sports book and failing to run a restaurant. Needless to say, working for a living is highly overrated. His novel, Escape from Baghdad!, was published in India by Aleph Book Company and in the US by Unnamed Press.
Christine Chia is the author of the critically acclaimed The Law of Second Marriages (Math Paper Press) and a sequel, Separation: a history (Ethos Books). She was a featured writer at the Singapore Literature Festival in New York and contributed poetry to Washington Square, Prairie Schooner, UNION: 15 Years of Drunken Boat, 50 Years of Writing From Singapore, softblow, the Substation Love Letters Project and W!ld Rice’s theatrical production of Another Country. She is working on her first novel.
Hemant Divate is an acclaimed Marathi poet, editor, publisher and translator. He is the author of five poetry collections in Marathi. Poetrywala has recently published his ‘Selected Poems 1990-2015 in English translation. He has won several prominent awards, including the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award (Kolkata, India), Maharashtra Foundation Award (USA) and Aksharrang Lokmat Award. Hemant has presented his poetry in many national and international poetry and literature festivals in Europe, Latin America and Asia. His poems have been translated into English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Slovak, Irish, Arabic, Japanese and all major languages in India. His first book of poems in Marathi Chautishiparyantchya Kavita is translated in English, titled Virus Alert (2003). This book of poems is also translated into Spanish and published as Alarma de Virus, and in Irish, as Foláireamh Víris. He is the founder-editor of the prestigious Marathi little magazine AbhidhaNantar. His publishing house, Paperwall Media & Publishing, has published under its Poetrywala imprint more than 75 poetry collections. Hemant lives and works in Mumbai.
Zac O'Yeah is the author of popular comic thrillers "Once Upon a Time in Scandinavistan" (2010) and "Mr. Majestic!" (2013) and eleven other books, and he has been translated into several languages. His latest novel is "Hari, a Hero for Hire" (2015). His books range from bestselling detective fiction to history and travelogue, and he has also translated Indian literature into Swedish. As a veteran travel writer, he is a frequent contributor to National Geographic Traveller magazine, and he is also a columnist with The Hindu BusinessLine and an influential literary critic. Download his updates from www.zacoyeah.com
Vivek Menezes is a co-founder and Festival Curator of GALF alongside Damodar Mauzo. He is a widely published writer and photographer, and frequent contributor to leading periodicals in India and abroad, as well as a weekly columnist for Times of India. His reviews and essays about literature and art are regularly featured in publications like Art India and Mint. VM was born in Bombay, went to high school in New York, and holds degrees from Wesleyan University and the London School of Economics. Previous career highlights include driving the safari train at the Bronx Zoo, cataloguing the private archives of Francis Newton Souza, serving as Capt. Jacques Cousteau's personal economic advisor, and building Sachin Tendulkar's first official website. VM lives adjacent to where the Mandovi river merges with the Arabian Sea near Miramar beach, along with his wife and three sons.
Vishvesh Kandolkar is a regular contributor to editorials for local newspaper column. He interest includes architectural theory and history; settlement studies; and urban design. He is an architect by training and holds a Masters degree with specialisation in Urban Design. He is currently teaching at Goa College of Architecture as an Associate Professor
Admiral Arun Prakash retired as India’s 20th Naval Chief and Chairman Chiefs of Staff in end-2006. An aviator by specialisation, during his 40 year career, he commanded a carrier-borne fighter-squadron, a naval air station and four warships; including the aircraft-carrier INS Viraat. In flag rank he commanded the Eastern Fleet, the Andaman & Nicobar Joint Command, the Western Naval Command and the National Defence Academy. On staff, he served as the head of the Aviation and Personnel Branches and as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff. During his tenure at the helm, the Service saw initiatives being launched in the fields of doctrine, strategy, transformation and foreign maritime cooperation. He is a graduate of the IAF Test Pilots School, Defence Services Staff College and the US Naval War College. During the 1971 War, he was awarded the Vir Chakra while flying with an IAF fighter squadron. Post-retirement, he lives in Goa, and writes and speaks on strategic and security related topics. He served two terms as a member of the National Security Advisory Board and was Chairman of the National Maritime Foundation.