Writers International Edition

Poetic Alchemy: Rochelle Potkar’s Journey Through Verse and Vision

In the vast realm of contemporary literature, Rochelle Potkar stands as a luminary, a writer whose multifaceted talent has woven an intricate tapestry of poetry, prose, and cinematic storytelling. Her journey is marked by accolades, global recognition, and a relentless passion for the written word.

A distinguished alumna of Iowa’s International Writing Program (2015), Potkar’s literary voyage extends across borders and genres. The Charles Wallace Writer’s fellowship at the University of Stirling (2017) further enriched her artistic repertoire, setting the stage for her emergence as a notable figure in the literary landscape.

Potkar’s literary prowess shines brightly in her acclaimed works. “Four Degrees of Separation” and “Paper Asylum,” the latter shortlisted for the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2020, showcase her ability to navigate the complexities of human emotions with grace and insight. The recognition of her craft is not confined to the written word; her poetry film “Skirt” found a platform on Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland, while her poetry readings grace Disney+ Hotstar/Shorts-English.

In the realm of poetry, Potkar has earned prestigious awards, including the 2018 Norton Girault Literary Prize UK for her poem “To Daraza.” Her poem “The Girl from Lal Bazaar” achieved the honor of being shortlisted at the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize in 2018. Her verses, a delicate dance of language and emotion, have been widely anthologized, resonating in literary gatherings from India to the Gold Coast, Australia.

As a critic, Potkar’s insightful reviews have found homes in esteemed publications such as Wasafiri, Sahitya Akademi’s Indian Literature, Asian Cha, and Chandrabhaga. Her ability to dissect and appreciate the works of others showcases a deep engagement with the literary world beyond her own creations.

The global reach of Potkar’s writings is testament to their universal appeal. Translated into languages like Arabic, Hungarian, French, Spanish, Hindi, Marathi, and German, her words transcend linguistic boundaries, resonating with readers across diverse cultures.

The year 2021 witnessed the release of her short story collection, “Bombay Hangovers,” adding another dimension to her literary repertoire. Potkar also co-authored “The Coordinates of Us/ सर्व अंशांतून आपण,” a bilingual cross-translation of English/Marathi poetry, showcasing her commitment to linguistic diversity.

Potkar’s foray into screenwriting has not gone unnoticed. Her screenplay “A Brown Coat” secured a quarter-finalist position at the Atlanta Film Festival Screenwriting Competition in 2020. In 2021, she clinched victory in the Pocketwala-Cinestaan Web Series Idea Contest for ‘Anthology of Bombay Stories: slice-of-life.’

Beyond her creative pursuits, Potkar is a guiding force in academia. Her role as an industry expert on syllabi boards for English Literature at two top Mumbai universities speaks to her commitment to shaping the literary minds of the future. Invited twice as a creative-writing mentor to Iowa’s prestigious International Writing Programs (Summer Institute 2019 and Between the Lines 2022), Potkar extends her influence to nurture emerging talents.

Regularly conducting haiku/haibun/free verse workshops with the Himalayan Writing Retreat, Potkar shares her passion for poetry and the nuances of the craft with aspiring writers.

In the expansive world of literature, Rochelle Potkar stands not only as a prolific writer but also as a mentor, a critic, and a bridge between cultures through her bilingual works. Her journey, marked by an unyielding dedication to her craft and a commitment to fostering literary talent, continues to unfold as a compelling chapter in the global literary narrative. Visit Rochelle Potkar’s Website to explore her literary universe.

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