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Rochelle Potkar – an Indian fiction writer and poet.

Rochelle Potkar

Rochelle Potkar was born in Kalyan to a quirky Goan Catholic family. She later married into a Goan Hindu Family in Mumbai.

Rochelle Potkar was born in Kalyan to a quirky Goan Catholic family. She later married into a Goan Hindu Family in Mumbai.

Rochelle graduated in commerce and post-graduated from Wigan and Leigh college, Mahalaxmi. She completed an MBA from La Trobe University, Australia. She began writing at the age of 27, after giving up her corporate job.

Her first book, The Arithmetic of breasts and other stories was shortlisted for The Digital Book of the Year Award 2014, by Publishing Next. Four Degrees of Separation (Paperwall, 2016) is her first book of poetry. She has represented India at the University of Iowa‘s International Writing Program and was a writer-in-residence at the UNESCO city of literature – Iowa‘s International Writing Program (IWP), Fall Residency 2015.

She was a Charles Wallace Writer’s fellow at the University of Stirling, Scotland, 2017. She is co-founder of the Arcs-of-a-Circle artists’ residency program, a project by US Consulate, Mumbai.

Professional career

As writer

The Arithmetic of Breasts and other stories is her first book of short fiction, shortlisted for The Digital Book of the year award 2014, by Publishing Next, Goa. Her short stories have appeared in several journals including Far Enough East, Sein und Werden, The Medulla Review, The Nassau Review, Women Writers, Writer’s Hub, Bewildering Stories, Cantaraville, Muse India, Marijuana Diaries, The Bangalore Review, Revenge Ink, Nivasini, Unisun, Triangulation, Lame Goat Publications, Annapurna magazine, and Rollick Magazine. Her themes are usually around relationships. She writes realism and paranormal fiction.

She has also judged inter-collegiate competitions at Mood Indigo, IIT Bombay, Malhar (festival), St. Xavier's College, Spectrum – NIFT, Kharghar, and American Library. She was part of the Project Called Hook Blue as a major author.

She won a gold place for her story, The point of Irish coffee, and an editor’s choice award for, Ramayan redux (Triangulation: Parch, US). She narrated two true-life tales at Tall Tales Storytelling. She completed an Advanced Fiction Seminar offered by University of Iowa‘s International Writing Program via distance learning, 2013. She was also invited to participate as a writer-in-residence in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 2015, representing India. Potkar won the Open Road Review Short Story Prize 2016 for her story “The Leaves of the Deodar”. Her story ‘Noise’ appeared in Expound Magazine, Issue 12, 2017.

She has also judged inter-collegiate competitions at Mood Indigo, IIT Bombay, Malhar (festival), St. Xavier’s College, Spectrum – NIFT, Kharghar, and American Library. She was part of the Project Called Hook Blue as a major author.

As a poet

Four Degrees of Separation is her first book of poems published by Paperwall, March 2016. Her poems have appeared in The Brown Boat, The Finger Magazine, Haibun Today, The Bamboo Hut, A Hundred Gourds, Poems for the Road podcast (UK), Zo 2014, Poetry exposé, Bigbridge, Poetry India, bottle rocket, The Dhauli Review, The Freshwater Review, caesurae, 40 under 40 – an anthology of post-globalization poetry. Her poem, Knotted inside me was shortlisted for the RL Poetry Award 2013. She won a second place for Swing at the Wordweavers contest 2014. Some of the recurring themes in her poems are motherhood, love and socio-anthropology. She co-edited the Goan-Irish anthology, Goa: a garland of poems, with Gabriel Rosenstock. She is the co-editor of the Joao Roque Literary Journal (with chief editor Selma Carvalho) that promotes literature around Goa. In 2018, Potkar authored a collection of haibun, Paper Asylum, published by Copper Coin Publishing.

Her poem, The girl from Lal Bazaar was shortlisted for the Gregory O’ Donoghue International Poetry Prize, 2018. Her poem Cellular: P.O.W. was shortlisted for the 2017 Hungry hill competition, Ireland. Her poem, Place won an honorable mention at Asian Ch’s Auditory Cortex. Ground up won third place at the David Burland Poetry Prize 2017. Poem Atonement, shortlisted at the Eyewar 8th Fortnight Poetry Prize by Todd Swift. In April 2018, Rochelle’s poem, Skirt was adapted into a poetry film by Philippa Collie Cousins (UK) for the Visible Poetry Project, USA. She is the winner of the 2018 Norton Girault Literary Prize for her poem ‘To Daraza’. Rochelle served as the co-editor of Neesah magazine and poetry editor of The Bombay Review.

Rochelle debuted in a character role in the Tamil feature-length film, Taramani, directed by award-winning director Ram.She has read her poetry at several interfaces in Mumbai at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, Godrej India Culture Lab, American Library, PEN@Prithvi, ‘Words tell stories’, The Hive, and The Poetry Club (TPC) in Hyderabad at Ten Thousand Waves, Our Sacred Space, Hyderabad Literary Festival (HLF) in Goa at Goa Arts and Literary Festival (GALF) in 2015 & in 2016; in Chennai at Prakriti Festival, American Library; in Hong Kong at Out Loud, Fringe club, and with the Peel Street poets; and in Iowacity at Prairie Lights bookstore. Her works were dramatically read and interpreted by veteran actors and dancers on stages in Iowa and Portland, Maine. She participated in literary festival including APWT 2017, Indonesia, Lviv International Literary Festival, Ukraine, Glasgow Women’s Library (2017), Bengaluru Poetry Festival (2017), Hyderabad Literature Festival (2018) and Odisha Arts & Literature Festival (2018). She represented India in Hungary at its FISZ20 literary camp. Rochelle practices and promotes the Japanese short poetry form – Haibun, through workshops.

As actor

Rochelle debuted in a character role in the Tamil feature-length film, Taramani, directed by award-winning director Ram.

Notable work

Poetry

  • Four Degrees of Separation, Paperwall, March 2016
  • Paper Asylum, Copper Coin Publishing, May 2018

Short stories

  • The Arithmetic of Breasts And Other Stories, 20 Notebooks Press
  • Bombay Hangovers, Vishwakarma Publications

Anthologies

  • 40 Under 40: An Anthology of Post-Globalisation, Poetrywalla, 2016
  • The Best Asian Short Stories, Kitab International, 2017
  • Goa: A Garland of Poems, The Onslaught Press, 2017
  • Iowa River: A Selection of Contemporary International Poetry
  • 100 Poems Are Not Enough, Walking BookFairs, 2018

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https://rochellepotkar.com

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