Mahendra Solanki is one of the wisest, kindest, and most talented people that I have ever met. Being fortunate enough to have been one of his students when I was an undergraduate at university meant that many of the bad habits and skewed values were knocked out of me at an important age. When it came to doing my MA I stayed at the same institution where I am now fortunate enough to teach. The combined talent of David Belbin, Graham Joyce, Georgina Locke and Mahendra Solanki meant that the programme was very strong indeed. Sadly because I chose to pursue fiction and screenwriting it meant that beyond social events I never sat in any of Mahendra’s classes, but I certainly benefited from his ongoing guidance.
Over the years I’ve stayed in contact with Mahendra so when I heard that he had edited a new poetry anthology I was eager to see what it would contain. Mahendra generously invited me to the launch and I was pleased to listen to his readings, along with a fantastic panel of fellow poets and academics. Mahendra’s reading of his own poem from the collection was especially arresting, which further underlines the incredible impact that words can have; honestly it’s at times like that when you can readily believe in the power of magic spells summoned from the right words in the right order.
Anyone wishing to buy the anthology, and I urge you to do so, can locate it at at www.candlestickpress.co.uk