Imagine Otherwise: Minal Hajratwala on Queer South Asian Poetry & How to “Write Like a Unicorn”

Minal Hajratwala, Imagine Otherwise blog image

Imagine Otherwise: Minal Hajratwala on Queer South Asian Poetry & How to “Write Like a Unicorn”

August 24, 2016 Podcast

How can publishers promote voices from the margins, and how can writers do their part in insisting that their voices are heard? For authors who write in multiple genres, what’s the best way to choose the style that best matches your content?

In episode of the Imagine Otherwise podcast, host Cathy Hannabach interviews guest Minal Hajratwala about her genre-bending writing style, the joy of coaching other writers, and how publishing can be a form of activism.

We invite you to check out the episode, as well as our highlights and show notes below.

Guest: Minal Hajratwala

We chatted about:

  • How Minal’s journalism background shaped her personal memoir (02:40)
  • Navigating multiple genres for different types of work (05:30)
  • Cyclical, natural writer’s block (08:30)
  • Working in publishing as an active way of bring marginalized voices into the world (12:30)
  • Minal’s work coaching other writers (16:10)
  • Imagining otherwise (26:50)

Takeaways :

  • On Minal’s personal writing motto: “I work under the motto ‘write like a unicorn’ and for me that gets to the idea that we each have a unique, magical voice and that there is no need for us to all sound like each other or think like each other.”
  • On cyclical writer’s block: “There’s a cycle between having a creative block about a topic and really letting it ripen, ripen, ripen until the right form comes out.”
  • On promoting the stories of writers from the margins: “How do we as writers who are considered sometimes to be from the margins —but who actually make up the majority—how can we put our stories front and center?”
  • On imagining otherwise: “I imagine a world of infinite possibility.”

More from Minal:

Projects and people discussed:

About Imagine Otherwise:

Imagine Otherwise is a podcast about the people and projects bridging art, activism, and academia to build better worlds. Episodes offer in-depth interviews with creators who use culture for social justice, and explore the nitty-gritty work of imagining and creating more just worlds. Check out full podcast episodes and show notes at ideasonfire.net/episodes. Imagine Otherwise is produced by Ideas on Fire, an academic editing and consulting agency helping progressive, interdisciplinary scholars write and publish awesome texts, enliven public conversations, and create more just worlds.

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About the author

Cathy Hannabach: Cathy is the president of Ideas on Fire, and loves helping progressive, interdisciplinary academics rock their careers and build the worlds they want to see.

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