The Usawa Literary Review

Usawa in Swahili means equality. The Usawa Literary Review is a bi-annual English language literary magazine dedicated to feminist literature and writings by and about underrepresented communities. We publish poetry, fiction, nonfiction, reviews and interviews that question hierarchies, hegemonies and naturalized biases.

There are many feminisms – we live and learn. In the face of discrimination and violence based on gender, sexuality, colour, caste, religion, class… we believe in the persuasive humility of artistic expression, and carry writing that responds to the inherent violence of inequality. Have you produced or come across writing that provokes uncomfortable questions and gets us to re-examine our silences? Please share it with us and allow us to share it with our readers.

Based out of Mumbai, India, Usawa is a part of an ongoing global movement toward a more equitable world.

Usawa was founded by Lavanya-Shanbhogue Arvind and Smita Sahay in 2018.

Team Usawa

Smita Sahay<br><h5>Editor-in-Chief:</h5>

Smita Sahay


SMITA SAHAY served as Associate Editor for ‘Veils, Halos & Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women’. Her works have appeared in national and international journals, newspapers and anthologies. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Usawa Literary Review, and the Poetry Editor for SPEAK, the Magazine. A visiting faculty of Creative Writing at Whistling Woods International, Mumbai, she is an ISB alumna, class of 2015. 
A survivor of C-PTSD, she is also the founder and Somatic therapist at Calm Space Healing, a trauma-informed therapy and healing practice.

Babitha Marina Justin<br><h5>Fiction Editor:</h5>

Babitha Marina Justin

Fiction Editor:

BABITHA MARINA JUSTIN is an academic, poet and artist. Her poems, short stories and articles have appeared in Taylor and Francis journals, Marshal Cavendish, The Yearbook (2020, 21, 22), Singing in the Dark (Penguin), Eclectica, Esthetic Apostle, Jaggery, Fulcrum, The Scriblerus, Trampset, Constellations, Indian Literature,  etc. Her books are Of Fireflies, Guns and the Hills (Poetry, 2015), I Cook My Own Feast (Poetry, 2019), salt, pepper and silverlinings: celebrating our grandmothers (an anthology on grandmothers, 2019),  From Canons to Trauma (Essays, 2017), Forty Five Shades of Brown ( Poetrywala, 2023)

Sonakshi Srivastava<br><h5>Translation Editor: </h5>

Sonakshi Srivastava

Translation Editor:

SONAKSHI SRIVASTAVA is a writing tutor at Ashoka University, Sonepat, India. 
She is one of the recipients of South Asia Speaks mentorship programme (cohort 2021), working on translating the Hindi novel, “Titli” into English under the mentorship of Arunava Sinha. She was the contributing translator columnist at “The Bilingual Window’. She was longlisted for The Stinging Fly Translation Bursary 2022, and was awarded the Katharine Bakeless Nason scholarship for the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference 2023.  Her works have previously appeared in or are appearing in ASAP art, Usawa, Proseterity, The Monograph, Alipore Post, Hakara, potluck zine, orangepeel mag, Qissa mag, and Rhodora among others. 

Priyanka Sacheti<h5>Film And Multimedia Editor: </h5>

Priyanka Sacheti

Film And Multimedia Editor:

PRIYANKA SACHETI is a writer, poet, and photographer based in Bangalore, India. She’s published widely about art, gender, culture, and the environment in international digital and print publications over the years. Her literary work and art have appeared in many literary journals such as Barren, Dust Mag Poetry, Common, Parentheses Art, Popshot, The Lunchticket, and The Sunlight Press as well as various past and forthcoming anthologies like Yearbook of Indian Poetry in English 2022. She’s currently working on a poetry and short story collection. She can be found as @atlasofallthatisee on Instagram and @priyankasacheti on Twitter.

Kinshuk Gupta<br><h5>Associate Editor: </h5>

Kinshuk Gupta

Associate Editor:

KINSHUK GUPTA is a doctor,  bilingual writer, poet and columnist who works at the intersection of gender, health and sexuality. His debut book of short fiction, Yeh Dil Hai Ki Chordarwaja, modern Hindi’s first LGBT short story collection, was published to great critical acclaim in 2023. He is the winner of prestigious awards and fellowships including the India Today-Aaj Tak Sahitya Jagriti Udayiman Lekhak Samman (2023); Akhil Bhartiya Yuva Kathakar Alankaran (2022); Dr. Anamika Poetry Prize (2021). He has been shortlisted for the Toto Awards for Creative Writing (2023); The Bridport Prize (2022); Srinivas Rayparol Poetry Prize (2021); All India Poetry Competition (2018). He edits poetry for Jaggery Lit and Mithila Review. He has been awarded the prestigious South Asia Speaks 2023 Fellowship to work on his poetry manuscript with Tishani Doshi.

Ankush Banerjee<br><h5>Book Review Editor:</h5>

Ankush Banerjee

Book Review Editor:

ANKUSH BANERJEE’s (he/him) debut volume of poetry, An Essence of Eternity, was published by Sahitya Akademi in 2016. He is the three time recipient of the USI Gold Medal for his essays on Military Ethics and Leadership. His poem, ‘Righteous among the Nations’ was the winner of 2019 All India Poetry Prize. His poems appear in Indian Literature, Collateral, Eclectica, Jaggery Lit, and TBLM among others, and have been anthologised in the Best Asian Poetry 2021, Yearbook of Indian Poetry 2020 & 2021, and Converse: Contemporary Poetry in English by Indians (2022). Some of his review-essays can be found at Tupelo Quarterly, Eclectica, Kitaab, and Usawa

Chandramohan S<br><h5>Non Fiction Editor:</h5>

Chandramohan S

Non Fiction Editor:

CHANDRAMOHAN S is an Indian English Dalit poet based in Trivandrum, Kerala. His poems were shortlisted for Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize 2016. His second collection of poems titled “Letters to Namdeo Dhasal” was a runner up at M.HARISH GOVIND memorial prize instituted by POETRY CHAIN. He was instrumental in organizing literary meets of English poets of Kerala for the Ayyappa Panicker Foundation in addition to being a fellow at the international writing program(IWP) at the university of Iowa.