Canadian actress, model, television host, philanthropist and social activist Lisa Ray has been writing poetry for some time. For the first time, she has generously and graciously agreed to share some of her poems, exclusively for The Punch Magazine. When diagnosed with a rare blood cancer in 2009, she choose to publicly share her experiences in a blog called ‘The Yellow Diaries’ which led to her first book, which was commissioned by HarperCollins and will be published later this year. Ray’s poetry explores themes derived from an identity-bending, nomadic experiences, the culmination of a life of no fixed address. In A State of Freedom, his new novel which is out in the US in January 2018, Neel Mukherjee delves into the issues of displacement and migration. And the human urge to strive for a different life. A novel of multiple narratives, peopled by characters from different strata, A State of Freedom strives to “bring maximum dignity and seriousness to depicting lives from the perspective of the person to whom it belongs”. Founder of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, Surina Narula, writes a personal essay about her journey and experiences with gender inequality, policy and advocacy around the world. Reviewing CP Surendran’s book of poems, Available Light, Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee writes that it is the most wonderful, intense and luminous book of poetry he has read in recent times. Ace photographer Dinesh Khanna curated the photography segment at the second edition of Serendipity Arts Festival held in Panjim in December 2017. As the discipline curator, Khanna designed Nature Untamed: An Exhibition of Africa’s Wildlife, as captured by Anup Shah and A Slow Violence: Stories from the Largest River Basin in the World, which focused on stories of personal and ecological loss from the Ganga-Brahamputra basin — the largest river basin in the world. In an in-depth interview, Khanna talks about the finer nuances of his craft and his medium. Under World Poetry/Prose Portfolio, curated by Sudeep Sen, we also feature two works by Romanian poet and fiction writer Tudor Crețu. Author of three books of poems and three novels, Crețu published Jurnal fantasmatic (Phantom Diary, Paralela 45 Publishing House) in 2016. His writing can be described as deeply experimental and iconoclastic. In another personal essay, Sabin Iqbal, one of the directors of Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters, to be held in Thiruvananthapuram in February 2018, writes about his oldest maternal aunt who passed away recently, and the disdain of those we call our own. In an interview with Shireen Quadri, Bikash De Niyogi, managing director and publisher of Niyogi Books, which turns 13, talks about his journey so far, the future prospects in the industry. Chef Trapani, a globally celebrated authority in Tex-Mex Food, kicks off Lalit Suri Hospitality Group’s Pure Love campaign to promote inclusivity and diversity. Chef Trapani is the first transgender chef to appear on the Food Network in the United States. In an interview with Shireen Quadri, Chef Chris Tripani talks about his journey. There are five poems by Ruskin Bond, who has written novels, memoirs, short story collections and books of essays and poetry, from his book of poems, I Was The Wind Last Night, published by Speaking Tiger Books. We also feature five poems by Asif Raza, author of three collections of poems. Five poems by Nawaid Anjum, New Delhi-based journalist who works with The Indian Express, and has been working on his first book of poems.