The Sahitya Press

Background

Sahitya Press started life in 1989 as the Bilingual Book Project. Sahitya is a Sanskrit word for ‘Literature’. Sahitya Press aims to promote creative writing and publishing in English and South Asian languages. Its books are normally published in collaboration with other like-minded organisations. These have included Yorkshire Art Circus, Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, Museums Sheffield, Burngreave Literacy Campaign, and Bengali Women’s Support Group. Founder-member Debjani Chatterjee is Managing Director of the Press. Other Directors are Brian D’Arcy and Tara Chatterjee.

The historically close relationship between the Bilingual Book Project and Bengali Women’s Support Group (founded in 1985) is reflected in the fact that the first books we published were under the BWSG Book Project imprint and are anthologies contributed to, in the main, by Bengali Women’s Support Group members. Our first book Barbed Lines / Katar Rekha won the first Raymond Williams Community Publishing Prize in 1990, and the second Sweet and Sour / Omlo Modhur contributed substantially to BWSG’s winning a NIACE Adult Group Award in 1993. In 2014 Sahitya Press and Bengali Women’s Support Group co-published Songs of Choice and their Stories.

Readings and workshops are sometimes held on occasions like National Poetry Day, World Book Day and World Mother Language Day, usually in collaboration with other community groups.

Books

Sahitya Press’ books include: A Tasty Garland, Raising their Voices: Poems by Children in Burngreave, A Slice of Sheffield (prose, poetry and artwork inspired by the subject of cutlery), The Song of the Scythe (a picture-story book about Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet in 5 dual language editions) and Another Bridge (poetry by the Mini Mushaira writers).

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