Guest Editorial: Candice Louisa Daquin

Candice Louisa Daquin
When the gifted poet Megha Sood and I co-edited The Kali Project, I became immersed in the potent world of modern Indian poetry. I have been addicted to this delightful spectrum of writing ever since. From this rich world I became acquainted with SETU, surely one of the most inclusive Indian online poetry magazines in existence. Is it any wonder SETU is known worldwide, attracting poets from all corners of the globe?

With Indian poets what is especially exciting is to see the transition from traditional modes of writing, and subjects, to a contemporary insight into today’s Indian experience. We in the West are often guilty of stereotyping what we are ignorant of, whilst India remains at the epicenter of cultural diversity and knowledge. I have never been as impressed as when I sit with an Indian writer and learn of their influences, which are extensive and passionate. The West has grown complacent in its awareness of the classics and an ability to contrast this with modern writers. Not so with Indian authors. Consequently, it was an unexpected boon to receive many poems for The Kali Project that spoke of hitherto forbidden subjects; LGBTQ+, intermarriage, inter-caste, feminism, diversity.

Having created the anthology SMITTEN, This Is What Love Looks Like, a few years previously, I wanted to give a voice to those previously ignored minorities, in this case the love between women. When I was graciously asked to Guest Edit July’s issue of SETU poetry, my initial reaction was “why me?” I didn’t feel worthy. I am mixed-race and many minorities but I have the ‘advantage’ of fair skin (which I hate!) and I know for many; prejudice begins with the color of their skin. It doesn’t matter that I too carry brown genes, if I can ‘pass’ I will not experience that same discrimination.

Perhaps this is why I was asked to edit this issue: "Colors of love and barriers." It covers the entire spectrum of this deep human emotion and social prejudices against kinds of love---gay, trans, interracial, inter-caste, and social/intercommunity. If nothing else, working with vulnerable populations through my work as a Psychotherapist, my own multi-cultural DNA as well as being an immigrant myself, could qualify me for this subject.

Nevertheless, is remains a huge honor to guest-edit such an impressive line-up of talent, privately-invited to submit a poem on this month’s subject. Not all the poets are from India, but all invited are talent I was fortunate enough to meet and respect through working in poetry. The purpose of this issue is to infuse you with the theme and its truth. With many names you will intimately know, those you will have some familiarity with, and new talent, it is impossible to be disappointed with the caliber of these writers. They have one thing in common, they are all sensitive to this subject for one reason or another, and have the breadth of knowledge to pen their unique interpretations.

Why does diversity continue to matter? Because people are still prejudiced against, every single day. Until this changes, it is a subject we must continually shine a light on. And what better medium than poetry? For in poetry, we can express truth with such purity, and no need for further explanation. I am proud to devote a portion of my life to overcoming prejudice, racism, homophobia, ableism and xenophobia. I want future generations to be mindful of our past, but not have to endure it. I want love to flourish in any form it wishes to express, that does not harm others. The colors of love and resultant barriers, do not go hand in hand. They are separate and I hope one day, there will be no barriers to love – and all colors, all creeds, can love without hate.

This issue of Setu is dedicated to the talented Pantoum poet Carol H. Jewell. A member of the LGBTQ+ family, a well respected poet and academic, and a truly beautiful human being. Carol you will never be forgotten. RIP 1959-2022. 
Guest Editor, SETU, July 2022 Special Edition on Colours of Love and Barriers

Bio: Candice Louisa Daquin is of Sephardi French/Egyptian descent. Daquin worked in publishing for the US Embassy before immigrating to America to become a Psychotherapist, where she has continued writing and editing whilst practicing. Daquin is Poetry & Art Editor for The Pine Cone Review, Editor at Blackbird Press and Parcham and Writer-in-Residence for Borderless Journal. Whilst Senior Editor at Indie Blu(e) Publishing, Daquin co-edited two award-winning anthologies: The Kali Project and SMITTEN. Her latest collection Tainted by the Same Counterfeit is out September (Finishing Line Press).

Special Edition: Colours of Love and Barriers
Featured Authors

MK Ajay
Lopamudra Banerjee
Tom Barlow
Jhilmil Breckenridge
Basudhara Roy
Jharna Choudhury
Kai Coggin
Kanchan Dhar
Rachael Ikins
Sarah Ito
Molly Joseph
Annette Kalandros
Aakriti Kuntal
Abha Iyengar
Tremaine Loadholt
Gayatri Majumdar
Devika Mathur
Ermelinda Makkimane
Kripi Malviya
Sean Heather McGraw
Melissa Miles
Himangi Nair
Jyoti Nair
Anita Nahal
Jeannie E Roberts
Tali Cohen Shabtai
Mel Sherrer
Izabell Skoogh
Jaime Speed
K. Srilata
Megha Sood
Sonali Pattnaik
Rob Plath
Paresh Tiwari
Emily Thomas
Jael Varma

1 comment :

  1. A brilliantly written editorial that speaks volume about your journey, experience and your knack to seek talent. This current edition is a testament of your ability as an editor and a person bestowed with a beautiful soul. Its a always an honor and privilege to call you my friend and souls sister, dear Candice.


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