| ||organisation: Rattapallax|
product: literacy magazine
distribution: worldwide, via the Internet
intro: “Poetry helps us to live together. It is essential to intercultural dialogue and harmonious interaction among the different communities of the world. Encouraging its creation, its dissemination, and its translation is another way of promoting cultural diversity, a vital source of inspiration conveyed by the living unity of poets through the myriad facets of their creativity.” [Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of World Poetry Day, 21 March 2003]
who: it was when publisher Ram Devineni, a young poet and award-winning film-maker from Philadelphia, came to New York in early 1998 that his idea of creating a literary magazine became reality. The magazine’s name came from a Wallace Stevens poem and his onomatopoetic word for the sound of thunder: Rattapallax.
what: Rattapallax is a socially committed journal devoted to fiction and poetry, also containing artwork for visual enrichment. This biannual magazine is today a well known and respected literary journal distinguished by the fact that each issue carries a CD with audio recordings of the featured poets reading their work aloud. All the works published are selected exclusively on the basis of merit, with no consideration given to the name or connections of the writers or artists - a credo they continue to live by. The magazine is available worldwide through subscription: 1 year (2 issues) is around US$14.00; 2 years (4 issues) US$26.00; for foreign orders add US$10.00 per year.
Because of the magazine’s success, Ram Devineni launched Rattapallax Press. The books that it publishes also include CDs.
why: from the beginning, the publisher and editors of Rattapallax have looked for the extraordinary in modern poetry and prose that reflects the diversity of world cultures. Their goal has been to create international dialogue through literature and to focus on what is relevant to our society.
sustainable features: Rattapallax Press is more than just a literary organisation, it is a centre of culture and activism. The association has collaborated with the UN and was among the organisers of the readings in 2001, 2002 and 2003:
- in 1998, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2001 as the United Nations Year of Dialogue Among Civilisations to foster tolerance, respect and co-operation among peoples. To further this aim, Rattapallax Press, together with the United Nations Society of Writers, presented a series of literary programs around the world. A poetry evening at the United Nations was one of the more than 200 poetry readings in over 100 cities worldwide;
- the United Nations proclaimed 2002 as the International Year of Mountains (IYM) to increase international awareness of the global importance of mountain ecosystems. On this occasion Rattapallax Press decided to celebrate the relationship between humanity and nature through poetry by setting up poetry readings on 24 mountaintops around the world. Within the framework of ‘Poetry on the Peaks’ professional mountain climbers were filmed reading poems by Rumi, Pablo Neruda, Walt Whitman, William Blake, Han Shan and many others.