Desilit- Bay Area was launched in August 2004 by Bay Area South Asian writers seeking a community to share work and conversations about writing. It came out of a potluck initiated by Minal Hajratwala from San Francisco who invited people to meet Mary Anne Mohanraj then in town teaching a writing workshop. Mary Anne had launched a DesiLit group in Chicago and we became the Bay Area affiliate.
Some of the people at that initial meeting knew each other, but many others did not. Since that gathering, more writers have joined and by May 2005, the e-group’s mailing list included more than 40 people. To join the Bay Area chapter mailing list, please visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/desilit-bayarea.
Who are we? We include people working in a range of genres: fiction, poetry, journalism, memoir and family stories. Some of us are beginners, some are published in journals and magazines, a few have books to their names. We have among us people from a wide range of ages and we include people from India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, as well as those born in the diaspora (Africa, Europe, North America).
Besides connecting through the Yahoo mailing list, we meet once a month for a Sunday afternoon potluck. Since we are scattered across the region, we have met in Half Moon Bay, San Francisco, Dublin, Cotati, Albany, Berkeley and Oakland. At these gatherings, besides food and chitchat, we have shared writing and also had discussions about reviewing books, filmmaking, publishing, submissions, and the craft of writing,