Kahini publishes Kahini Quarterly and presents the Kaua‘i Writers’ Retreat, the Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat, the Kāpiti Series, the Kolkata Writers’ Retreat, the Desert Writers’ Retreat, the Kampala Writers’ Retreat, and Kahini+.
Kahini developed from the “Conversations Across Borders” project (2011-2013), which brought together writers from all over the world to create new work through cross-border writing collaborations.
Writers and current Kahini facilitators Kirsten Le Harivel, Ananya Sarkar, Ssekandi Ssegujja Ronald, and Jordan Hartt all met through the Project, and began running programs in 2014: Wairimu Mwangi joined the Kahini team in 2015.
Kahini is a Bengali word meaning story, or tale—but not an ordinary story: an extraordinary one. Similarly, Kahini is all about creating extraordinary creative-writing experiences.
The craft of writing, the community of writing, and the inspiration of the writing life build connection and empathy, providing a deeper quality of life.
Our vision is a world of increased connection and empathy.
Our mission is to provide the highest levels of writing craft, writing community, and the inspiration of the writing life.
We accomplish this mission through Kahini Quarterly magazine and in-person writing programs.
Kahini Quarterly comes out each January, April, July, and October. Each edition features three new works of literary art; an interview with a vital, contemporary writer; and a craft lecture on a classic artistic work, from a wide diversity of writers and styles.
The Kaua’i Writers’ Retreats is a week-long writing retreat that happens each January and October in Poʻipū, Kauaʻi. Retreats blend craft instruction, community, and the ongoing inspiration of the writing life.
The Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat is an immersive, two-day gathering for writers, happening on the Kāpiti Coast of New Zealand. The retreat includes intensive morning workshops and lively afternoon discussions taught by six established New Zealand writers.
The Kāpiti Series is an annual program of one-off workshops offered primarily on the Kāpiti Coast. These workshops focus on specific literary and cultural topics and conversations.
The Kolkata Writers’ Retreat is a week-long gathering for writers in all genres. Taking place in Kolkata, India, each April, retreats blend craft instruction, community, and the ongoing inspiration of the writing life.
The Desert Writers’ Retreat is a week-long gathering for writers in all genres. Taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, each May, retreats blend craft instruction, community, and the ongoing inspiration of the writing life.
The Kampala Writers’ Retreat is a week-long gathering for writers in all genres. Taking place in Kampala, Uganda, each July, retreats blend craft instruction, community, and the ongoing inspiration of the writing life.
Kahini+ is our online gathering space: a place to write from the inspiration of the flora, fauna, and natural rhythms of the planet we call home.
Kirsten Le Harivel (Kāpiti) is a writer, project/programme manager and mother. Although born in Scotland, she lives with her family on the Kāpiti Coast of Aotearoa. Her writing has been published in various international literary journals and she has an MA from the International Institute of Modern Letters. She has a background in programme and project management in the arts, youth, and refugee sectors.
Ananya Sarkar (Kolkata) is a short-story writer, book reviewer, and poet. Her work has been published in such magazines as The Times of India, Woman’s Era, New Woman, 4indianwoman, Children’s World, KidsWorldFun, Muse India, Induswomanwriting, Conversations Across Borders, Indian Ruminations, Earthen Lamp Journal, Spark and The Madras Mag. Ananya won the first prize in both the Story Writing Contest by the American Library, Kolkata, as part of the Fiction Festival 2008 and the Induswomanwriting Poetry Contest, 2012. She was also a prize winner in the LoudReview Review Writing Competition, 2012 and Writers’ HQ Story Competition, 2016. Reading books, watching sitcoms and going for long walks are her favourite hobbies.
Wairimu Mwangi (Nairobi) is a writer and the founder of the Literature Africa Foundation. Her educational textbooks are used in schools across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ghana. She is passionate about quality education for all and believes that without books or material to read, literacy suffers and when literacy suffers, opportunities decline. She enjoys mentoring youth, storytelling, travelling, reading and meditating.
Ssekandi Ronald Ssegujja (Kampala) is the founder of Writing Our World, an organization in Uganda that uses writing, debate and spoken word to give a platform to people to express themselves. He is an events organizer who also runs the the writers’ club ‘Coffee and Books’ that happens monthly in Kampala. In 2014, his story ‘Walls and Borders’ won the Eastern Africa Writivism Literary prize.
Jordan Hartt (Kauaʻi) is the author of two collections of narrative poems: “Leap” (Tebot Bach, 2015) and “Drifting,” (Tebot Bach, 2018). A third collection, “Paradise,” is forthcoming from Tebot Bach in 2020.
Hartt’s lifework is creating experiences where people find the writing craft to reach for their best artistic and human selves, find the writing community to connect with others, and find the ongoing inspiration of the writing life.
To do this, he edits Kahini Quarterly, facilitates Kahini+, and hosts five annual writing retreats: two in Poʻipū, and one each in Kolkata, Las Vegas, and Kampala. A little more about his ethos, if interested.