Kahini publishes Kahini Quarterly and presents annual writing workshops and events in Poʻipū, Kauaʻi; Kāpiti, New Zealand; Kolkata, India; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Kampala, Uganda.
Kahini developed from the “Conversations Across Borders” project (2011-2013), which brought together writers from all over the world to create new work through 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 is an e-magazine delivered to subscribers each January, April, July, and October. Each edition features three new works of literary art, an interview, and inspiration from a classic or contemporary work.
The Kaua’i Writers’ Retreat is a week-long gathering for writers in all genres. Taking place in Poʻipū, Kauaʻi, each January and November, 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 morning workshops and afternoon discussions. Its associated Kāpiti Series is an annual program of one-off workshops offered primarily on the Kāpiti Coast.
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.
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 & Las Vegas) 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 and hosts five annual writing retreats: two in Poʻipū, Kauaʻi, and one each in Kolkata, India; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Kampala, Uganda. A little more about his ethos, if interested.