Listen to the webcast above or at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/saja/2009/03/11/Poets-editors-and-scholars-discuss-South-Asian-poetry
SAJA presents a webcast on Wednesday about contemporary South Asian poetry, from the Diaspora and around the world. Join acclaimed poets and editors, Ravi Shankar, Pireeni Sundaralingam, Patrick Rosal, Carolyne Wright, Kazim Ali and literary agent Sarah Jane Freymann to discuss the conception and shaping of the extraordinary anthology, "Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from Asia, the Middle East and Beyond." Hailed by Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer as "a beautiful achievement for world literature," two of the co-editors will discuss the project with their agent and a contributor. The collection includes poets from 61 different countries writing in over 40 different languages and include poets such as Vikram Seth, Taslima Nasrin, Michael Ondaatje, Meena Alexander, Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Jeet Thayil.
Wed, March 11, 1-2 pm New York time
(see local time around the world: http://snurl.com/djgvw )
Listen live, or later to a recording: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/saja/2009/03/11/Poets-editors-and-scholars-discuss-South-Asian-poetry
Or call-in and talk to him at +1-347-324-5991.
Send your questions/comments via e-mail to saja[at]columbia.edu (subject =
webcast) or post your comments below. You can also use the chatroom that will be open at the link above to ask questions.
MORE ABOUT THE BOOK ON AMAZON:
MORE ABOUT THE BOOK: "A landmark anthology, providing the most ambitious, far-reaching collection of contemporary Asian and Middle Eastern poetry available. Language for a New Century celebrates the artistic and cultural forces flourishing today in the East, bringing together an unprecedented selection of works by South Asian, East Asian, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian poets as well as poets living in the Diaspora. Some poets, such as Bei Dao and Mahmoud Darwish, are acclaimed worldwide, but many more will be new to the reader. The collection includes 400 unique voices political and apolitical, monastic and erotic?that represent a wider artistic movement that challenges thousand-year-old traditions, broadening our notion of contemporary literature. Each section of the anthology?organized by theme rather than by national affiliation?is preceded by a personal essay from the editors that introduces the poetry and exhorts readers to examine their own identities in light of these powerful poems. In an age of violence and terrorism, often predicated by cultural ignorance, this anthology is a bold declaration of shared humanity and devotion to the transformative power of art."
"This extraordinary, library-in-one volume: what a resource! . . . A beautiful achievement for world literature." - Nadine Gordimer, Nobel Laureate
"A symphonic sweep of beckoning cries, praises, prayers, curses, ruminations and revelations. An ensemble rich with diverse voices, here the old and the new converge, and something wholly human and futuristic emerges. . . . Marvelous." - Yusef Komunyakaa, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
"This rich collection of poetry from Asia, the Middle East, and other parts
of the world, fills a huge gap in our cultural heritage. It is a formidable
achievement, and an important contribution to our education. - Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States
MODERATOR: Ravi Shankar is Associate Professor and Poet-in-Residence at Central Connecticut State University and the founding editor of the international online journal of the arts, Drunken Boat <http://www.drunkenboat.com>. He has published a book of poems, Instrumentality (Cherry Grove, 2004), named a finalist for the 2005 Connecticut Book Awards, and with Reb Livingston, a collaborative chapbook, Wanton Textiles (No Tell Books, 2006). He has taught at Queens College, University of New Haven, and Columbia University, where he received his MFA in Poetry. He currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Connecticut Center for the Book, has been a commentator on NPR and BBC, reviews poetry for the Contemporary Poetry Review and along with Tina Chang and Nathalie Handal, edited Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from Asia, the Middle East & Beyond (W.W Norton & Co., 2008)
Kazim Ali is is the author of two books of poetry, The Far Mosque (Alice
James Books), winner of Alice James Books' New England/New York Award, and
The Fortieth Day (BOA Editions, 2008). He is also the author of the novel
Quinn¹s Passage (blazeVox books), named one of "The Best Books of 2005" by
Chronogram magazine, and The Disappearance of Seth (Etruscan Press, 2009).
He is an assistant professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College and
teaches in the low-residency MFA program of the University of Southern
Maine. His work has been featured in many national journals such as Best
American Poetry 2007, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Barrow Street,
jubilat and Massachusetts Review. He teaches at Oberlin College and the
Stonecoast MFA program and is a founding editor of Nightboat Books.
Patrick Rosal is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Uprock
Headspin Scramble and Dive, which won the Members' Choice Award from the
Asian American Writers' Workshop, and most recently My American Kundiman,
which won the Association of Asian American Studies 2006 Book Award. His
poems and essays have been published widely in journals and anthologies
including Harvard Review, Literary Review, Brevity, Columbia, Language for a
New Century and the Beacon Best. He has twice served on the faculty of
Kundiman¹s Summer Retreat for Asian American Poets.
Pireeni Sundaralingam, who was born in Sri Lanka and educated at Oxford University, currently lives in San Francisco. A former PEN USA Rosenthal Fellow, her poetry has appeared in literary and political journals such as Ploughshares, World Literature Today, The Progressive, and The Guardian newspaper (UK), university texts such as Three Genres (Prentice-Hall, 8th Edition, 2006; 9th edition, 2009), and anthologies such as Masala (Macmillan, 2005). Her poetry has featured at the United Nations headquarters, and the International Museum of Women, as well as airing on national radio in Ireland, Sweden, and the US. A former professor of Cognitive Development, Pireeni has held research posts at UCLA and MIT. Website: http://www.wordandviolin.com
Carolyne Wright spent four years on Indo-U.S. Subcommission and Fulbright Senior Research fellowships in Kolkata and Dhaka, Bangladesh, collecting and translating the work of Bengali women poets and writers. For these translations, she has received a Witter Bynner Foundation Grant and a Poetry Translator Residency at the Santa Fe Arts Institute, a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in Translation, a Fellowship from the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College; and research associateships at Harvard University (Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies), Wellesley College (Center for Research on Women), and Emory University (Asian Studies Program), where she also taught courses on South Asian Women's Literature which were cross-listed with English and Women's Studies.
Volumes of Bengali translation published so far include Another Spring, Darkness: Selected Poems of Anuradha Mahapatra (Calyx Books), a renowned West Bengali poet about whom Adrienne Rich has written, "across culture and language we are encountering a great world poet"; and The Game in Reverse: Poems of Taslima Nasrin (George Braziller), the dissident Bangladeshi writer living in exile with a price on her head. Just published is an anthology of her translations, Majestic Nights: Love Poems of Bengali Women (White Pine Press, 2008).
Wright has eight books and chapbooks of her own poetry, including Seasons of Mangoes and Brainfire (Eastern Washington U Press/Lynx House Books, 2nd ed. 2005), winner of the Blue Lynx Prize and American Book Award. Most recent is A Change of Maps (Lost Horse Press, 2006), finalist for the Idaho Prize and Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the PSA, and winner of the 2007 Independent Book Publishers Bronze Award for Poetry. In progress is Wright's memoir about women's lives and literature in Bengal, Crossing the Seasonal River: A Journey Among the Women of Bengal.
A visiting professor at colleges, universities and writers' conferences around the country, as well as Translation Editor for Artful Dodge, Wright returned in 2005 to write and teach in her native Seattle, where she is on the faculty of the Whidbey Writers' Workshop MFA Program, and also teaches for Seattle's Richard Hugo House. She served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) for 2004-2008.
Sarah Jane Freymann has been a literary agent since the 1970's and is the founder and president of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. The agency has placed its authors with such publishers such as Random House, Ballantine, Bantam, Norton, Chronicle, Clarkson Potter, Dutton, HarperCollins, Morrow, Penguin USA, Riverhead, Rizzoli, Simon & Schuster, and Viking -- and the list is eclectic; reflecting Sarah Jane's diverse interests.
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