Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

September 10, 2012

Australia-India Literatures International Forum a resounding success!

The Australia-India Literatures International Forum held at the State Library of NSW from 4 – 6 September, as promised, generated ‘lively discussions from passionate speakers’.

AILIF was officially opened by the Consul-General of India in Sydney, Mr Arun Kumar Goel and it brought together readers, writers, translators, editors, agents and publishers from Australia and the Indian subcontinent.

Mahmood Farooqui skilfully demonstrated Dastangoi, the revival of the art of telling Dastans or epic stories of adventure, magic and warfare by reciting or reading aloud. Sudesh Mishra and Vijay Mishra explored the creativity of Indians who were brought to sugar cane plantations in Fiji as indentured labour in the late nineteenth-century. Prabodh Parikh presented Art and the Writer: Rabindranath Tagore’s 2000 paintings.

Seven panels over the three days discussed motivation to write; the struggle against injustice and inequality; the importance of local languages and dialects; alienation from land, animals and tradition; storytelling as protest; the important role that writers have in telling the truth; the power of myth and legend in writing and storytelling. Mamang Dai, Inez Baranay, Subhash Jaireth, Girish Karnad, Malcolm Knox, Manisha Jolie Amin, Roanna Gonsalves, Bem Le Hunte, Michelle de Kretser, Suneeta Peres da Costa, N S Madhavan, Uday Prakash, Christopher Raja, Aashish Kaul and Kunal Sharma spoke about crossing borders, a sense of place, dislocation, the home of the imagination, place as a construct, ‘fossilised memory’, ‘rearranged identity’, ‘languages as legitimisation’ and ‘what is Indian anyway’?

Highlights included: gut-wrenching poems by Ali Cobby Eckermann, from her collection little bit long time, which left the audience stunned and lingered on in the mind. Alexis Wright bringing to our attention the importance of ancient lore, the voice of the Elders, temporal rather than linear stories, before reading from Carpentaria. Gogu Shyamala, Dalit feminist and Telangana activist. C S Lakshmi (Ambai), feminist and activist, who revealed her take on the world and her experiences with wit and humour. All of which helped to create a deeper understanding of the challenges regularly encountered.

C S Lakshmi (Ambai) and Gogu Shyamala in Sydney

Award winning poets Judith Beveridge, Michelle Cahill, Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih and Prabodh Parikh spoke about the poetic imagination and treated the audience to their strong and subversive poems.

The final panel session of editors, translators and publishers explained the practical hurdles of publishing books in regional languages and in finding skilled translators; as well as the responsibility of editing and publishing stories in localised variations of english in literature. Kabita Dhara, publisher at Brass Monkey Books Australia, Ivor Indyk from Giramondo Press, Mita Kapur author and CEO of Siyahi, R Sivapriya Managing Editor of Translations and Classics Penguin Books India and Sharon Rundle who has co-edited Indo-Australian books for Picador (Australia, India) and Brass Monkey Books emphasised the importance of publishing transnational writing and translations.

The State Library NSW book shop stocked books by the various speakers, including ‘Alien Shores’ and ‘Fear Factor Terror Incognito’. It was quite a thrill to see them on display there.

“Alien Shores” and “Fear Factor Terror Incognito” in the State Library NSW book shop!

Huge congratulations to the organisers, Mridula Nath Chakraborty and Anthony Uhlmann Director of the University of Western Sydney Writing and research Centre; and the State Library of NSW, for this essential and welcome initiative.

AILIF was supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-India Council and the Australia Council; Copyright Agency Ltd Cultural Fund; Australia India Institute; State Library of NSW; The Taj Foundation.

A full report is published in the current issue of The Indian Herald.

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August 22, 2012

Australia India Literatures International Forum September 2012

ALIF Program 2012

Australia-India Literatures International Forum

4th-6th September 2012

State Library of New South Wales

Metcalfe Auditorium.

(entrance via Macquarie Street)

Sydney

© Image shown above Copyright owned by Wikicommons

 

Don’t miss this very special event! This exciting forum will generate lively discussions from passionate speakers. An event of such potential and ambition has not been undertaken in this region before.

The Australia-India Literatures International Forum brings together writers from the

regional literatures of India with indigenous and multicultural writers of Australia.

The Forum will take the form of seven panel sessions and three special

presentations, which are all open to the public to attend.

 

Each panel comprises Australian and Indian delegates, who will make a short presentation each, followed by audience discussion moderated by the Chair.

 

The three special sessions explore the connection of writing

with performance, art and indenture.

Tuesday 4th September

4 pm: Special Presentation:

Dastangoi.

Mahmood Farooqui

The word Dastangoi refers to the art of storytelling; it is a compound of two Persian words Dastan and goi that means to tell a story.

 

Wednesday 5th September

12 noon: Special Presentation:

Travelling languages/evolving cultures across the Pacific Ocean.

Sudesh Mishra and Vijay Mishra

In the late nineteenth-century, Indians were brought to Fiji as indentured labour to work on sugar cane plantations. This

free-flowing conversation explores the subject of indenture/girmitiya and creativity.

4:30 pm: Special Presentation:

Art and the Writer.

Prabodh Parikh:

Rabindranath Tagore’s 2000 paintings

The first non-European Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, was also a self-taught artist who started painting at age 67.

Within 15 years, Tagore had completed over 3000 paintings, which have since become part of India’s national treasure.

Forum Panellists include: Alexis Wright, Sharan Kumar Limbale, Gogu Shyamala, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Inez Baranay, Mamang Dai, Bem le Hunte, C S Lakshmi (Ambai), Subhash Jaireth, Nicholas Jose, Girish Karnad, Malcolm Knox, Suneeta Peres da Costa, Michelle de Kretser, N S Madhavan, Uday Prakash, Manisha Jolie Amin, Roanna Gonsalves, Aashish Kaul, Chris Raja and Kunal Sharma, Kabita Dhara, Ivor Indyk, Mita Kapur, R Sivapriya and Sharon Rundle.

 Panel Chairs: Peter Minter, Christopher Cyrill, Vijay Mishra, Paul Sharrad,  Mita Kapur, Pam Newton, Ivor Indyk, Michael Wilding and R Sivapriya.

 Speakers:  Mridula Nath Chakraborty, Anthony Uhlmann Director Writing & Society Research Centre, University of Western Sydney

 

For full program and information on the participating writers,

see our website: http://www.uws.edu.au/india

To purchase tickets to attend any of the Australia-India Literatures

International Forum public events, please go to:

http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/events_talks/index.html

or contact the State Library of NSW Bookings line: (02) 9273 1770

or Email: bookings@sl.nsw.gov.au

I look forward to seeing you there,

Sharon

August 17, 2012

Indian Australian Friendship Fair 2012 & Special Indian Herald Issue

Indian Australian Friendship Fair 2012

Fun for all the family. Dance, Music, Masti – Food Stalls, Kid’s Rides, Camel Rides and many more activities.

Come along and join the Indian community for a family fun day.

United Indian Association Inc (UIA) presents

the biggest Indian Fair in Sydney

on Sunday August 19, 2012

at Sydney Olympic Park

Edwin Flack Ave, Homebush, NSW, 2140, Australia

Cost: $7 entry

 

Phone: 0411 259 978 0469 325 981

Organizer: United Indian Association Inc

Phone: President Amarinder Bajwa 0421 998 458

http://www.indiandownunder.com.au/event/uia-presents-the-biggest-indian-fair-in-sydney/

Special Big Issue of the Indian Herald will be published on August 18 and distributed at the Indian Australian Friendship Fair 2012 on August 19.

Alien Shores tales of Refugees and Asylum Seekers is featured in a two-page spread. Thanks, Rohit Revo (Editor) it’s much appreciated.

Alien Shores
Eds. Sharon Rundle & Meenakshi Bharat
published Brass Monkey Books 2012

August 14, 2012

UWS Literary Lunch with Kiran Nagarkar

What an absolute delight to meet Kiran Nagarkar at the at UWS Literary Lunch on Tuesday 7th August, organised by Mridula Chakraborty.

Kiran Nagarkar must be one of the most under-rated Indian novelists despite his fine narratives, one of whichCuckold’ won the Sahitya Akademi Award. Kiran thinks deeply about any number of topics. He is a novelist with questions, rather than answers.

His writing is probably not as rewarded as it might be because Kiran is not an author who feels moved to fit the mould expected by many publishers. Another of the challenges that Kiran faces as an author from Mumbai is the current call for Indian authors to write in their local language, such as Marathi rather than in English. “Marathi papers and magazines and critics completely reject me because I switched to English; and in a very offensive kind of way.”

Nevertheless, I’m glad that Kiran writes in English as I admire his novels immensely. His books make the reader think and interact with narrative and author, they also have humour and a sense of the absurd.

My co-editor Meenakshi Bharat and I were fortunate enough to persuade Kiran Nagarkar to let us publish an extract from his novel ‘God’s Little Soldier’ in our collection of stories from Australia and the subcontinent ‘Fear Factor Terror Incognito’. The extract, titled ‘In Search of Essar’, revolves around a plot to carry out the fatwah on Rushdie. Unfortunately Zia, the protagonist, though he has unwavering belief in his calling is not so confident in the practical aspects. His frustration and bewilderment at his ineptitude allows for some very comical moments.

Kiran is a marvellous speaker. He was an international guest at this year’s Byron Bay Writers Festival. It was such a pleasure to hear him speak about his narratives, his perspective on the world and India, in particular, and about the ‘god of life’. He held the audience in his hands the whole time.

The relatively small number invited and the setting made this a rather special literary lunch with a chance to chat to Kiran in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Roanna Gonsalves, Devaki Monani, Ivor Indyk, Nicholas Jose,  Aashish Kaul, Shanti Napier, Ian Bedford and Susanne Gervay  were among those at the UWS literary lunch organised by Mridula Chakraborty.

Kiran’s books are difficult to get in Australia but I recommend that you try. His latest book is ‘Extras’ a sequel to ‘Ravan and Eddie’, and is set in Bollywood.

Kiran Nagarkar’s Books: Extras, Ravan and Eddie, Cuckold, God’s Little Soldier.

Story ‘In Search of Essar’ in ‘Fear Factor Terror Incognito’ published PanMacmillan Picador India 2009 & Picador Australia 2010.

For interviews with Kiran Nagarkar in print, podcast and video:

 Political intolerance limits authors: Kiran Nagarkar (youtube)

Kiran Nagarkar, best known for his seminal English novel, ‘Ravan and Eddie’, is out with a sequel called ‘The Extras’, once again starring Ravan Pawar and Eddie Coutinho. http://ibnlive.com/livetv

Books and Arts Daily ABC RN Podcast

Conversation with Kiran Nagarkar

Rediff Interview with Kiran Nagarkar

Good Reads Kiran Nagarkar

Many thanks Mridula and UWS for a memorable meeting with Kiran Nagarkar. Thanks also to Devaki Monani for taking the photos (which means she isn’t in the group photo). It was very kind of you, Devaki.

June 16, 2012

‘Alien Shores’ launched

Huge thanks to all who participated in our successful launch of Alien Shores.

We managed not one but four launches for Alien Shores: Tales of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

Edited by Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle this volume features stories from Australia and the Indian subcontinent by Linda Jaivin, Arnold Zable, Amitav Ghosh, Susanne Gervay, Jamil Ahmad, Sophie Masson, Deepa Agarwal, Michelle Cahill, Joginder Paul, Ali Alizadeh, Tabish Khair, Abdul Karim Hekmat, Anu Kumar, Andrew Y M Kwong, Bijoya Sawian, Julia Mackay-Koelen, Sujata Sankranti, Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat; with a foreword by Rosie Scott.

The collection of stories is a transnational publication to bring stories from India to Australia and from Australia to India. In our brief to the authors, Meenakshi and I asked that the stories be fictional, original and not play the blame game; but reveal the deeper complexities of the lives of refugees and asylum seekers from many different perspectives. The authors responded to our brief by imaginatively showing the effect on people in their daily lives. These diverse, creative and imaginative stories cover some surprising territory. Each story is different and unique. This means that we have included stories that portray refugees in a less kindly light, stories with no happy endings, stories that are deeply moving and stories that inspire with their courage and hope, warmth and humour.

In Sydney, Alien Shores was launched on May 20 by Mr Amit Dasgupta, Consul-General of India, Sydney, at a stellar event sponsored by the Hughenden Hotel. Finding a person to launch a book is never a problem. The real achievement lies in having someone who has not only read the book but one who brings a unique understanding to it.

In releasing Alien Shores, the Consul-General of India, Sydney, Mr Amit Dasgupta addressed the audience in a way that showed compassion and understanding. He acknowledged the gravity of a world with a moving mosaic of refugees. He spoke of the need for us to show humanity and of how easily any one of us could be thrust into similar situations.  The Consul-General spoke with warmth, generosity and humour.

Photo of the Consul-General of India taken by Raihana Hekmat

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Roanna Gonsalves, our MC, made sure that the launch was beautifully paced. Editors Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle spoke about discovering the theme and collaborating to bring these stories from Australia and the Indian subcontinent together in a transnational collection. Linda Jaivin, Andrew Y M Kwong, Abdul Hekmat, Michelle Cahill, Susanne Gervay and Rosie Scott, who have given such support for Alien Shores, came along and read from their stories; and afterwards happily signed books at our tea party. Authors in the audience included David Malouf, Devika Brendon, Patti Miller, Libby Sommer, Mabel Lee, Jacquie Everitt, as well as film and theatre producers Ana Tiwari, Neel Banerjee and Devaki Monani from SBS Hindi Radio.

 Readings Bookstore hosted the launch of Alien Shores in Melbourne on May 21.

Julian Burnside QC gave a moving and eloquent speech to launch ‘Alien Shores’. Arnold Zable read briefly from his story in ‘The Dust of Life’, followed by author and poet Ali Alizadeh who spoke about the unique perspective of his story before treating the audience to a short reading from ‘The Ogre’.  Sharon and Meenakshi revealed more about publishing the collection of stories. Publisher Kabita Dhara, spoke about Brass Monkey Books and Alien Shores. Authors Jen McVeity, Hazel Edwards, Meredith Costain, Paul Collins, Rose Inserra, illustrator Marjory Gardner joined us to celebrate the release of Alien shores.

After toasting Alien Shores with a glass of bubbly, Meenakshi and I moved on to Lygon Street to a birthday dinner for Paul Collins with Susanne Gervay, Jen McVeity, Hazel Edwards, Meredith Costain, Rose Inserra, illustrator Marjory Gardner and Edwin Wandha where we consumed some delish pasta and a few more bubbles.

Gosford Library Services held a Preview Launch on May 18 at their Erina Library on the NSW Central Coast.

        

Guest of Honour, Deb O’Neill, Federal MP, gave an impassioned speech about the theme of the book. Her deep understanding and recognition of the purpose of the book and the individual stories within, as she launched the volume had the audience spellbound. Andrew Y M Kwong, Michelle Cahill, Julia Mackay-Koelen attended the launch. Editors Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat talked about the value of reading the stories by authors from India and Australia in Alien Shores. John Caska, acted as MC to introduce the guest speakers.

 Gloucester Writers’ Festival launched Alien Shores during their warm and friendly lunch time event.

The festival featured writers Michael Wilding, Lisa Heidke, Lisa Walker and Susanne Gervay who was keynote speaker. Andrew Y M Kwong and Sharon Rundle read from their stories. Sharon spoke about the genesis of the book and Susanne gripped the audience with her story of her refugee background.

 

 Alien Shorespresents nineteen remarkable stories from acclaimed writers based in Australia and the Indian Subcontinent, which ruminate on the lives of refugees and asylum seekers all over the world. Powerful, poignant and sometimes funny, they tell the tales of brave people who, at great peril to their own safety, seek out a new life in a new land.

Alien Shores is available in all good book stores, including the Coop Bookshop, Berkelouw Paddington, Abbeys, Dymocks, Gleebooks, QBD.

 Alien Shores is published by Brass Monkey Books an imprint of Hunter Publishers.

 brassmonkey@hunterpublishers.com.au

 for any enquiries

 

ALIEN SHORES IS AVAILABLE FROM MAY 2012 FROM UNITED BOOK DISTRIBUTORS

 

 Brass Monkey Books Australia

Editors: Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle (Eds)

Publish Date: May 2012

ISBN-13:9780980863932

ISBN-10:0980863937

Origin:Australia

Imprint:Hunter Publishers

Publisher:U.Q.P.

April 14, 2012

Dancing to the Flute

Manisha Jolie Amin

Yet another UTS alumna has achieved success in the world of fiction. Allen & Unwin have just released  Dancing to the Flute, by Manisha Jolie Amin. It’s in the bookshops now. I’ve already ordered my copy from the Co-op Bookshop.

Abandoned as a young child, Kalu, a cheeky street kid, has against all odds carved out a life for himself in rural India. In the quiet village of Hastinapore, Kalu makes friends: Bal, the solitary buffalo boy, and Malti, a gentle servant girl, who, with her mistress, Ganga Ba, has watched out for Kalu from the first day.

 Perched high in the branches of a banyan tree, Kalu chooses a leaf, rolls it tightly and, doing what he’s done for as long as he can remember, blows through it. His pure simple notes dance through the air attracting a travelling healer whose interest will change Kalu’s life forever, setting him on a path he would never have dreamed possible, testing his self-belief and his friendships.

With all the energy and colour of India and its people, Dancing to the Flute is a magical, heart-warming story of this community’s joys and sorrows, the nature of friendship and the astonishing transformative powers of music.


Manisha Jolie Amin was born in Kenya and moved to Australia with her family when she was five. Sydney is her home, although she travels frequently to both India and England to visit family. Manisha lives with her husband, son and cat. When not writing, she works for a children’s welfare charity. In 2011 Manisha received a PhD from the University of Technology, Sydney. Dancing to the Flute is her first novel. More…

Manisha Jolie Amin Blog:

Dancing to the Flute … Description and Reviews

Buy from the Co-op Bookshop and receive your member discount.

Paperback – AUD $29.99 inc. GST

ISBN: 9781742378572
Publisher: ALLEN & UNWIN

January 25, 2012

Happy Australia Day to all Australians & happy Republic Day to all from India.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Australia Day  lunch at Darling Harbour by my generous friend and colleague Australia Day Ambassador Susanne Gervay. It was a glittering lunch with the theme of Legends of Australian Football. Ron Barassi, Gary Ablett, John Raper, Billy Slater, David Campese, David Pocock, Joe Marston and Mark Schwarzer were all feted for their sporting achievements. Sponsor of the Australia Day lunch, Australia Post has issued a series of 2012 Australian Legends of Football stamps to mark the occasion. They are available from your post office.

The event began with Clarence Stockee and Matthew Doyle ceremoniously giving Acknowledgement to Country, through music, dance and song.

Sneaky Sound system performed ‘Pictures’ and ‘Big’.

Her Excellency Marie Bashir AC CVO Governor of New South Wales was the keynote speaker. With her usual grace and dignity she spoke about her own childhood growing up in Australia and what Australia meant to her and to many people.

Jennifer Byrne was a relaxed, amusing and charming MC, introducing the speakers and performers who entertained throughout the lunch. Roy Slaven and HG Nelson were at their best as they introduced and interviewed the Australia Post Australian Legends and presented them with a version of their stamp in gold. The Hon. Barry O’Farrell delivered an Australia Day Message. The event was resoundingly concluded with the Gondwana Singers singing the National Anthem.

Each table had Australia Day Ambassadors and their guests from various walks of life such as music, literature, medicine, art, sports and many others. It encouraged lively conversation and exchanges between us and many business cards were passed around. Kamahl was just two seats away!

The food was sumptuous, with dainty morsels of wattle-seed macadamia nuts, pepper-berry grissini with bresaola and pumpkin, fetta and lemon myrtle scone (the scone was the size of a ten cent piece, no kidding) for ‘pre-lunch’ nibbles. An entrée of smoked salmon and wasabi butter terrine with crab meat roulade and cucumber salsa, followed by a ‘surf and turf’ main course of melt-in-the mouth slow roasted grass fed beef tenderloin with poached sweet water crayfish tail, tiny tiny sautéed snow peas and the most delish truffled fondant potato; and a nice drop of merlot. As if this wasn’t enough, Peach Melba pavlova with raspberry gelato appeared in front of us – it was heaven in a dish.

I feel most honoured to have been invited to an event with people who are so passionate about their work and about Australia. Whether we are having a soaking in NSW or sweltering in WA, I wish you all a happy Australia Day 2012.

Australia Day Fireworks on Youtube

In 2009 and 2010, I was in India on January 26 and watched the exciting parade of floats, military, bands, musicians, dancers, motor bikes, tanks, people from every Indian state taking part in the Republic Day procession to India Gate. Speeches were delivered by the Indian president Pratibha Devi Singh Patil, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other VVIPs (though on one occasion the Prime Minister was unable to attend due to ill health). It was spectacular and unforgettable. So different from Australia Day held here on the same day but in each case the same tremendous pride in one’s country and heritage.

India 2009 Republic Day parade

I hope the 26th January gives us all something to feel glad and optimistic about.

September 30, 2011

Australian Writers Guild award winning script.

Huge congratulations to Roanna Gonsalves and her collaborators, Damien Millar, Raimondo Cortese, Görkem Acaroğlu, and the company of actors. Their script for the play Yet to Ascertain the Nature of the Crime, which was produced by Melbourne Workers Theatre and performed in Melbourne in November 2010, won a prestigious Australian Writers Guild award for best script in the Community and Youth Theatre category. Award Winners were announced at a glittering ceremony on Friday September 23, 2011

Roanna Gonsalves

Yet to Ascertain the Nature of the Crime was mainly constructed using the actual words of many Indian students who were attacked in Melbourne, education agents, counsellors, other Indian Australians, even a couple of young men who hold white supremacist views. Using humour, music and a bit of Bollywood dancing, the play presents a nuanced view of the attacks, and provides a space in which the actual words of the victims can be heard. The play had audiences laughing loudly as well as sobbing throughout the performance, and was a sell-out last year.

Roanna dedicated the award to the Indian students who were killed, namely Nitin Garg and Tosha Thakkar, and all Indian students who have experienced physical and verbal attacks in Australia. Yet to Ascertain the Nature of the Crime has been invited to perform at Mumbai’s renowned Kala Ghoda festival in 2012. They are looking for sponsors to help them get to Mumbai.

Roanna is a graduate of the UTS Writing program, is currently doing a PhD at UNSW, and is also working on a television documentary with director Ana Tiwary of indiVisual films about Indian students in Australia, a play for Bell Shakespeare’s Mind’s Eye Initiative with director Susanna Dowling, and a novel set in India.

Roanna is also an advocate for a better representation of cultural diversity in the arts in Australia, and recently had an academic journal article published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the European Association of Studies on Australia. The article is entitled Multiculturalism and Mainstage Australian Theatre, and examines ways in which multiculturalism is governed on the Australian stage, and possible ways in which it may move towards becoming a better mirror of contemporary Australian society.”

 Canterbury-Bankstown Express article

YouTube trailer

The Australian Review of Yet to Ascertain the Nature of the Crime

Roanna is also featured in the Spring issue of UTS Writers Alumni Writers Connect.

Please also see Roanna’s radio documentary Doosra,the Life and Times of an Indian student in Australia which was broadcast on ABC Radio National in February and Curry Muncher, a short story, published in Eureka Street.

September 10, 2011

In the Shadow of Legends Launch

Sujata Sankrantis novel In the Shadow of Legends

was launched in grand style

at the Levee Hall, Krishna Vilasam Palace Fort, Thiruvananthapuram-23, 

on Saturday, 20 August 2011

Dr. R. P. Raja welcomed the guests at the launch of In the Shadow of Legends.

A Presidential Address was given by Dr. Puthusseri Ramachandran.

Prof. Hridaya Kumari Introduced Sujata’s novel which was launched by Princess Aswathi Thirunal.

Shri M. Ravi Varma Raja was Guest Speaker.

See the launch photos on Facebook link

Invitation Kshathra

Video link to interview with Sujata Sankranti

Read the reviews and interviews in the Deccan Chronicle and The Hindu review and The Hindu interview ; the Afternoon and Businessworld.

If you would like to buy a copy of this absorbing and thrilling novel, In the Shadow of Legends, outside of India, it’s available from Amazon

Highly recommended.

August 3, 2011

Vishvarūpa

Vishvarupa cover

Reading Vishvarūpa is like opening a jewel-box of many faceted gems. From the shimmering ‘Rainy Days’ of melaleucas and gumnuts to the sharply observed ‘Ode to Mumbai’; from Aphrodite and Narcissus to Hanuman and Vayu; from an ‘Alchemy of leaves’ to ‘Kissing Hamlet’ the poetry is sensory “The air’s thick with jasmine, agapanthus lingering like incense in the still eveing(Triptych of Wings), sometimes sensual “The moon’s crescent tangled my hair, my breasts were bare, our timing synchronised” (‘Pārvatī in Darlinghurst) and always satisfying.

“Can there be any Australian poet who has entered with such lyrical depth into the intermingling voices of Australia and India?” Chris Wallace-Crabbe.

Michelle Cahill’s verse is controlled with a deep vein of feeling running beneath the measured lines … her poetry rises on a ‘burning ladder of language’”. Keki N Daruwalla.

The perfect book for a journey or a winter’s night at home.

Vishvarūpa, poems by Michelle Cahill,

Michelle Cahill

can be ordered from 5Islands Press

For a sequence of her poems Michelle Cahill received the Val Vallis Award.

Michelle is editor of Mascara Literary Review.

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