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The new Sangam House-Kalachuvadu Press co-publication – Wild Girls, Wicked Words – a bilingual anthology of Tamil poetry by Malathi Maithri, Salma, Kutti Revathi and Sukirtharani, translated into English and with an Introduction by Lakshmi Holmström, is out!
In India, buy it from Flipkart — click here.
Internationally, buy it from New Horizon Media — click here.
“The poems of Malathi Maithri, Salma, Kutti Revathi and Sukirtharani so enraged the Establishment in Tamil Nadu, it was even suggested that the poets be burned alive… [Their] poems raise the banner of bold rebellion as they explore the marginalized world of women.” – Paul Zacharia
In 2003, a group of men and women, setting themselves up as guardians of Tamil culture, objected publicly to the language of a new generation of women poets – particularly in the work of Malathi Maithri, Salma, Kutti Revathi and Sukirtharani – charging the women with obscenity and immodesty.
A decade later, a deep divide still persists in the way readers and critics perceive women poets. Tamil women poets have been categorized into ‘Bad Girls’ who write ‘body poetry’ and ‘Good Girls’ who refrain from doing so. The traditional values prescribed for the ‘Good’ Tamil woman were fearfulness, propriety, and modesty. Our poets have chosen, instead, the opposite virtues – of fearlessness, outspokenness, and a ceaseless questioning of prescribed rules. This bilingual anthology celebrates the poetry of Malathi Maithri, Salma, Kutti Revathi, and Sukirtharani, and showcases, through Lakshmi Holmström’s English translation, a selection of their work.
“This masterclass of contemporary Tamil poetry is twice born in translation. The distinct women’s voices find their feminine awakening to the rhythm of a nuanced and rigorous English rendering by Lakshmi Holmström. Moving from the transgressional to the transformational, these interrogations address the arena of the body as well as the timeless preoccupations of poetry.” – Namita Gokhale
Read some of the poems at The Caravan, here: http://www.caravanmagazine.in/poetry/seven-poems
And to listen to Lakshmi Holmström introduce some of the most powerful Tamil poetry to emerge from the 26 year long conflict in Sri Lanka on BBC Radio 4, click here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rqhw3
URJA | Aditi: Foundation for the Arts | Lavanya Sankaran | Samir Gandhi | Neeraj Nevatia | Laurie Patton | Jake Short | Kalpana Raina | Sreelata Menon | Tarik & Nayana Currimbhoy | Marlene Brody | Lakshmi Chandra | Arjun Divecha
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