Sunday, June 5, 2011

Reading on June 17

Toto Funds the Arts

is delighted to invite you to a reading by poet and author

Mani Rao

of her radical, literary translation of the Bhagavad Gita

She will be in conversation with Arshia Sattar

Venue: Crossword Bookstore, ACR Towers, Ground Floor, 32 Residency Road, Bangalore - 1

Date and time: Friday, 17 June 2011 at 6.30 pm

In this bold, new translation of the Gita, poet Mani Rao cuts past conventions and uses language innovatively; at the same time she adheres strictly to the meaning of the Sanskrit original and is sensitive to its nuances.

Mani Rao is the author of eight books of poetry, including Ghostmasters (2010) and Echolocation (2003). Her poems and essays have appeared in such journals as Indian Literature, Almost Island, Fulcrum, Asia Literary Review, Iowa Review, Colorado Review and Interim, and in anthologies including Penguins’s 60 Indian Poets, Zoland Poetry, W.W. Norton’s Language for a New Century and The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary India Poets.

Mani was a visiting fellow at the Iowa International Writing Program in 2005 and 2009, and the 2006 University of Iowa International Program’s writer-in-residence. She has a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in poetry from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and is a PhD student of religious studies at Duke University.

Arshia Sattar is a writer, critic and translator based in Bangalore. Her widely acclaimed translations from the Sanskrit of tales from the Kathasaritsagara and the Valmiki Ramayana were published by Penguin Books in 1996. Her collection of essays, Lost Love: Exploring Rama's Anguish, is being launched by Penguin this month. Arshia is also a co-founder and director of Sangam House, an international writers’ residency programme that brings together writers from across the world to live and work among their peers in a safe, supportive and nurturing space.

What the critics have to say:

Mani Rao brings a felicitous mix of textually informed vigilance and playful irreverence to bear on her translation of the Bhagavad Gita. With its contemporary musicality and relaxed tone, Rao’s version opens up this central text of modern Hinduism for a new generation of readers.
––Ranjit Hoskote

I can avow that Rao’s is the first truly original version of this sacred text to appear in decades.
––Donald Revell (Poet and translator, USA)
Mani Rao has transformed the most famous spiritual poem in India to a multi-layered poem, giving shapes to multiple meanings and sounds to multiple forms.

––Frederick Smith (Indologist, Sanskrit scholar/translator, USA)

Mani Rao’s courageous approach to the Gita not only revitalizes an ancient philosophy but also restores power and majesty to the text’s poetry.
––Arshia Sattar
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