West indian literature

Jeet Thayil edits an anthology of Indian poetry in English

Poet-novelist Jeet Thayil edited an extensive selection of works by 94 Indian poets, including several lost, uncollected, or out-of-print poems.

“The Penguin Book of Indian Poets” will be released April 18 under Penguin Random House’s Hamish Hamilton imprint.

The anthology seeks to restore the forgotten figures of Indian poetry to the center to which they belong.

Thayil compiled the work of 94 poets for this anthology, the oldest born in 1924 and the youngest in 2001.

Aiming to give readers a deeper understanding of a vast and fluid poetic tradition, this collection brings together writers from around the world, a wealth of voices that present a broad and encompassing idea of ​​what makes an “Indian” poet », a penguin statement. noted.

Thayil began working on the first version of this anthology in 2003.

“This final version, 20 years in the making, has a latitude and breadth that make it a must-read. I consider him a india historya lost or neglected history of ideas, passion, politics and autobiography,” he says.

The book includes lost, uncollected, or out-of-print poems by great poets, essays that place entire works in their precise cultural contexts, and a collection of classic black-and-white portraits of Madhu Kapparath.

These images, taken over a period of 30 years, constitute an archive with historical significance. They also offer the viewer unprecedented privacy and access to the lives of some of India’s greatest poets.

Commenting on the book, Aparna Kumar, Editor of Penguin Random House India, said, “It is an exquisite collection of canonical and newer names in the Indian poetic landscape. This anthology offers a deep understanding of poetry, its vastness and vitality.

According to Meru Gokhale, editor at Penguin Press, organizing a poetry anthology of English-language poets in India is a colossal undertaking, something Thayil has been working on for two decades.

“The result is a definitive work, and I’m confident this historic anthology will find a place on the shelves and in the hearts of every poetry lover in this country,” she said.

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