Biography of Arundhathi Subramaniam
Arundhathi Subramaniam is a poet and writer and on spirituality and culture. She has worked over the years as poetry editor, curator, and journalist on literature, classical dance and theatre. She divides her time between Bombay and a yoga centre in Coimbatore.
Arundhathi Subramaniam is the author of three books of poems: most recently Where I Live: New & Selected Poems Bloodaxe Books, UK. Her prose works include the bestselling biography of a contemporary mystic Sadhguru: More Than a Life, Penguin and a book on the Buddha (Book of Buddha), Penguin Books (reprinted several times). As editor, she has worked on a Penguin anthology of essays on sacred journeys in the country (Pilgrim’s India), and co-edited a Penguin anthology of contemporary Indian love poems in English (Confronting Love).
As a poet, she has been invited to literary conferences and festivals in various parts of India, as well as in the UK, Italy, Spain, Holland, Turkey, China, West Africa and Israel, and her work has been translated into several languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Italian and Spanish.
She has received the Raza Award for Poetry (2009), as well as the Charles Wallace Fellowship (for a 3-month writing residency at the University of Stirling) in 2003; the Visiting Arts Fellowship for a poetry tour of the UK (organized by the Poetry Society) in 2006; and the Homi Bhabha Fellowship in 2012.
In 2004, she was invited to edit the India domain of the Poetry International Web, which grew into a significant web journal of contemporary Indian poetry.
Her poetry has been published in various international journals and anthologies, including Reasons for Belonging: Fourteen Contemporary Poets (Penguin India); Sixty Indian Poets (Penguin India), Both Sides of the Sky (National Book Trust, India), We Speak in Changing Languages (Sahitya Akademi), Fulcrum No 4: An Annual of Poetry and Aesthetics (Fulcrum Poetry Press, US), The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets (Bloodaxe, UK) and Atlas: New Writing (Crossword/ Aark Arts).
Arundhathi has worked at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai, for several years, leading a discussion-based inter-arts forum named Chauraha. She has also been Head of Indian Classical Dance at the NCPA. She has written on literature, classical dance, theatre and culture for various newspapers (including The Times of India, The Hindu, The Indian Express, among others) since 1989. She has also been columnist on culture and literature for Time Out, Mumbai, The Indian Express and New Woman.
Arundhathi Subramaniam's Works:
Where I Live. (New & Selected Poems). Bloodaxe Books UK., 2009.
Where I Live. (Poetry in English). Allied Publishers India., 2005.
On Cleaning Bookshelves. (Poetry in English). Allied Publishers India., 2001.
Sadhguru: More Than A Life, Biography, Penguin Ananda, 2010 (third reprint)
The Book of Buddha, Penguin, 2005 (reprinted several times)
Pilgrim’s India (An Anthology of Essays and Poems on Sacred Journeys), Penguin, 2011
Confronting Love (An Anthology of Contemporary Indian Love Poems) (Co-edited with Jerry Pinto), Penguin, 2005
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Arundhathi Subramaniam Poems
May things stay the way they are in the simplest place you know.
To The Welsh Critic Who Doesn'T Find Me ...
You believe you know me, wide-eyed Eng Lit type from a sun-scalded colony, reading my Keats – or is it yours –
5:46, Andheri Local
In the women's compartment of a Bombay local we seek no personal epiphanies.
It’s taken time to realise no one survives. Not even the ordinary.
Give me a home that isn't mine, where I can slip in and out of rooms without a trace,
To swing yourself from moment to moment, to weave a clause that leaves room
My grandmother, wise even at eight, hid under her bed when her first suitor came home.
I Live On A Road
I live on a road, a long magic road, full of beautiful people.
Driving through the Trossachs I see the picture I drew as a ﬁve-year-old in Bombay – a rectangle with two square windows,
This shoebox started out a stiff-upper-lipped quadrilateral, Upholder of Symmetry, Proportion, Principle, sanctuary to an upright couple
The City And I
This time we didn't circle each other hackles raised, fur bristling.
Winter, Delhi, 1997
My grandparents in January on a garden swing discuss old friends from Rangoon, the parliamentary session, chrysanthemums,
And on days like this nothing else will do. Nothing but that whisper of breath against the ear.
It takes a certain cussedness to be a tree in this city, a certain inflexible woodenness
This shoebox started out
a stiff-upper-lipped quadrilateral,
Upholder of Symmetry, Proportion, Principle,
sanctuary to an upright couple
of pedigree leather moccasins.