Blogging on Red Room

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I just cross-posted the previous entry on Red Room, a very interesting new website which describes itself as follows: “Welcome to Red Room, the official home of the world’s greatest writers. Through original, author-generated content, we offer a trustworthy and creative social network unlike any other. Here, you can connect with your favorite authors, access current industry news, and comment on engaging features. By fostering true community between authors and readers, Red Room showcases esteemed writers and inspires the next generation. We also give back to the community we aim to nurture with our commitment to the Causes We Support.”

I first heard about Red Room a few days ago (via whose blog, I can’t remember — but thank you!), and applied to be one of their authors, just trying my luck. I was surprised and honoured to learn that I have been accepted. Some of my favourite authors, including Amy Tan and Salman Rushdie, are involved as well. My page is here, but it is not up yet. Hopefully they’ll approve it, now that I’ve made a submission and added some other content. (Update — it’s up.)

Speaking of writing communities, someone asked me to share more about what happened last night. It was a small event at Eric Miller and Magdalene Jeyarathnam’s home, with special guests New Yorkers Bob Holman of the Bowery Poetry Club, Ram Devineni of Rattapallax Press and language conservationist Catherine Fletcher — as well as members of the local fishing community whose storytelling and oral narrative techniques were shared and discussed. Translations by the sportingly irrepressible Meena Kandasamy, a bit of folk singing from her father, and a debate about whether or not it would be appropriate to have mourning songs sung in a home with a baby livened proceedings up considerably. A personal moment I am proud of was when Bob asked me to perform a poem from memory impromptu in front a video camera, and I did “Witchery”, the opening poem from the book, and a few lines into in, all other conversations in the room had ceased. “You stopped time, you stopped the room,” said Bob. By the end of the evening, I felt very stimulated, very certain that what I’m trying to do in Chennai makes more sense now than ever before, that something is about to spark.

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