A few articles about the reading at Spaces last week.
Here’s a very thoughtful one at myLaw.net.
Thank you, everybody, who came or sent good wishes.
Sharanya Manivannan’s first book of poetry, Witchcraft, was released in 2008. It was acclaimed in The Straits Times as “sensuous and spiritual, delicate and dangerous and as full as the moon reflected in a knife”. Since then, Sharanya has been working on two different manuscripts of poems. Bulletproof Offering, explores the impossible loves of Sita and Lucifer, the earth and the earthbound angel. Cadaver Exquisito takes as its central motifs dismemberment, grief and the sights, smells and scenes of the city of Chennai.
While some of the poems in these manuscripts have found homes in journals including Drunken Boat, Pratilipi, Dark Sky Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown and Superstition Review, many are yet unpublished — and most have never been shared with an audience.
You are warmly invited to an intimate evening of listening to new poems by Sharanya Manivannan.
Because I love you, here is a poem that (though a couple of years old) has never been published. In my voice.
I hope you will like it. It’s called “Holding The Man”, and it was partly inspired by a photograph by Leonard Freed (NSFW).
I’m sorry for this being on such short notice, but I will be reading (possibly with percussion interludes) at Touchwood Studios/Bindaas Cafe, Needarajaprayar Street, Pondicherry, today at 6.30pm.
Here are two videos of me reading my poem “First Language”, which appeared in Witchcraft (and before that in the journals Ego Magazine and Istanbul Literary Review).
At How Pedestrian, a website that brings poetry to random places, a simple single-shot video of me reading the poem while sitting inside a cycle-rickshaw, early one morning in Chintadripet, Chennai.
And here, a longer companion piece of me reading the same poem — this time from within both a cycle-rickshaw and an autorickshaw — which captures more of the sights and sounds of the city, and includes one of my other favourite things to do here: buying flowers from the curbside.
Both videos were directed by R. Rathindran Prasad.
There is only one video of me in the entire universe that I like. It was shot, handheld and without me noticing it, in April 2007 at No Black Tie, Kuala Lumpur. Some people lose count of their lovers — I lose count of the places I’ve read at, but count I did recently, and realised that in the past eight years or so, I have read at an approximate fifty venues. No Black Tie remains the one closest to my heart.
Now, in the years of the drought — I feel like a jaded thing, but once, I read in jazz bars. I could only afford rhinestones, but there were stars in my eyes.
(About the poem – here.)
Jasmine Low, who has run the gig series Doppelganger KL since 2002, asked me recently if I would take part in their Christmas gig on December 13. Of course, there was only one way to do it – and thanks to technology, I did.
So here it is – shot on webcam and gloriously amateurish, but as I am wont to do, I put a big flower on my head to make it all better. :)