'Poetry is a lifelong quest!'
Internationally acclaimed poet, editor, photographer, artist Sudeep Sen was in the twin cities of Hyderabad & Secunderabad
Internationally acclaimed poet, editor, photographer, artist Sudeep Sen was in the twin cities of Hyderabad & Secunderabad. 'Sudeep Sen: A Critical Study' by Dr Rama Nair (Gallerie), and 'Converse: Contemporary Indian Poetry' in English, edited by Sudeep Sen (Pippa Rann, UK), were launched across multiple venues in Hyderabad (Our Sacred Space, and Lamakaan,. City-based Poet and academic, Jhilam Chattaraj, was in conversation.
Tell us little about your relationship with the Hyderabad?
I've had a long relationship with this twin-city. Soon after my first book was published in 1990, I was invited for an ACLALS conference here. I remember reading with Shiv K Kumar and Girish Karnad, who were both very supportive of my work. In the 90s too, Dr Rama Nair of Osmania University invited Jayanta Mahapatra and me for a National Poetry Symposium, and a few years later to another international conference. 'Muse India' magazine and Hyderabad Literary Festival featured me as a writer on several occasions, as has Hyderabad University. I was a judge for the Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize in its early years too. Charminar Jazz Collective collaborated with my poetry at an event at the IFS Club. Dr Nair and you have written several academic essays over the intervening years — so this coming back to celebrate the publication of two new books completes a lovely literary arc.
How was your experience as the editor of 'Converse'?
It was intense and energizing — over 15,000 pages of poetry was submitted. 'Converse' features exciting 'living' poets from India and from the Indian diaspora who write in English. It is available at Amazon.
What 'Sudeep Sen: A Critical Study' is about?
Dr Nair has wonderfully put this academic-critical 350+page book together. It closely interrogates and critiques my body of creative work over the last 35 years. It will be valuable for researchers and academics, as well as lay readers who are interested in poetry, literature and its processes.
What drives you to write?
Poetry does — it is unexplainable at a logical level. Words — its patterning and music, its architecture and magic — are endless sources of magic for me. Poetry is a lifelong quest!
Do you look forward to your works being translated into Telugu?
I would very much like that. My work, as you know, has been translated in over 25 languages, most recently into Malayalam — so in Telugu would be wonderful.
What's next on your book tour? Any new books?
Both these books will travel to other cities in India, as well as to the UK — London, Oxford, Cambridge, Lancaster, Dublin, and more. The next book, inspired by classical Indian dance (and music) — features stunning dance-photos of Aditi Mangaldas, shot by Dinesh Khanna — is titled 'The Whispering Anklets'.