Mani Rao (b.1965 India) is the author of eight poetry books, and two books in translation — The Bhagavad Gita, and Kalidasa for the 21st Century Reader.
Her poems and essays are published in journals including Tinfish, Wasafiri, Meanjin, Washington Square, Fulcrum, West Coast Line, andInterim, and in anthologies including Zoland Poetry, W.W.Norton’s Language for a New Century, Penguin’s 60 Indian Poets, and theBloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets.
She has performed at literary festivals including The Age Melbourne Writers’ Festival, Vancouver Asian Heritage Month, Chicago Humanities Festival, New York PEN World Voices, Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival, and Singapore International Poetry Festival. Translations of her poems have been published in Latin, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, French and German.
She was a Visiting Fellow at the Iowa International Writing Program in 2005 and 2009, and the 2006 University of Iowa International Programs writer-in-residence.
Mani worked in advertising and marketing for nearly 20 years, in India, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Her last job was as the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Star (TV) in Hong Kong, which she left to pursue literary and scholarly interests full-time. Mani has an MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is a PhD student of Religious Studies at Duke University and working on a dissertation on mantras.