bio

AWARDS AND FELLOWSHIPS

Visiting Fellow at the 2005 Iowa International Writing Program, University of Iowa.

University of Iowa International Programs 2006 Writer-in-Residence.

Witter-Bynner grant for Bhagavad Gita - a translation of the poem.

BOOKS

Kalidasa for the 21st Century Reader (Translation of poems and plays). Aleph Books, 2014.

Bhagavad Gita – A Translation of the Poem. USA: Autumn Hill Books, 2010.

Ghostmasters. Hong Kong: Chameleon Press, 2010.

Mani Rao:100 Poems (Selected Poems 1985-2005). Hong Kong: Chameleon Press, 2006.

Echolocation. Hong Kong: Chameleon Press, 2003.

Salt. Hong Kong: Asia 2000, 2000.

The Last Beach. Hong Kong: Asia 2000, 1999. Bilingual with Chinese translation. Trans. Huang Chan Lan.

Living Shadows. Bilingual with Chinese translation. Trans. Huang Chan Lan. Drawings Mani Rao. Hong Kong: HK Arts Development Council, 1997.

Catapult Season. Calcutta: Writers Workshop, 1993.

Wing Span. Calcutta: Writers Workshop, 1987.

IN JOURNALS AND ANTHOLOGIES

2014

“Pan,” and “By Thoth” in anthology OutLoud Too, Hong Kong, 2013. Editors: Vaughan Rapatahana, Kate Rogers and Madeleine Marie Slavick.

Two poems in Suvarnarekha, An Anthology of Indian Women Poets Writing in English. Ed. Nandini Sahu. Poetry Society of India.

“Reading Her / Writing.” Muse India. Issue 55, May-June 2014. Web.

“Fêted” in Interim, Spring issue 2014. Print/Web.

2013

“Sing to Me” and “Monkey Puzzle” in Anomalous Press #8. Web.

Poems “Ode to Kali” and “Ravana’s Garden” in Muse India’s “Poetizing Indian Heritage” edited by Usha Kishore. Web.

Essay, ” A Brief History of the Bhagavad Gita’s Canonization.” Religion Compass. Link here.

Seven poems in Indo-English Poetry Anthology by Hidden Brook Press, edited by Dr Vivekanand Jha.

Poem-essay “Lorine Niedecker Condens.” MUD Proposal. USA. Web. Read here.

“Poem, Sisyphus”  in Omniverse. Web.

2012

“Ouranos Returns,” “Cupid & Psyche,” “Midas, A Casino in Vegas.” Mascara (Issue 12, 2012). Web.

Review of Arvind K. Mehrotra’s Songs of KabirTranslation Review (Vol 83, Issue 1, 2012).

Poems “Shiva’s Digs,” “Panchali,” “Looking for Lethe,” “Brahma’s Moment,” “For Pootana’s Sake.” Harper Collins Book of English Poetry by Indians. Ed. Sudeep Sen. New Delhi: Harper Collins, 2012.

Review of Mohammad A Quayum’s Rabindranath Tagore: Selected Short Stories. Cha. (Mar 2012, Issue 16.) Web.

Translation of ”Madhurashtakam” from Sanskrit, “He’s a Sweetie.” Asymptote (April 2012). Web.

2011

Translation of “Guru Ashtakam” from Sanskrit, “Guru-Hymn in Eight Stanzas.” Anomalous Press (Issue 3, 2011). Web.

Translation of “Ishopanishad” from Sanskrit, “Covered in God.” Asymptote (April, 2011). Web.

Poem “Postcard Aphrodite.” Colorado Review (Issue 38.1 Spring 2011). 133-135. USA. Print.

Essay “Automatic Writing – Real, Surreal, Indeterminate.” Fulcrum (Issue 7, 2011). USA. Print.

Poems  MAI Review (2011 Issue 1). New Zealand. Web.

Essay “Reading the Rigveda” in response to “What are you doing in the attic?” Indian Literature (Issue 262. Vol LV. No 2. March-April 2011). 168-169. India. Print.

2010

Poems “Peace Treaty,” “Ding Dong Bell,” and “Iliad Blues.” Mascara (2010). Australia. Web.

Poems “My Pumpkin’s Miscarriages,” “Shots,” “Five-word poem,” “Grand Finale” and “Address.” Indian Literature (2010). (Issue 259. Vol LIV. No 5. Sep-Oct 2010). 55-57. India. Print.

Poem-essay “Lorine Niedecker Condens.” Interim. (Vol.28 No.1 & 2, 2010 and Vol 29 issue 3, 2012). Using only Niedecker’s words and her poetic principles, a condensary of her volume of collected works. 132-149. USA. Print and web.

Essay “Caterpillar to Butterfly: Thoreau’s dietary journey.” Thoreau Society Bulletin (Issue 270, Spring 2010). 1-3. USA. Print.

Poem “Geocity.” Holly Rose Review. USA. Web.

Essay “Questions of Travel.” 91st Meridian (Spring 2010). USA. Web.

Poem “Father’s Day.” Cordite ‘Epic’ issue. Australia. Web.

“Mobius” and “ø.” Caravan India Magazine (Vol 2. Issue 01, Jan 2010). 90. India. Print and Web.

2009

“Bhagavad Gita Translation Excerpts,” essay “Repetitiveness in Gita translations” and “Translator’s Note.” eXchanges (Winter 2009). USA. Web.

Fifteen poems from the manuscripts of Gods R Us and Ghostmasters. Almost Island (Monsoon 2009). India. Web.

Essay “Decoding Augustine via Saussure.” In-Between Journal of Literary Criticism (Sep 2009 Vol 15 No.2). 131-139. India. Print.

Poems “Iowa Romancing,” “Make Poverty History.” The Literary Review (Spring 2009 Vol 52, No.3) 79-80. USA. Print.

Poem “Ganga Jump” in Desilit (2009) retelling the legend of Ganga. USA. Web.

Poems “Classic,” “Tensile,” “So That You Know,” “The Other Half.” Indian Literature (Issue 250, Vol LIII No.2 Mar/Apr 2009). 58-60. India. Print.

Poems “Sporous,” “End of Scene,” “Bird Union,” “Shots.” Softblow. Singapore. Web.

Poem “My mother …” in Not A Muse. Ed. Viki Holmes, Kate Rogers. Hong Kong: Haven Books, 2009.

2008

Poems “Bird Union,” “Pol Pot,” “Slough.” Kavya Bharati (No.20, 2008). 58-60. India. Print.

“Sol,” a five-poem series. Tinfish (Issue 18, 2008). 8-13. USA. Print.

Essay “Stretch.” XCP (Issue 20, Summer 2008). 102-106. USA. Print.

Poems “Sometimes a voice …” and “Something kids see …” Holly Rose Review (2008). USA. Web.

Poem “Sequence.” Oxford Magazine (Issue 22, April 2008). USA. Web.

Poems “Slough,” “En Route” and “Pol Pot.” Asia Literary Review, Hong Kong. (Autumn 2008). 07-09. Hong Kong. Print.

Poems “When? Soon.” Carapace. (No.68 2008). 28. South Africa. Print.

Poem “The sky is fitted linen…” Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond. Ed Tina Chang, Nathalie Handal, Ravi Shankar. USA: WW Norton, 2008.

Seven poems in The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets. Ed. Jeet Thayil. UK: Bloodaxe, 2008.

Seven poems in Sixty Indian Poets. Ed. Jeet Thayil. New Delhi, India: Penguin, 2008.

Poems and interview in The Golden Treasury of Writer’s Workshop Poetry. Ed Rubana Huq. Calcutta, India: Writer’s Workshop, 2008. 205-208.

Essay “The Final Solution.” Fifty-Fifty, an anthology of Hong Kong writing. Ed. Xu Xi. Hong Kong: Haven Books, 2008. Satire in response to the question, “What will Hong Kong’s future be at the close of the one-country two-systems policy in 2047?”

2007

Poems “Epitaph,” “Calling.” Zoland Poetry. Ed. Roland Pease. USA: Steerforth Press, 2007. 23-25. Print.

Poem “Airing at a sniff.” XCP (Summer 2007). 63. USA. Print.

Note in “Ten writers on their mothertongue.” 91st Meridien (Issue 5.2 Spring 2007). USA. Web.

Poems “The Void Plate,” “Mutations,” and “Star-crossed.” Cha. Hong Kong. Web.

Three poems from Echolocation, Muse of Murmer (March 2007). 104-106. India. Print.

Essay “Writing to Stop.” Atlas 02. Ed. Sudeep Sen. UK: Aark Arts, 2007.

Poems “Axe” and “The Sky is Fitted…” Kritya, An Anthology of Poetry. Ed. Rati Saxena. Trivandrum, India: Kritya, 2007. 73-74.

2006

Poems “Grand Finale” and “Address.” Quay Journal (2006). USA. Web.

Poems “Chorus,” “Ebri,” and “Catching Up” with Latin trans. Adrienne Ho. 91st Meridien. (Issue 4.2 winter 2006.) USA. Web.

Essay “Cuntree.” 91st Meridien (Issue 4.2 winter 2006). USA. Web.

Essay “Writing to Stop.” 91st Meridien (Issue 4.2 winter 2006). USA. Web.

Essay “Cuntree.” West Coast LINE (Issue 39/1, 2006). 27. Canada. Print.

Poems “Back from the markets of lust,” and “Eyes are emissaries.” Iowa Review (Aug 2006). 66-67. USA. Print.

Short story “Junket.” The Daily Palette of the University of Iowa (19 March 2006). USA. Web.

Poem “Drought.” HOW2 (Vol 2-4, 2006). USA. Web.

“Indian Innovation.” Ed. Mani Rao. HOW2 (Vol 2-4, 2006). USA. Web.

Poems “Axe,” “So that you know.” Fourth River. (Vol 2, Spring 2006). 69-70. USA. Print.

Poems “Pol Pot,” “Visited.” Washington Square. (Issue 18, Summer 2006). 58. USA. Print.

Poem “India Song.” Penumbra. (April 2006). 18. India. Print.

Story “Which Way Does the River Flow? Asia Literary Review. (Spring 2006, Vol. I). 38-39. Hong Kong. Print.

Seven poems. Openspaceindia. (2006). India. Web.

Poems “Re-incarnation kaleidoscope,” “Auto” and “Metro.” Filling Station. (Issue 35, 2006). 22. Canada. Print.

Poems. Harvest International. (Issue 32, Fall/Winter 2006). 21-23. USA. Print.

Story “Which Way Does the River Flow?” In Posse Review on webdelsol. (Fall 2006). USA. Web.

Review of John Mateer’s “Ancient Capital of Images.” Verse magazine (2006). USA. Web.

Three poems from Echolocation with Italian trans. Antonio Padula. Le Voci Della Luna. (No.34 March 2006). 5. Italy. Print.

Poems “Haul,” and “Testament.” Wasafiri (Issue 49, 2006). 27-28. U.K. Print.

Poems “Epitaph,” “Route” and “Sporous.” Chandrabhaga (2006). 72-76. India. Print.

Twelve poems. Kritya. (Vol.1 part 10, March 2006). India. Web.

Two poems from Echolocation with Italian trans. Andrea Galli. Wikispaces. Web.

“Slough.” Trash. Ed. John Knechtel. Toronto, Canada: Alphabet City, 2006. 280-281.

Six poems. Hongkong Poems. Ed. Louise Ho and Klaus Stierstorfer. Trans. Monika Gomille et al. Tuebingen, Germany: Stauffenburg Verlag, 2006. 307-321.

Poem “War is a place…” The Other Voices International Project Anthology. Ed: Roger Humes. USA: Paula Brown Publishing, 2006. 27.

Essay “Cuntree” and Short Story “Junket.” H.K.I.D, Stories from the City’s Hidden Writers. Ed. Dania Shawwa. Hong Kong: Haven Books, 2006. 73-82.

2005

Thirty poems and multi-media. Papertiger. (Issue 05, 2006). Indonesia. Web and Disc.

Seven poems. Give the Sea Change and It Shall Change: Fifty-Seven Indian Poets. Ed. Jeet Thayil. Fulcrum (Issue 04, 2005). 289-292. USA. Print.

Essay “Cuntree.” Nethra. (Vol 3 No.8, 2005). 25-29. Sri Lanka. Print.

Three poems. Nth Position (July 2005). U.K. Web.

“Slough.” Meanjin. (Vol.64 Nos.1/2 2005). Australia. Print.

Three poems. JAAM. (Issue 23, 2005). 56. New Zealand. Print.

Eight poems. Kritya. (Vol.1 part 3, August 2005). India. Web.

Essay “Halloween.” Dimsum. (Vol 10, Spring 2005). 89. Hong Kong. Print.

Several poems. Dimsum. (Vol 1, No. 2, 1999). Hong Kong. Print.

Article “Soul Rebel.” Interview with Bernardine Evaristo on herSeven pverse-novel Soul Tourists. South China Morning Post (7 August 2005). Hong Kong. Print.

Essay “Halloween.” Nanyang Arts Monthly. (July 2005). Singapore. Print.

Several poems in Arabic trans. Sayed Gouda. Akhbar-Al-Adab. (2005). Cairo. Print.

Four poems. Poetry Live! Anthology of poetry for Hong Kong schools. Ed. Peter Gordon, David Mckirdy. Hong Kong: Chameleon Press, 2005. 30, 44, 50.

Poem “Sheltering Sky.” Reaching Out For Peace. Ed. and trans. Joon-Soo-Bong. Seoul, Korea: Minumsa, 2005. Poem holograph in a permanent exhibit at the Manhae Museum in Seoul.

Poem “Shun the…” and “Watch out!” Honoring Fathers. Ed. Gemino Al Abad and Alfred A Yuson. Manila, Philippines: The University of the Philippines Press, 2005. 60.

BEFORE 2005

Four poems. Poetry Live! Anthology of poetry for Hong Kong schools. Ed. Peter Gordon, David Mckirdy. Hong Kong: Chameleon Press, 2005. 30, 44, 50.

Poem “Sheltering Sky.” Reaching Out For Peace. Ed. and trans. Joon-Soo-Bong. Seoul, Korea: Minumsa, 2005. Poem holograph in a permanent exhibit at the Manhae Museum in Seoul.

Poem “Shun the…” and “Watch out!” Honoring Fathers. Ed. Gemino Al Abad and Alfred A Yuson. Manila, Philippines: The University of the Philippines Press, 2005. 60.

Poems “Cantread,” “Somewhere in vacuum” and “Let us move…” City Voices, Hong Kong writing in English, 1945 to present. Ed. Xu Xi, Mike Ingham. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2003. 324, 345.

Poems “The sky is fitted linen …,” “The man without a shadow,” “Sheltering Sky.” OutLoud, An anthology of poetry from OutLoud readings. Ed. Alan Jefferies, Christopher Kelen, Mani Rao, et al. Foreword by Dino Mahoney. Hong Kong: XtraLoud Press, 2002. 108-110.

“Ombres Vivantes,” Poems from Living Shadows and in French translation by Gérard Henry. CityPoetry 2001, Poetry, Documentation, Essays. Hong Kong. 60-67.

Poem “Let us Move…” Moving Poetry. Ed. Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Page Richards. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2001. 103.

Publications in journals before 2005 include Dimsum, Printout, Takahe, The Brown Critique, New Quest, Debonair, Mirror, and other journals. 

READINGS and CONFERENCES

American Literary Translators Association, 2010. Panel on translating ancient texts: “Grave Robbers.”

Asian Writers Conference, Creighton University Asian World Center, Omaha. April 2009. Reading and panel talk.

ACLA (American Comparative Literature Association), Harvard, April 2009. “Cuntree” in seminar on Language and Politics. Seminar paper.

Vegas Valley Book Festival, Las Vegas, Nov 2008. Reading and talk.

Zoland Poetry reading at Bowery Poetry Club, AWP New York City, Feb 2008.

Kritya International Poetry Festival. Thiruvananthapuram, India. July 2007. Reading.

PEN World Voices New York. Reading at event HOWL for fifty years event commemorating Ginsberg. New York, April 2006. Reading.

Translating across Borders. Chatham University Pittsburgh, October 2005. Reading and panels.

Chicago Humanities Festival. Chicago, November 2005. Reading.

Vancouver Asian Heritage Month. Readings at Vancouver Public Library, Simon Fraser University Burnaby and venues in Richmond, Surrey and Victoria. Reading at the launch of Red Silk, Anthology of Poetry by South Asian Canadians. May 2005.

Cairo Atelier. Hong Kong poets in Cairo, March 2004. Reading.

The Age Melbourne Writers Festival. July 2004. Reading.

Wordfeast Singapore International Poetry Festival. January 2004.

The Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival. Readings and panels. Hong Kong, April 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004. Authors-in-schools program, 2007.

Hong Kong British Council Eye on Books. Hong Kong, 1998.

“City Poetry” at the City Festival. Hong Kong, 1999, 2000, 2001.

And various readings – India: Crossword Bangalore, PEN Mumbai. Singapore: Substation, Zouk Club. Hong Kong: Fringe Club, Visage Free, Steps, Jazz Club, Chinese University of Hong Kong “Dialogue Among Civilizations”; Hong Kong University, Hong Kong Baptist University, Poetry Summer at Hong Kong Book Fair 2004. Las Vegas: Clark County Public Library, WordUP! Las Vegas and other.

RADIO, MULTI-MEDIA, TEACHING

Host for “Time for Poetry” on RTHKRadio 4. Hong Kong’s first poetry radio segment. Interviewed George Bowering (Canada), Fred Wah (Canada), Wendy Morton (Canada), Corey Frost (Canada), Bernardine Evaristo (U.K), Sharon Hass (Israel), Kiwao Nomura (Japan), Marjan Stroyan (Slovenia), John Kinsella (Australia/U.K), Edi Shukriu (Albania), Ted Mathys (USA), John Mateer (Australia), Sampurna Chattarji (India), PK Leung (Hong Kong) and Rachel Woskin (USA/China). Readings or notes on Keats, Borges, Donne, Williams, Sappho, Sylvia Plath, Homer. Reading from Cesar Vallejo, Theodore Roethke, selections from Polish poetry. Review of Madeleine Marie Slavick’s “Delicate Access.” Aired from June 2005 to December 2005.

Co-founder of OutLoud,Hong Kong’s poetry reading series. Started in 1997, OutLoud continues to be a highlight of Hong Kong’s literary scene. OutLoud published an anthology of Hong Kong poetry in English and hosted poetry-based events and panels at the annual Hong Kong International Literary festival in its first three years.

Installations at CityPoetry Hong Kong. Part of the City Festival 2000 organised by the Fringe Club, Hong Kong. CityPoetry 2000 was a collaboration between poets and artists to bring text out into public spaces. Event co-organiser along with Zoe Li. Co-editor of the CityPoetry anthology. Installations included graffiti art “Anal Analyst” at Fringe Club toilets, stencil window-display of a poem at Staunton Café in collaboration with designer Amber T Matthews. (2000)

Installation at Hong Kong Fringe Festival. “The Writing On the Wall,” graffiti art at the atrium of the Hong Kong Arts Center. (1997)

Poemcards. Designed and produced poem-based postcards for the 1997 Group of Restaurants and Bars, who sponsored the production and distributed the cards at all their outlets. Hong Kong, 1996.

Exhibition of six flash video films based on poems from “Salt.” Directed by Viswas Kulkarni and originally featured on nungu.com. Exhibited at the Fringe Club, Hong Kong, 2003.

Poetry-Music collaboration with DJ and drummer Spiro integrating voice, music and sound. Hong Kong, 2007. Selection hosted on this site.

Teaching undergraduates: University of Nevada Las Vegas: English Composition 101 (Fall 2007). English Composition 102 (Spring 2008, Fall 2008). Poetry Workshop ENG 205 (Fall 2008). World Literature ENG 231 (Spring 2009). Distance Education World Literature ENG 231 (Summer 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010).

Teaching at K-12 schools across Iowa as part of the 2006 UI-IP fellowship, visited Wood Intermediate  (Davenport), Ames Middle School (Ames), Johnston Middle School (Johnston), Valley HighSchool (Des Moines), Lucas School (Iowa City), Oaknoll Retirement Residence (Iowa City), Sudlow Intermediate (Davenport), Hiawatha Public Library (Hiawatha), Lincoln School, Marshaltown High School, Spencer High School. Spring 2006. Teaching visit, Spencer High School Iowa May 2008.

Teaching Creative Writing at the University of Hong Kong’s Moving Poetry. Ten poets led a series of summer workshops for 150 schoolchildren. Hong Kong, 2004, 2002, 2001. Teaching younger schoolchildren: Creative Writing at the University of Hong Kong’s Moving Poetry. Summer workshops Hong Kong, 2004, 2002, 2001.

ACADEMIC

BA English, Stella Maris College Madras, India (1985).

MFA (Poetry) University of Nevada Las Vegas (2010).

PhD student (Religious Studies). Emory University 2010-2011 and Duke University from 2011.

Mani Rao is the author of eight poetry books and a translation of the Bhagavad Gita.