Mani Rao (b.1965 India) is the author of nine poetry books and two books in translation– of the Bhagavad Gita as a poem, and Kalidasa for the 21st Century Reader which was a Finalist for the Lucien Stryk Translation Prize.

Her poems and essays are published in journals including Wasafiri, Meanjin, Washington Square, Fulcrum, West Coast Line, Interim, Colorado Review and other journals, and in anthologies including Zoland Poetry, W.W.Norton’s Language for a New Century, Penguin’s Sixty Indian Poets, and the Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets.

She has performed at literary festivals including The Age Melbourne Writers’ Festival, Chicago Humanities Festival, New York PEN World Voices, Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival, and several other festivals. 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 has an MFA in Creative Writing from UNLV (2010), and a PhD in Religious Studies from Duke University (2016). Her latest book is non-fiction– Living Mantra: Mantra, Deity and Visionary Experience Today in the Contemporary Anthropology of Religion Series from Palgrave Macmillan (2019).