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Sahitya Akademi publishes new anthology to mark 200 years of Indian English poetry

November 5, 2019

Sahitya Akademi, India’s national academy of letters, has published a new anthology called Modern English Poetry by Younger Indians. The anthology maps the contemporary poetry scene in India and the broader Indian diasporas to mark the 200 years of Indian English poetry.

The anthology, selected, introduced and edited by noted poet Sudeep Sen, contains pieces by 70 poets who are in their 40s or less. This book also acts as Volume 2 to The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (2012) which Sen had edited earlier.

Paired together, these two anthologies comprehensively map the last 70 years of Indian English Poetry with a substantial representation of 150 of the best poets writing today.

According to an official statement, “Nearly a hundred years have passed since E V Rieu’s India in Song: Eastern Themes in English Verse by British and Indian Poets (Oxford University Press, 1920), one of the earliest known attempts to present Indian poetry in English in serious anthology form.”

In the last two decades, Indian poetry in the English language has developed by leaps and bounds. New poets have emerged, employing diverse styles of writing, introducing new literary tropes, and extending the scope of the poetic muse.

“What marks them is their confidence — they are unafraid and outwardly political; they engage head-on with gender issues, aspects of intolerance, inequality and divergent sexualities; and their approach to language is free, open and unabashed,” it said.

Source: IANS

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