The voice of rare sophistication and nuance, Ruth Padel’s poetry ranges from conservation to migration while stopping over at Beethoven and mythology, conjuring rich textured images that remain as deeply seared as they are light and lyrical.
Ruth is an award-winning British poet with close links to Greece, science, classical music and wildlife conservation, especially in India. She has published eleven poetry collections shortlisted for all major UK prizes, a novel featuring wildlife conservation, and eight books of non-fiction: on wild tiger conservation, shortlisted for the Kiriwama Prize; studies of mind and madness in Greek tragedy, and the influence of Greek myth on rock music; and books on reading poetry drawn from her four year newspaper column, The Sunday Poem. She is Professor of Poetry at King’s College London, was Chair of Judges for the 2016 T. S. Eliot Prize, and Judge for 2016 International Man Booker Prize, and is Fellow of both Zoological Society of London and Royal Society of Literature. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Harvard Review, Indian Quarterly, The White Review, Times Literary Supplement, London Review of Books, Poetry Review, The Guardian. Awards include First Prize in the National Poetry Competition, a British Council Darwin Now Award, and a Cholmondley Prize. Her latest book is Emerald. Darwin: A Life in poems released a decade ago On Darwin’s centenary captured her great great grandfather memorably.
Poorna Swami is an independent choreographer, dancer, and writer. She writes on arts, culture, literature, and politics. Her essays, criticism, and reportage have appeared in The Caravan, Open Magazine, Mint-Lounge, The Hindu BLink, and Words Without Borders, among other publications. Her poetry has been published in journals such as Indiana Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Prelude. Between 2015-2017 Poorna served as the India Editor-at-large for the international online quarterly, Asymptote, and co-curated the journal’s first special feature on Indian language poetry in English translation. In 2018, Poorna was awarded the Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize for young Indian poets.
At the age of seven, Poorna began training in the classical Indian dance form, Bharatanatyam, before extending her training to contemporary dance and post-modern techniques. Her choreographic works frequently cross disciplines and reflect her interest in converging formal investigations with conceptual concerns. Poorna has performed her choreography in and around New York City, at the Wassaic Project Festival, Theater for the New City, Gibney Dance, Movement Research, WAXWorks at Triskelion, and La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. Her most recent works have shown in different venues in India, such as Shoonya – Centre for Art and Somatic Practices, 1 Shanthi Road Studio/Gallery, and The Mumbai Assembly. For the 2017 edition of the Attakkalari India Biennial, Poorna served as the editor of Attakkalari’s online dance magazine, Ligament, and facilitated the festival’s Writing on Dance Laboratory. She is a 2018 recipient of the danceWEB scholarship at ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival.
Poorna holds a BA, summa cum laude (highest honours), in Dance-Theatre and English from Mount Holyoke College (USA). She claims to live in Bangalore, though is often absconding.