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Poet, Playwright & Professor of Theatre & Performance Studies, JNU, New Delhi

Date & Time

Thu, 17 Nov 2022 Fri, 18 Nov 2022


Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India
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+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

The composition of a large and rich body of vachanas is one of the most impressive expressions of Indian spiritual heritage. Both the quantity and quality of this corpus is unparalleled elsewhere. This enormous output consists of impassioned socio-spiritual prose poems composed by approximately four hundred seeker poets hailing from all sections of society – the whole gamut, from Brahmin to the untouchable, a considerable number of these poets are women representing various castes and professions. Such a phenomenon was not replicated anywhere else in the annals of pre-modern Indian literatures.

This episode of BIC talks which outlines the new approach to literary and cultural context of Vachanas was the first of the four part masterclass titled The Paths of the Hand, Heart and Void, on the vachana efflorescence of Karnataka will be an attempt to interrogate the subject from a new angle by poet, playwright and Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, H S Shivaprakash.


HS Shivaprakash

Poet, Playwright & Professor of Theatre & Performance Studies, JNU, New Delhi

HS Shivaprakash retired as Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University,  New Delhi in June 2018. He was born in 1954 in Bangalore.

He is the author of 9 books of poems, 15 plays and 3 critical works in Kannada, which are widely discussed, performed and translated into several Indian languages as well as into English, Spanish, French, Italian German, Polish, Romanian, Lithuanian, Slovak, Turkish Arabic.

He has won of several book prizes from the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi for his books of poems, translations and plays.

Shivaprakash’s areas of academic interest include theatre/literary history, Indian theatre, Medieval Studies, Comparative Literature, translation and folklore.

He has been recognised with the prestigious Rajyotsava Award from Karnataka State (2006) and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award from National Theatre Akademi (1997), Sahitya Akademi (2012), Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award (2016), Kuvempu Bhasha Bharati Tanslation Award (2016) and Kusumagraj Kavya Puraskar (2017)

In the year 2000, Shivaprakash was part of the International Writing Program in School of Letters, University of Iowa, USA.

He has formerly held various positions over the years, including Editor, Indian Literature, the journal of National Akademi of Letters; Dean, SAA, JNU; Director, The Tagore Centre, Berlin, German.

Shivaprakash has participated in many important poetry festivals all over India and several in USA, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. He has also travelled, lectured and read poetry in various countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

His important English publications include Like Earth to Stars (Mumbai, 2018), Guru:Ten Doors to Ancient Wisdom (New Delhi, 2018), Everyday Yogi (New Delhi, 2014), In Other Words (Mumbai, 2014), Autumn Ways (New Delhi, 2011) I Keep Vigil of Rudra (Penguin Classics, 2009), Traditional India Theatre (New Delhi, 2006), Indian Theatre in 2000 (edited) (New Delhi, 2011), Mahachaitra and other plays.