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Shankar Narayan’s poetry creates a new and thoroughly modern mythology of power, weaving together narratives of identity, colonialism, embodiment, ecology, and technology through a series of ever-shifting yet connected contexts.
His multiple identities—as a civil rights attorney and anti-racism activist, an advocate for humane and community-centric technology, an environmentalist and ecopoet, and a spiritual seeker with a deep grounding in multiple world theologies—inform and shape his work, in which he lays out new frameworks of ethics and humanity for an era dominated by technology yet more than ever at the mercy of nature.
This event will explore Narayan’s body of work, with readings of select poems and a conversation with poet Satya Dash, exploring their context, inspirations, and impact. This will be followed by an audience Q&A.
Image Credits: Aaliyah Gupta
Shankar Narayan explores identity, power, mythology, and technology in a world where the body is flung across borders yet possesses unrivaled power to transcend them. Shankar is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the winner of prizes and fellowships from Kundiman, Hugo House, Jack Straw, Flyway, River Heron, and many others.
He is a 4Culture grant recipient for Claiming Space, a project to lift the voices of writers of color, and his chapbook, Postcards From the New World, won the Paper Nautilus Debut Series chapbook prize. Shankar is an eco-poet of increasing repute, having been anthologized in US and Canadian works such as Worth More Standing: Poets and Activists Pay Homage to Trees, Cascadia: A Field Guide Through Art, Ecology, and Poetry, and Spirited Stone: Lessons from Kubota’s Garden, among others. He also teaches creative writing on a number of platforms, often engaging with diverse bodies of South Asian and North American Indigenous literature, scripture, and mythology.
Shankar draws strength from his global upbringing and from his work at the intersection of civil rights and technology. Professionally, he is a Yale- and Harvard-educated attorney in practice as a civil rights activist for over 20 years, and has also taught law, technology, and ethics at Seattle University School of Law. In Seattle, he awakens to the wonders of Cascadia every day, but his heart yearns east to his other hometown, Delhi. For more information, and to connect with him please visit shankarnarayan.net.
Satya Dash is the recipient of the 2020 Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize and a finalist for the 2020 Broken River Prize. His poems appear in The Boiler, Anomaly, Chestnut Review, Rhino Poetry, Cincinnati Review, and Diagram, among others.
Apart from having a degree in electronics from BITS Pilani-Goa, he has been a cricket commentator. He has been nominated previously for Pushcart, Best of the Net and Best New Poets. He grew up in Cuttack and now lives in Bangalore, India. He tweets at: @satya043