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Director, Manasa Centre for Cultural Studies, Shivamogga
Poet, Journalist and Filmmaker

Date & Time

Saturday Sat, 25 Jul 2020


Location (for BIC Venue, BIC Hybrid and BIC Cafe)

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
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+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

In its existence of nearly 1500 years, Kannada poetry has spoken in many voices and many styles to all kinds of audiences – from patron kings to the neo literate. Amidst its astonishing heterogeneity, it has articulated the perennial quest for the significance and value of human life, speaking honestly and intimately about fears, joys and sorrows. In this talk, through some landmark poems, Prof. Rajendra Chenni introduces us to this poetic tradition which celebrates life, so we can start our individual journeys in which he says ‘treasures come seeking you’. Eminent poet Prathibha Nandakumar joins us to read her poems.

List of poems, translators and sources

  • Verses from  Kavirajamarga, C N Ramachandran  and B A Vivek Rai Classical Kannada Poetry and Prose
  • Verses from Pampa’s Adipurana Classical Kannada Poetry and Prose
  • Basavanna’s Vachanas, A.K. Ramanujan Speaking of Siva
  • Akkamahadevi’s Vachanas,   A.K.Ramanujan, Speaking of Siva
  • Bendre’s poems. ‘Then and Now’ ‘Don’t Look at me…’  Madhav Ajjampura from his blog darabendreinenglish.com
  • Kuvempu , ‘God and his Priest’ M.L.Manjunatha, A String of Pearls edited by H S Shivaprakash
  • K.S.Narasimhaswamy, ‘Tungabhadra’ C.P. Ravikuamr from An English Mirror for Kannada Poetry on his blog cp- ravikumar-kannadapoems2english.blogspot.com
  • Gopalakrishna Adiga, ‘Aagaboti’ unpublished translation by Rajendra Chenni
  • Chandrashekhar Kambara, ‘The Fiend of the Folktales’, by OL.Nagabhushana Swamy from The Rocks of Hampi
  • Shivaprakash H.S. ‘Prose Song of  Caliban,’ unpublished translation by Rajendra Chenni.


Rajendra Chenni

Director, Manasa Centre for Cultural Studies, Shivamogga

Literary and cultural critic, Rajendra Chenni was Professor of English at Kuvempu University, Shivamogga, and is presently Director, Manasa Centre for Cultural Studies, Shivamogga. He writes in Kannada and English. He has authored 12 books in Kannada and four in English. He has received several honours including the Karnataka State Sahitya Akademi Lifetime Achievement Award (2012), Karnataka State Sahitya Akademi Award (1987 & 2003), V M Inamdar Award (2019), D S Max Sahitya Sri Award (2016) GSS Award (2009), BA Sridhara Award (2012) and Vardamana Udayonmukha Award (1992). He was part of the prestigious delegation which discussed the repercussions of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem in Israel in 2012. 

He has actively participated in several people’s movements in Karnataka − to protect the Baba Budan Giri shrine, against mining at Kudremukha, and for saving the Tunga River. Presently, he is convenor of Dakshinayana Karnataka, a collective of writers and artists against fascism. 

His abiding interest has been in classroom teaching and research, and he has kept himself involved in classroom activities by engaging with students and researchers across the country.

Prathibha Nandakumar

Poet, Journalist and Filmmaker

Prathibha Nandakumar is a leading Kannada poet, journalist, filmmaker, columnist and translator. Her publications include 16 collections of poems, two collections of short stories, three biographies, one collection of essays, one autobiography, and three translations into Kannada, including Anand Neelakanthan’s novel The Saga of Sivagami. She has also translated Agni Sreedhar’s Kannada novel into English, The Gangster’s Gita. Her poems have been translated into English, Swedish, Chinese, Finnish, Danish, Spanish and other Indian languages. She has presented her poems at international gatherings, such as the Göteborg Book Fair, Sweden, Asian Writers’ Meet, Helsinki, Finland, SAARC Poets’ Meet, Kathmandu etc. She was one among the delegation of five Indian writers to China. Her awards include the Infosys Foundation Award for Literature, Bangalore Literary Festival Award, Dr. Shivarama Karanth Award, Karnataka Sahitya Academy Book Award, Mahadevi Verma Kavya Samman and Hoogar Memorial Award for Journalism.