An Evening of Poetry: with Mustansir Dalvi, Ranjit Hoskote, and Sampura Chattarji

11 December 2021 
5pm - 6:30pm

On the occasion of Tanmoy Samanta’s ongoing solo exhibition at TARQ, The Shape of Home, three poets who call Bombay home – Ranjit Hoskote, Sampurna Chattarji, and Mustansir Dalvi – will read from their work, responding to Samanta’s work from their own long-standing preoccupations with such questions as: When change is the only constant, is memory the only real and reliable homeland? What can habitat and Heimatmean at a time when large-scale political, ecological and economic upheavals have turned millions of people into refugees? Where do we find anchorage on a planet plagued by ecological catastrophe in the Anthropocene age? What shape can home take, between nostalgia and solastalgia, dream and strategy? How do we nourish ourselves creatively, produce art of enduring value, in a time of extensive depletion and devastation?

This reading is conceived and convened by Ranjit Hoskote. 


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About the Authors

Mustansir Dalvi is the author of three books of poems, Brouhahas of Cocks (Poetrywala, 2013), Cosmopolitician (Poetrywala, 2018) and WALK (e-book, Yavanika Press, 2020). A quadrilingual edition of WALK (Poetrywala, 2021) is forthcoming. Alongside the original English, it will include translations into Marathi (by Hemant Divate), Gujarati (by Udayan Thakker) and Hindi (by Dalvi himself). Dalvi’s poems have been included in several anthologies, including Singing in the Dark: A Global Anthology of Poetry under Lockdown (K. Satchidanandan and Nishi Chawla, editors, Penguin/ Vintage Books, 2020), Open Your Eyes: An Anthology on Climate Change (Vinita Agrawal, editor, Hawakal, 2020), and These My Words: The Penguin Book of Indian Poetry (Eunice de Souza and Melanie Silgardo, editors, Penguin, 2012). His poems have been translated into French, Croatian, Gujarati, Marathi and Hindi.


Dalvi’s translation of Muhammad Iqbal’s influential Shikwa and Jawaab-e-Shikwa from the Urdu as Taking Issue and Allah’s Answer (Penguin Modern Classics, 2012) has been described as ‘insolent and heretical’ and makes Iqbal’s verse accessible to the modern reader. It was adjudged Runner Up for the Muse India Translation Award 2013. Mustansir Dalvi was born in Bombay. He teaches architecture in Mumbai.


Ranjit Hoskote is the author of more than thirty books, including Vanishing Acts: New & Selected Poems 1985-2005 (Penguin, 2006),Central Time (Penguin, 2014), Jonahwhale (Penguin, 2018; in the UK by Arc as The Atlas of Lost Beliefs, 2020, which received a Poetry Book Society Recommendation), and Hunchprose (Penguin, 2021). His translation of a celebrated 14th-century Kashmiri woman mystic, I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Ded (Penguin Classics, 2011), has been widely acclaimed. He is the editor of Dom Moraes: Selected Poems  (Penguin Modern Classics, 2012) and is translating the 18th-century Urdu poet Mir Taqi Mir. Hoskote’s poems have been translated into German, Hindi, Bengali, Irish, Marathi, Swedish, Spanish, and Arabic.


In his other life, in the visual arts, Hoskote curated India’s first-ever national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2011), co-curated the 7thGwangju Biennale (2008), and has curated retrospectives of major artists such as Jehangir Sabavala, M F Husain, Jogen Chowdhury, Mehlli Gobhai, Sakti Burman and Atul Dodiya in museum contexts in India and internationally. He has been honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Golden Jubilee Award, the Sahitya Akademi Translation Award, and the S H Raza Award for Literature. 


Sampurna Chattarji is a writer, translator, and poetry editor for The Indian Quarterly. Her twenty books include a short-story collection about Bombay/Mumbai, Dirty Love (Penguin, 2013), the novels Rupture (HarperCollins, 2009) and Land of the Well (HarperCollins, 2012), and ten poetry titles, including Space Gulliver: Chronicles of an Alien (HarperCollins, 2015), written during a Charles Wallace India Trust (CWIT) Writing Residency at the University of Kent, Canterbury, and Over & Under Ground in Mumbai & Paris (Westland-Context, 2018), a collaboration with poet Karthika Naïr. Chattarji’s translation of Sukumar Ray’s legendary Abol Tabol has appeared as Wordygurdyboom! (Puffin Classics, 2008). She has translated the magisterial Bengali writer Joy Goswami’s poetry in Joy Goswami: Selected Poems (Harper Perennial, 2014) and his prose poems in After Death Comes Water  (HarperCollins, 2021).


Sampurna Chattarji’s work has appeared in many anthologies; most recently, in Singing in the Dark, edited by K. Satchidanandan and Nishi Chawla (Penguin, 2020); Witness: The Red River Book of Poetry of Dissent, edited by Nabina Das (Red River Press, 2021); Earth, Our Home: Poems of Climate Change (Pratham Books, 2021) and Gorwelion: Shared Horizons edited by Robert Minhinnick (Parthian Books, 2021).