World Renowned Poet Comes to Erie: Yuyutsu Sharma's The Erie Reader Interview!

Yuyutsu Sharma


From his birth, Yuyutsu Sharma’s been on the move. Born in Nakodar, Punjab, Sharma grew up there before living in the Nangal Township of Shivalkis ranges of the Mahabharata Hills. He then moved to Nepal at an early age. His father, a devout follower of wandering saints, tried to donate him to the head priest of a shrine on the banks of Satluj. Lucky for him, us, and the poetry community at large, the priest told Sharma’s father to send him to school because he would become something important, as he pinched ashes from a bonfire before him and rubbed them on Sharma’s forehead, blessing him to become what he has today: a wandering poet.

This critically-acclaimed wandering poet, thanks to the efforts of some notable local poets, has found his way to Erie, where he’ll deliver to two readings, one Sunday, Dec. 2 at the Poets’ Hall at 1136 East Lake Road at 3 p.m., and the other at Gannon University’s Knight Club at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 162 W. Fourth St.

Ben Speggen: You spend a considerable time on tour throughout the U.S. and Europe. What are some of the most memorable places you’ve read your poetry?

Yuyutsu Sharma: I love London and New York, London is a poet’s paradise. And the respect for literature, language is what fascinates. Each and every corner speaks of literary history. I was staying in London once in Kentish town, and soon I discovered little farther in Hamstead Heath was Keats’ house and close to my neighborhood a cemetery where both Marx and Freud lay buried. And Dickens’ house wasn’t far away. This makes you feel so special. And New York I love because this is the place where you are accepted so easily. No matter where you come from, in a day, you are a New Yorker. I think humanity has evolved here; in Europe or Asia this wouldn’t happen – no matter how much you try you will never ever become one of them, but New York is so special.

BS: When you’re not touring, you’re trekking in the Himalayas. What does that do for you as a poet, as a writer, as a person?

YS: Himalayas is a great abode of gods and place of learning. Since centuries, people have gone to the Himalayas to seek wisdom and to meditate. And there’s so much life there – it’s not just mountains like in Alps or American Rockies. It’s people struggling for bare survival, folk lore and the legend, the monasteries and monuments, and awesome vistas of nature that so compelling. It has become my second home.

BS: At the age of 9, you became a Shaman because you were thought to be under the possession of a serpent spirit. What was that like?

YS: In my village in Punjab, I used to visit our local shrine devoted to the serpent spirit with my late grandpa. During one of my visits as the folk singers played the drums and narrated the legend of Guga Sain, I started shaking and crawling like a snake on the ground. From that day onwards, everyone in my family including my grandpa started bowing to me in reverence. But then I was going to this English school and I thought, ‘What would my friends say? They would think I am crazy…’ So over the years, I lost that gift as western education taught me to be objective and empirical. Only later when I grew up I learnt I had this gift from the gods, and since I did not believe in it, I lost it. But somehow even today the spirit visits me in form of Muse and I shake as my pen moves across a blank page.

BS: Your work has been translated into German, French, Italian, Slovenian, Hebrew, Spanish, and Dutch. Do you ever fear that something’s been lost in the translation from the language you write in to the language your work is translated to?

YS: Well, translation by definition is impossible. A lot is lost, but what comes through is important. And due to multiple languages and diversity of cultures, the poets in the Indian subcontinent have always been translating the scriptures into respective languages. In Nepal’s case, it was the translation of The Ramayana by poet Bhanubhakta Acharya that made the birth of Nepal nation possible. It’s on the basis of the Nepali language the rulers of that time were able to unify scattered principalities of the Himalayas into a nation. So Nepal is a nation born out of the breath of poet-translators.

BS: How did you come to find out about Erie?

YS: It was poet Chuck Joy who wrote to me last year and I came to learn more about Erie. I am a lover of lakes. One of my books is called “The Lake Fewa and a Horse.” I fell in love with this lake at the foothills of the Annapurnas and have been writing about it for more than a decade now. I am eagerly waiting to come to Erie and breathe in its celestial airs.

BS: What are three things an audience in Erie can expect from your readings?

YS: In Sanskrit, the Himalayas are called Devatatma, meaning the place where soul of the God lives. They should prepare to enter the colossal house of God’s soul, forget the mundane, and prepare to trek to the top of the world.

Ben Speggen can be contacted at

New Paperback edition of Annapurna Poems out!


This is a major anthology from one of South Asia’s most prominent poet’s who has made Annapurna region his home for last two decades.

Yuyutsu’s devotion for the mountains and the people living there is unparalleled. Though his work was interrupted with the rise of insurgency and the consequent political turmoil in the Himalayan nation, the poet continued to long for the hidden valleys and mule paths where, as the scriptures say, the soul of the Gods lives.

Even in his dreams he conjures the treks to the remote Himalayan regions, searching for life on the bleeding mule paths of human struggle, listening to the chorus of cicadas and dramas of hunger and strife in the hushed grounds of Little Paradise Lodge, chartering history of human attempts to invade the realm of eternal snow with moving cameras, frozen spaghetti and plastic bags.Like exquisite fields of Himalayan flowers, these are poems of high artistic integrity about harsh truths of mystery, history and humanity.

Sensual, sharp and stunning, these concrete images will leave the readers breathless. A huge achievement, bringing alive the unsung agony of the people of the high Himalaya

Yuyutsu Sharma's Current North American Tour


Yuyutsu Sharma is South Asian’s leading poet published by Nirala with growing International acclaim. After a brief stopover in London, he’s currently in New York City as a visiting poet at New York University He has several upcoming readings in New York, Boston, Erie and Ohio. Here is a list of  some of the upcoming events…


Erie, Pennsylvania

Sunday, December 2, 2012: 3:00 pm: Yuyutsu Special Guest at Poets’ Hall -the International Fellowship of Poets and Spoken Word Artists 1136 E. Lake Rd, Erie, Pennsylvania 16507,  Event Hosted By Cee Williams and Chuck Joy

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 7 pm:Yuyutsu Sharma’s Gannon University Reading at The Knight Club 4th and Sassafras Streets, Erie,16541  Event Sponsored by Sigma Tan Delta and The English Department, Gannon University, Open to All

New York Upstate

Sunday, December 9, 2012, 3;30 pm ; Yuyutsu Sharma at read at William Seaton’ s  Dada:An Introduction’s book Launch at the Seligmann Center for the Arts, 23 White Oak Drive, Sugar Loaf, New York  Books by both authors will be available Admission is free.

Cleveland, Ohio

Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 8 pm: Yuyutsu Sharma Reading as Special Guest at WritingKnights Press Event, Literary Cafe 1031 Literary Rd., Cleveland, Ohio 44113

Wednesday,  December 5, 2012 at 7 pm: Yuyutsu Sharma Reading at Mac’s Backs,
1820 Coventry Road  Cleveland Heights, OH 44118 (216) 321-2665 Open to All

Recipient of fellowships and grants from The Rockefeller Foundation, Ireland Literature Exchange, Trubar Foundation, Slovenia, The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature and The Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature, Yuyutsu RD Sharma is a distinguished poet and translator.
He has  published nine poetry collections including, Milarepa’s Bones, 33 New Poems, (Nirala, New Delhi 2012),  Nepal Trilogy, Photographs and Poetry on Annapurna, Everest, Helambu & Langtang (, Epsilonmedia, Karlsruhe, 2010), a 900-page book with renowned German photographer, Andreas Stimm, Space Cake, Amsterdam, & Other Poems from Europe and America, (Howling Dog Press, Colorado, 2009) and Annapurna Poems, 2008, Reprint, 2012).

Yuyutsu also brought out a translation of Irish poet Cathal O’ Searcaigh poetry in Nepali in a bilingual collection entitled, Kathmandu: Poems, Selected and New, (2006) and a translation of Hebrew poet Ronny Someck’s poetry in Nepali in a bilingual edition, Baghdad, February 1991 & He has translated and edited several anthologies of contemporary Nepali poetry in English and launched a literary movement, Kathya Kayakalpa (Content Metamorphosis) in Nepali poetry.
Two books of his poetry, Poemes de l’ Himalayas (L’Harmattan, Paris) and Poemas de Los Himalayas (Cosmopoeticia, Cordoba, Spain) just appeared in French and Spanish respectively.

Widely traveled author, he has read his works at several prestigious places including Poetry Café, London, Seamus Heaney Center for Poetry, Belfast, New York University, New York, The Kring, Amsterdam, P.E.N. Paris, Knox College, Illinois, Whittier College, California, Baruch College, New York, WB Yeats’ Center, Sligo, Gustav Stressemann Institute, Bonn,  Rubin Museum, New York, Irish Writers’ Centre, Dublin, The Guardian Newsroom, London,  Trois Rivieres Poetry Festival, Quebec, Arnofini, Bristol, Borders, London, Slovenian Book Days, Ljubljana, Royal Society of Dramatic Arts, London, Gunter Grass House, Bremen, GTZ, Kathmandu, Nehru Center, London, March Hare, Newfoundland, Canada, Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt, Indian International Center, New Delhi, and Villa Serbelloni, Italy.
He has held workshop in creative writing and translation at Queen’s University, Belfast, University of Ottawa and South Asian Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany, University of California, Davis, Sacramento State University, California and New York University, New York.
His works have appeared in Poetry Review, Chanrdrabhaga, Sodobnost, Amsterdam Weekly, Indian Literature, Irish Pages, Delo, Modern Poetry in Translation, Exiled Ink, Iton77, Little Magazine, The Telegraph, Indian Express and Asiaweek.
Born at Nakodar, Punjab and educated at Baring Union Christian College, Batala and later at Rajasthan University, Jaipur, Yuyutsu remained active in the literary circles of Rajasthan and acted in plays by Shakespeare, Bertolt Brecht, Harold Pinter, and Edward Albee. Later he taught at various campuses of Punjab University, and Tribhuwan University, Kathmandu.
The Library of Congress has nominated his recent book of Nepali translations entitled Roaring Recitals; Five Nepali Poets as Best Book of the Year 2001 from Asia under the Program, A World of Books International Perspectives.
Yuyutsu’s own work has been translated into German, French, Italian, Slovenian, Hebrew, Spanish and Dutch. He just published his nonfiction, Annapurnas & Stains of Blood: Life, Travel and Writing a Page of Snow, (Nirala, 2010). He edits Pratik, A Magazine of Contemporary Writing and contributes literary columns to Nepal’s leading daily, The Himalayan Times.

He has just returned from the Poetry Parnassus Festival organized to celebrate London Olympics 2012 where he represented Nepal and India and will be visiting NYU later in the year as Special Guest during International Education Week.

Half the year, he travels and reads all over the world to read from his works and conducts creative writing workshop at various universities in North America and Europe but goes trekking in the Himalayas when back home.


Yuyutsu Sharma to speak at William Seaton' s Book Launch at Seligmann Center


 Yuyutsu Sharma to speak at William Seaton’ s Book Launch at Seligmann Center


William Seaton will read his translations of Dada poetry and his own original Dada-influenced works in a program that will also feature his editor, leading Nepali/Indian poet Yuyutsu Ram Dass Sharma.  The event will take place at 3:30 on Sunday, December 9 at the Seligmann Center for the Arts, 23 White Oak Drive, Sugar Loaf, New York.  Books by both authors will be available, including Seaton’s just-published Dada Poetry: An Introduction.  Admission is free.

Seaton’s book includes translations of four German Dada poets along with an introduction and essays, including a meditation on the future of the avant-garde.  Seaton’s translations of Dada poets have appeared earlier in Chelsea, Maintenant, Mad Blood, Read and Destroy, and the Adirondack Review.   Seaton’s own poetry has been published in the volumes Spoor of Desire: Selected Poems, Tourist Snapshots, and Cold Water.   His poetry, reviews, translations, and essays have recently appeared in Poetry Flash, Chiron Review, Adirondack Review, Gander Press Review, Burp, Heaven Bone, and Maintenant.

An advocate of the public performance of poetry, Seaton has, throughout his life, participated in numerous events joining words with theater and visual art including work on 60s “happenings,” participation with the Cloud House guerilla poets in San Francisco during the 70s, and recent Surreal Cabarets of performance art at the Center in Sugar Loaf.  He has read as well in San Francisco, New York, London, Prague, and Kathmandu.

He directs the Poetry on the Loose Reading/Performance Series, is co-founder and president of the Northeast Poetry Center (, and posts five essays, literary and familiar, every month at

Sharma’s work as an editor for Nirala is perhaps the least of his roles.  He is one of the most distinguished poets of Nepal.  Of his many poetry collections, the more recent include Milarepa’s Bones, Hunger of Our Huddled Huts, The Lake Fewa & a HorseSpace Cake Amsterdam, & Other Poems from Europe and America, and Around Annapurna.  Sharma has translated and edited several anthologies of contemporary Nepali poetry in English.  Though much of his work is securely grounded in the Himalayan landscape, he is a true cosmopolitan who regularly reads in Europe and the USA as well as throughout Asia.  His poetry has been translated into German, French, Italian, Hebrew, Spanish and Dutch.

He is the recipient of many prestigious grants, including awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Academy of Letters (New Delhi), Ireland Literary Exchange, and the Trubar Foundation (Slovenia).  Sharma’s book of translations, Roaring Recitals: Five Nepali Poets, was nominated by the Library of Congress as best book of the year from Asia in 2001.

More information and samples of poetry are available on Sharma’s websites and

     For several years the Seligmann Center for the Arts has been sponsoring events including shows of contemporary and historic art in honor of Surrealist artist Kurt Seligmann and his wife Arlette whose estate houses the Center as well as the Orange County Citizen’s Foundation and the Orange County Arts Council.

     Contact William Seaton  at for further information.


William Seaton is a well-known American scholar and poet.  Seaton is author of Spoor of Desire (FootHills Publishing, 2008), Tourist Snapshots (CCMarimbo, 2008), andCold Water (Monkey’s Press, 1999).  His poetry, reviews, translations, and essays have recently appeared in Poetry FlashChiron ReviewGander Press ReviewWordsmith,Edison ReviewHome Planet NewsHeaven Bone, and Chronogram.

Also known for his translations of ancient Greek lyrics and medieval troubadours, Seaton was educated in the University of Illinois’ English Department and the University ofIowa’s Comparative Literature Program including work in translation under Anselm Hollo and Stavros Deligiorgis in the Translation Workshop.  He has received such academic honors as the Helen Fairall Scholarship Award and the Ada Louise Ballard Fellowship in the Humanities.

His scholarly articles concern topics ranging from a medieval mystic to African American oral rhymed narratives, and his teaching experience is equally broad, including positions at Long Island and Adelphi Universities, a New York state prison, and high school in the Niger Delta of West Africa.

For decades Seaton has translated the poets of the early twentieth century Dada movement as well as engaging in Dada-inspired performance events beginning with “happenings” in the 60s, through the guerilla poetry of Cloud House in the 70s, and recent Surreal Cabarets at the Seligmann Center for the Arts.  Some of these translations of twentieth century German Dada poets have been published in periodical form in ChelseaAdirondack ReviewRead and DestroyMaintenant, and Mad Blood.

He directs the Poetry on the Loose Reading/Performance Series in New York’s Hudson Valley, heads the Northeast Poetry Center and its College of Poetry(, and posts five essays, literary and familiar, every month at















New Release: Dada Poetry: An Introduction by William Seaton

Dada Poetry: An Introduction is a stimulating new book on the avant-garde literary movement that had a lasting impact on world culture, art, and literature.
“Rather like the blows and koans of Rinzai Zen and the cunning dreams we all conjure nightly,” says Seaton in the introduction to the book, “the purest manifestations of Dada seek to shake the observer into enlightenment through oblique attacks,saucing the onslaught with wit, political passion, and effervescent bohemianism.”
Having exposed the basics of the Dada movement in German literature, Seaton translates four Dada poets from the German, invoking the “ghost voices” of the old poets like Emmy Hennings, Richard Huelsenbeck, Han Arp, and Hugo Ball. A special chapter is devoted to the art of literary translation, the sweet treason. The author also tests whether the spells of these master remain efficacious for readers in the twenty-first century. Seaton ends the volume with a lament for the loss of the avant-garde.
A mine of riches, the book is a must for students of literature, artists, culture critics, and historians.

From the foreword by Timothy Shipe:
“Translators have paid scant attention to the poetic output of the German-speaking participants in the Dada movement . . . here at last is William Seaton’s anthology of four German Dada poets . . . for the first time, the English-speaking reader will find a generous sampling of German Dada poetry in a single volume.”

ISBN 81-8250-035-4 Hard 2013 pp 128 Rs.395


  • NYU Open House 528 LaGuardia Place New York, NY
  • Dartmoor and Annapurna Poetry Event
    Thursday, November 15, 2012
    NYU Open House
    528 LaGuardia Place
    New York, NYThe NYU Office for International Students and Scholars (soon to be the Office of Global Services) presents theGlobal Poets Event, Dartmoor and Annapurna, in celebration of International Education Week 2012. Featuring readings by two world renowned poets, Yuyutsu Ram Dass Sharma (Nepal) and Christopher Southgate (England), this event also includes live music, a poets’ talk-back, and reception.

    When: Thursday, November 15 at 7pm
    Where: NYU Open House at 528 LaGuardia Place
    Free of charge, Open to the public
    Questions? Email

Yuyutsu Sharma Special Guest at NYU Education Week!

Yuyutsu Sharma forthcoming NYU Reading


  • NYU Open House 528 LaGuardia Place New York, NY
  • Dartmoor and Annapurna Poetry Event
    Thursday, November 15, 2012
    NYU Open House
    528 LaGuardia Place
    New York, NYThe NYU Office for International Students and Scholars (soon to be the Office of Global Services) presents theGlobal Poets Event, Dartmoor and Annapurna, in celebration of International Education Week 2012. Featuring readings by two world renowned poets, Yuyutsu Ram Dass Sharma (Nepal) and Christopher Southgate (England), this event also includes live music, a poets’ talk-back, and reception.

    When: Thursday, November 15 at 7pm
    Where: NYU Open House at 528 LaGuardia Place
    Free of charge, Open to the public
    Questions? Email