Yuyutsu Sharma’s NYU Reading with American Poet, Kevin Prufer!
KEVIN PRUFER (United States) is the author of six books of poetry, the most recent of which include Churches (Four Way Books, 2014); In a Beautiful Country (Four Way Books, 2011); and National Anthem (Four Way Books, 2008). Kevin is also the editor of numerous volumes, including New European Poets (Graywolf, 2008) and the forthcoming Into English (Graywolf, 2016). He is the recipient of multiple Pushcart prizes, Best American Poetry selections, and awards from the Poetry Society of America, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets. Kevin is Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Houston, where he also co-directs the Unsung Masters Series, and is the Editor-at-Large of Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing.
YUYUTSU RAM DASS SHARMA (Nepal) is a Himalayan poet, translator, and journalist from Kathmandu. Born in the Punjab at Nakodar, India, Yuyu is the author of ten books of poetry, the most recent of which include Nine New York Poems (Nirala, 2014); Milarepa’s Bones (Nirala, 2012); and Space Cake, Amsterdam (Howling Dog Press, 2009; Nirala reprint, 2014). Yuyu has also translated and edited several anthologies of contemporary Nepali poetry in English, and recently authored a Nepali bilingual translation of Hebrew poet Ronny Someck’s Baghdad, February 1991. At the center of the Nepali literary movement, Kathya Kayakalpa (Content Metamorphosis), he has received key writing fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ireland Literature Exchange. Yuyu represented Nepal and India at the Poetry Parnassus Festival in London as a part of the 2012 Summer Olympics. A widely-traveled and distinguished public figure and journalist, Yuyu writes for The Himalayan Times, Nepal’s leading newspaper. He also currently serves as editor of Pratik, A Magazine of Contemporary Writing.
The Global Poets Series 2014 is Co-Sponsored by the Office of Global Services and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University.
Yuyutsu Sharma is South Asia’s leading poet published by Nirala with growing International acclaim. He is currently in New York City as a visiting poet at New York University and had several g readings in New York, Colorado, New Mexico and West Coast. Here is a list of some the immediate readings.
(Only Public readings are listed )
New York City
Friday, Feb 7, 2014, 6:00-8:30 pm, Yuyutsu Sharma and David Austell, guests of the Rubin Museum of Art’s Himalayan Heritage Meetup Group, Theme: Love Poetry of the 6th Dalai Lama, Hosted by Tashi Chodron, Rubin Museum, 150 W 17th St, New York, http://www.rmanyc.org. Phone: (212) 620-5000. Free and open to public.
Meet in the Museum’s café at 6:00 pm.
Tuesday, Feb 4, 2014, 6:30 pm, Acclaimed Poet Yuyutsu Sharma to read at
Port Jefferson Free Library, 100 East Main St. / Port Jefferson, NY. Hosted by Katya Johanna: Open to public, Free.( Directions – Take Route 112 north. 112 turns into 25A/Main Street. Turn right at East Main Street (fancy street sign). Go up East Main Street, hooking left to Thompson Street (library on the right side). Turn right on Thompson Street) http://www.portjefflibrary.org Phone: 631.473.0022.
Monday, Feb 3, 2014, 9,00 pm, Yuyutsu Sharma at The Poet in New York Series with Stephen Motika and Musician Michael Beharie , Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, New York, New York, Hosted by Elizabeth Peters, Co-curated by Nikhil Melnechuk, Open to public, $10.00, also Open Mike http://www.boweryartsandscience.org/ http://www.thepoetinnewyork.com/
Sunday, Feb 2, 2014, 4,00 pm-6:00 pm: Yuyutsu Sharma Phoenix Reading Series @ The Upright Brew with Michael Dorr, Bruce Weber, Joanne Pagano Weber: , 547 Hudson Street NY, NY 10014 212-810-9944 Hosted by Michael Graves : Open to public, An eight dollar ($8) cover buys a drink or pays part of a more expensive, Directions : http://www.uprightbrewhouse.com
Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014, 7,00 pm, Yuyutsu Sharma The Green Pavilion Poetry Event with David Austell and Valerie Conti.: 4307-18th Ave. Brooklyn (F train to 18th Ave. station. 4307-18th Ave. Bk * * *(F train to 18th Ave. station) Hosted by Evie Ivy : Open to public, $6.00 min. toward restaurant, $3.00 suggested donation.
Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014, 3,00 pm, Acclaimed Nepalese Poet to read at Marcus White Living Room, Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, CT 06050 Hosted by Ravi Shankar, Free and open to the public, http://www.ccsu.edu, http://www.ccsu.edu/page.cfm?id=2272&verbose=63181&backcal=1
Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014: 5:30 pm Yuyutsu Sharma Workshop: Writing Lakes, Mountains and Cities: A Himalayan Experience and Exercise at Mac’s Backs- Books on the Coventry, 1820 Coventry Rd Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118, Registration $10.00 or $5.00 for students.; Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Hosted by Suzanne DeGaetano, http://www.macsbacks.com, 216-321-2665
Thursday, Feb 13 2014 11 am-12 pm : Yuyutsu Sharma’s The University of Akron Wayne College, SLB Marketplace, 1901 Smucker Road, Orrville, OH 44667 330-683-2010 http://wayne.uakron.edu/news-media/promo-detail.dot?promoId=4fbc78f5-f8ee-49c6-a04c-ecf82b4d2b12
Saturday, Feb 15, 2014: 7:00 pm Yuyutsu Sharma A Himalayan Poet in Akron, A Poetry Workshop at @ Rubber City Recording Studios & Polymer City Record Label & Promotions, 68 West Exchange St. Akron, OH 44308. Hosted by Jen Pezzo;The cost of this workshop: $15 per person, $10 per student followed by Open Mic costing $5 for those unable to attend the workshop. Please email email@example.com to register, http://www.polymercityrecords.com/
Friday, Feb 14, 2014: 8:00 pm The New York City Poems from the Himalayan Poet,at Poet’s Hall– The International Fellowship of Poets and Spoken Word Artists 1136 E. Lake Rd, Erie, Pennsylvania Hosted by Cee Williams,
Sharma is “a shaman…black bag bulging / from magical rainbows, / serpents from an Hindu Heaven, / skull of an abducted female Yeti,” and he casts spells in these strange, visionary, outrageous and magical poems.’
The Albert Upton Professor and Chair of English
Whittier College, Author/Translator of Everyman’s Chinese Erotic Poems
A fiercely sublime poet …the book confirms an enormous talent, as well as purity of purpose with which he approaches his calling. Lines jump out, burning themselves into your consciousness.
Eddie Woods in Amsterdam Weekly
Yuyutsu RD Sharma brings the bracing airs of the Himalayas to any city. His vigorous, expansive and elemental poems leave Yeti tracks on the streets and mule trails on the Tube. They are packed with rapturous couplings of the urban and the feral.
Pascale Petit, Former Poetry Editor, Poetry London
Most noted, justifiably, for his poems about his native India/Nepal, Mr Sharma proves in this volume that he is a genuine poet of the English-speaking world whose gentle yet ironic gaze is equally at home in the west, and equally adept with cultures which must have been as strange to him at first as the Yeti is to us.
So, if you want a glimpse of the future, when cosmopolitan writers cross borders and enrich techniques, Space Cake, Amsterdam is an excellent place to start. Mr Sharma is living proof that English has become the medium for international cultural exchange, and that poets of his skill and scope are its chroniclers and sages.
Professor of English and Comparative Literature,
Baruch College, CUNY
‘Yuyutsu Sharma’s new collection is concerned with notions of home and being away in the exotic elsewhere. Home strikes deep, like ‘my grandma / asleep // on a plump / bubble // of a folk song’ but is then flung into the great proper nouns of New York, all detail, all observation and dazzle. The poems are registered at the tips of the eyes then connected with the sense of deep home. That is where the power lies. It emerges through ear and mouth as a kind of cosmopolitan love letter.’
–George Szirtes, British Poet, winner of Faber Memorial Prize & T.S. Eliot Prize
‘Yuyutsu Sharma, a Himalayan poet who studied his craft in the United States and on the mule paths of high Himalayas has brought a visionary sensibility to his New York poems. They read like Federico Garcia Lorca having a Hindu dream, or like Allen Ginsberg risen from the dead and howling out a peyote vision for 2013. Their ambition, like Lorca’s in his Poet in New York or like Hart Crane’s in his New York epic, The Bridge, is to write an epic vision of the city–and ultimately of America–in linked lyrics. Here are the Twin Towers flaming like the red tongue of Kali, goddess of destruction, a city like a yellow-eyed demon, Hurricane Sandy burrowing into the island’s groin like a furious porcupine. Sharma is “a shaman…black bag bulging / from magical rainbows, / serpents from an Hindu Heaven, / skull of an abducted female Yeti,” and he casts spells in these strange, visionary, outrageous and magical poems.’
-Tony Barnstone, The Albert Upton Professor and Chair of English Whittier College, Author/Translator of Everyman’s Chinese Erotic Poems
A Blizzard in My Bones, Yuyu’s deeply moving new collection and a remarkable addition to modern urban literature. It is Nepal and Hinduism and Brooklyn and Manhattan and Greenwich Village drawn together in a new Space Cake: Amsterdam; but here the hallucinogen-stoked celebration is amid the concrete and steel heights of Metropolis.
-David Austell, Professor, NYU, author of Little Creek and Other Poems
If Langston Hughes, Federico García Lorca and Frank O’Hara were exhumed to rub their recollections of New York City together over dal and black tea, they might produce a manuscript as rapturous as Yuyutsu Sharma’s love letter to the five boroughs. Infused with the mythology of Sufi saints and Hindu deities, Blizzard Go Delhi is nonetheless utterly contemporary, juxtaposing Duane Reedes and Occupy Wall Streeters alongside Punjabi wheat fields and muscular Halwai-confectioners working over huge cauldrons of oil. Unrepentant in its sensuality, self-assured and visionary, Sharma’s book is an extravagant tour de force that shows us that stepping off the train into New York City is to enter a realm “of wandering winter spirits and wavering speeches…a bedlam vision of a bedroom utopia that tries very hard every night to find a partner of sleep.” Tries, but thankfully for us, fails and instead stays up to channel the manic, long-limbed energy of the city in this memorable and original verbal jazz solo. This book is a poetic triumph.
-Ravi Shankar, Executive Director of Drunken Boat, author of seven books/chapbooks of poetry & co-editor of W.W. Norton & Co.’s Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from Asia, the Middle East & Beyond
Capacious and wild, offering itself energetically to contrasting continents and sensibilities, Sharma’s ambitious and honest New York collection offers a vivid tribute to Lorca, its presiding muse.
-Annie Finch, winner of Robert Fitzgerald Award and author of Spells: New and Selected Poems
A Blizzard In My Bones is worth the wait. The marriage of eastern angst and western jitters is beautifully realized, both in dreamscapes and in naturalistic description. The sexual suggestiveness is very powerful, as is the evocation of NY place time in all its gritty glory.
-Robert Scotto, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Baruch College, CUNY
What we have here is the pan / promenade of an Annapurnian poet among the sidewalks of New York. With eastern wisdom, Yuyutsu Sharma dissects the modern city’s multifaceted body, and portrays colliding visions where ancestral meets cutting-edge. As a poet of refined lyricism and a flâneur of his age, Sharma revives the wandering poet’s myth and builds powerful images in a high-voltage and emotional language: “In my chest / I can hear a blizzard / carrying a litany / of ravaged whales, a crude commotion / of water / and winds in spacious streets…”
-Mariela Dreyfus, Peruvian poet, author of Pez
Yuyutsu Sharma’s Blizzard in My Bones: New York Poems posits a pair of eyes up in their perch and looking down on the city of New York (and all of America) as they sweep across the pavement and finally settle on bit of muffin left on a table outside of a Starbuck’s. They are poems that look and venture deeply into the mannerisms of a young continent even as they insinuate themselves into a bustling scene. They suspect the “wandering lunatics,” “the basking brown seals,” and the “ceramic cells of Super gurus” stand as markers on this New Found Land, as the eyes behind the poems continue consuming everything on the move.
-Tim Kahl, poet, translator, Sacramento
In A Blizzard in My Bones, Yuyu Sharma reveals the divide that exists inside the professional traveler, who, though he must learn to be at home everywhere, finds he is no longer completely at home anywhere. Invited to ride alongside Sharma’s wanderer, we see from the inside out how he compares his worlds, one to another, trying to make sense of the new ones based on the sense of the old. When the gap remains, however, just wide enough to prevent easy passage back and forth, he is left to wrestle all his concurrent lives into one integrated, harmonious whole, perhaps at the cost of losing “the solemn silence of the sacred sounds
–Susan Keiser, Key West scriptwriter and traveler
A Prelude: Nine New York Poems by Yuyutsu Sharma
Announcing publication of Yuyutsu Sharma’s “Nine New York Poems: A Prelude” in November 2014, Nirala is proud to have an opportunity to show case the best samples from Yuyutsu’s Mega book that the poet plans to promote in his forthcoming North and South American tour…
YUYUTSU RD SHARMA
like your yogurt kisses
I long to forget
in the boulevards of NYC’s
like your cherry mouth
sings Starbucks songs
of winds stirred by flames
(Your Name, A Blizzard in my Bones)
“There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless,” says Simone Beauvoir about the vital bustle the mega city. For over a year, I have been working on the manuscript of my New York poems, entitled, A Blizzard in My Bones. The very energy of the city is electrifying in a special way, making you go back to it, and walk its bistros, boulevards and shores, even when you are away, far, far away.
The first time I went there, I had fortune of living in Greenwich Village where legendary John Lennon “regretted profoundly” that he “was not born in”.
Back home as the Kathmandu Valley rivers swelled from incessant monsoons, I have been walking the suburbs, working long hours in small tea shops over my notes on this city of cities where, in words of Groucho Marx, “Practically everybody … has half a mind to write a book — and does.”
In the winter of 2012, I also had the leisure of walking the numbered streets of Manhattan with my manuscript in mind, hanging out with fellow poets, spending time in art places, libraries and spacious bookstores. Often, I went to share my works at local NYC poetry venues, and read almost everything I could lay my hands on —memoirs, poetry, stories, reports along with all time favourites like Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, Lunch Poems, even recent books on the city, including, Salman Rushdie’s Fury and Deborah Landau’s The Last Usable Hour.
One of the first few books I had read about the city remains Maxim Gorky’s The City of the Yellow Demon. The book had clouded my vision of the city for a long time. Gorky sees New York as a bleak underworld without a glint of happiness, a working class hell. However, landing in New York, I was amazed to find a very different world. What I saw was not a dreary dungeon, but as Salvador Dali pointed out “an Egypt turned inside out. For she erected pyramids of slavery to death, and you erect pyramids of democracy with the vertical organ-pipes of your skyscrapers all meeting at the point of infinity of liberty!”
Another crucial book I found by chance in a Greenwich Village cafe was Federico Garcia Lorca’s Poet in New York City. Again, I had difficulty in dealing with Lorca’s surreal accounts the city emptied of any spirituality, “a city that doesn’t sleep”. Lorca presents the metropolis as a brutal place where every day “they slaughter/four million ducks,/five million hogs,/two thousand pigeons to accommodate the tastes of the dying,/one million cows,/one million lambs,/and two million roosters/that smash the sky to pieces”.
Could I too write on this city in a similar vein? Just because it is customary for poets to be critical of the cities and civilisations? Shall I lash the city that has become a refuge for million nationalities from every corner of the world, including the American people from every State?
Over the years, my stay in New York City had given me different impressions. While working on my take on it, I could see how today the Cold War bias was uncalled for, almost irrational. I could not but celebrate this glorious city’s status as previously I had celebrated the Himalayas. The Himalayas are nature-made and New York man-made, humanity’s triumph. For that is what hopefully in the coming decades humanity would turn into, if it evolves from tribal, narrow visions.
“Make your mark in New York,” wrote Mark Twain, “and you are a made man.” Last year I reached the city a week before the Hurricane Sandy hit the West Coast and a month before notorious New Town massacre. I had expected the worst, the whole island upside down, civilian life disrupted. Due to nasty road expansion work and chaos in my own Himalayan metropolis, I had sore memories seething in my mind. Due to the hurricane, my NYU assignments were postponed for a couple of weeks and I had to prolong my stopover in London.
After a fortnight as I reached the city, I found everything in order. Eager, I looked for the signs the calamity might have caused. Like a child, I ran in the spacious streets of Manhattan and took E Train to Brooklyn. All I got was some stray narratives of the Sandy-hit areas in few poetry readings. So quickly, the Sandy catastrophe had turned into a thing of the past. People talked how there was no electricity for a few days and one of my poet friends said she had to go all the way to affluent Uptown to get a hot cup of coffee.
On my way back on subway past midnight, I went laughing all the way. I had left the Valley where 18 hours of power-cuts has become a norm. Our children have grown up groping in the darkness of a republic-in-the-making that has not been able to find a focus. They have become used to the drone of maddening power generators and the clouds of dusts of hovering over the streets ripped apart and left bleeding like permanent wounds. Day to day civilian suffering along with rampant corruption has left a permanent scar on the face of Nepali polity.
Of course, you expect quick action from a First World nation, one could argue, and there’s nothing to be surprised if things had come back to normal. That’s not the only reason that makes you celebrate the city of the blazing skyline. New York is a place where humanity has evolved. No matter where you come from, you are welcomed there the morning you arrive. All you have to do is imbibe the free spirit of a New Yorker. “One belongs to New York instantly,” discerns Tom Wolfe, “one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.”
To the rest of the world, it might seem different. If ever the humanity evolves into a place of ultimate coexistence, that’s what it would look like, a New York. What to talk of Europe and Americas, we know how in our own subcontinent, in cities like Kathmandu, Mumbai or New Delhi, in the inner circles the outsiders are looked upon with suspicion and distrust. Our cities have a long history of ostracising and humiliating outsiders. The literatures in vernacular languages of the subcontinent are full of such tribal assaults of our so-called “barbarous civilisations”. That’s why one wonders, wasn’t it along such lines of logic Walt Whitman had to shout, “Give me such shows — give me the streets of Manhattan!”
like your bright eyes
stays calm as stars
over blue Atlantic waters.
like your dolphin heart
in the numbered streets
Your heart mind
of my life’s withered leaf
aflutter in the dark streets
of your city.
(Your Name, A Blizzard in my Bones)
Please join us in this 7th Edition of CONVERSATIONS
Eminent Poet Yuyutsu Sharma with Media Personality Sarad Pradhan
Date: Thursday, July 25, 2013
Time: 4:00 pm
Venue: Nepal-Bharat Library, Nepal Airlines Building, New Road Gate
followed by refreshment
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 (www.Nepal-Trilogy.de, Epsilonmedia, Karlsruhe, 2010), a 900-page book with renowned German photographer, Andreas Stimm, Space Cake, Amsterdam, & Other Poems from Europe and America, (2009, Indian reprint 2013) 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 & Other Poems. 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, Gannon University, Erie, 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 was at the Poetry Parnassus Festival organized to celebrate London Olympics 2012 where he represented Nepal and India and taught Poetry at 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.