Announcing acclaimed poet, performer, professor and editor, Ravi Shankar’s new book, “Deepening Groove”, winner of the 2010 National Poetry Review Prize and hailed by Connecticut Poet Laureate Dick Allen as the work of “one of America’s finest younger poets.” Poems from the collection have been featured by the Academy of American Poets and have appeared in such journals as Blackbird, Barrow Street, Fulcrum, The Mississippi Review and Slope.
Ravi Shankar is founding editor and Executive Director of Drunken Boat, one of the world’s oldest electronic journals of the arts, and Co-Director of Creative Writing at Central Connecticut State University. He has published five other books and chapbooks. Along with Tina Chang and Natalie Handal, he edited W.W. Norton’s “Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from Asia, the Middle East & Beyond,” called “a beautiful achievement for world literature” by Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer. He has won a Pushcart Prize, a Connecticut Commission on the Arts grant, appeared in the New York Times and the Chronicle of Higher Education, and has performed his work around the world, including on NPR and on the BBC. He currently teaches in Fairfield University’s MFA Program and in the first international MFA Program at City University of Hong Kong.
Shankar is available to do readings, lectures and classroom visit. He can be reached at: email@example.com
“The poems in ‘Deepening Groove’ proceed in elegant triplets that drift effortlessly down the page on waves of sound, serenely self-confident. The subjects are animals, trees, flowers, fish, the weather, and the human condition, all mixed up in a heady stew that simmers quietly one minute, and shimmers brightly the next. This is a book of savvy, delicious surprises.”
-Wyn Cooper, author of Chaos is the New Calm
“In ‘Deepening Groove,’ Ravi Shankar’s poems are small wonders of defining, seeing, and sound. He is a poet fascinated with transformations and here are shiftings of dust and sand, loon calls, flutterings of insects, changing tides and splendid cascades always information-driven, often rapturous with Hopkins-like intensities, imperatives, and trochaic stresses. What I’m most taken by is how the poems both see and feel simultaneously: In ‘Dark,’ “Darkness in New England has a flavor close / to anise, a texture plush as peat moss.” In ‘Bats,’ the bats’ flight is “carrying away pieces of us, / a maelstrom too faint to see, turning to ellipsis.” In virtually all these poems, to quote words from ‘Willard Pond,’ there is “a sense // that the distance between the alternate / universes humans” [and other creatures on Earth] “inhabit is smaller / than ever imagined and more astonishing.” And although the poems give special pleasures on first encounters, they contain as in ‘The Oyster’- “secrets that require / a knife to pry open and vinegar to serve.” ‘Deepening Groove’ shows Ravi Shankar is truly, now, one of America’s finest younger poets.”
—Dick Allen, Connecticut State Poet Laureate and author of Ode to the Cold War: Poems New and Selected
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