ISBN 0-938999-15-XAbout the Author
|I taste Cauvery in New York, glinting thinly where it crosses
Karnataka into Tamil Nadu; a clump of cane between
a well and a home marking the border. Does the farmer
transgress by walking under the same sky for a sip?We are on both shores at once, both or more?
Where the Indian ocean holds the Atlantic
and the Pacific, waters wed
cobalt and ash; the depths are emerald; tides rise
and fall, storms rage, unconfined by borders.
There is a breakthrough in these
poems by Pramila Venkateswaran
which is at once notable and tantalizing.
In the current ascendance
of multiculturalism, this fine South
Asian poet teaches us that the aesthetics
of human investigation — whether
interpersonal, sexual or charged with
politics and culture — may achieve
something greater than mere coloration,
hue or facile explication. Here
we have a poet who eschews the easy
statement in her search for subtlety of
With remarkable clarity and dazzling
imagery these poems “walk through
history, without the heaviness of a
camera,” bringing us moving and
compassionate accounts of displacement,
loss, pilgrimage and hope.
Whether in her own voice, or through
voices from the past, Pramila Venkateswaran
speaks to us in a language
that is at once deeply lyrical, humble,
intense and intelligent. In Thirtha
“words thud louder / than hoe hitting
stones” — a poignant sound that resonates
long after closing the book.
In her first volume of poetry, Thirtha (pilgrimage), Pramila Venkateswaran is
a poet spinning gold, bringing together many perspectives – Indian, American,
immigrant to America, daughter, mother, woman, listener, speaker, and more.
In the foreword, Pramila says the “pilgrimage her family made every summer to
various parts of India to visit temples continues to inform her life.” “In
fording the oceans between India and America,” the author says, she “becomes
the pilgrim once again· returning renewed.” Pramila Venkateswaran’s voice is
magical – taking me out of myself, and returning me renewed.
in a review from Desi Journal
These are works that at once notable and tantalizing for their
delicate handling of the aesthetics of human exploration –
whether interpersonal, sexual, or charged with politics and
culture. We learn through these poems to go beyond mere
coloration of multicultural expression to something greater –
statements which go beyond facile explication to a higher
subtlety of sensibility.
Wallace in a review from Poetry Bay
About the Author
Pramila Venkateswaran immigrated to
the United States in 1982 to pursue a
doctoral degree in English at George
Washington University. Over the years
she has published poems in several
American journals. Her recent articles
on global women’s issues appear in
Women’s Studies Quarterly and in the
anthology, Language Crossings: Negotiating
the Self in a Multicultural World. She
teaches English and women’s studies at
Nassau Community College, New York,
and makes her home with her husband
and two daughters on Long Island.