Because I’m just a genius that way, I went and practically double-booked myself for two readings on Friday May 21, genuinely thinking (until I pulled the two confirming emails up side by side) that one was on Friday and the other on Saturday. Some apologetic phone calls later, I managed to buy myself a half hour to dash to the other end of town, or rather, country. This should be interesting!
I had a wonderful time in Darwin at the Wordstorm Festival of Australasian Writing, and am taking a few days’ transit in my favourite city – Singapore. So, for the first time since December 2007, when I was here for the Singapore Writers’ Festival, I’ve got a couple of events scheduled for May 21:
4pm (sharp!) – A reading at FOST Gallery, 65 Kim Yam Road. RSVP Clarissa Cortes at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 6836 2661.
5.30pm – A reading and discussion with Heartlands Book Club at Bukit Batok Public Library, West Mall. RSVP Kweh Soon Huat at soon_huat_KWEH@nlb.gov.sg.
Please note that RSVPs are required for both events. I will have copies of Witchcraft and lipstick, and at least for the Library event, an even breathier voice than usual thanks to all that running between venues!
Versions of this article ran back in March in three of Times of India‘s Chennai supplements. They weren’t available online, and I’m not very good when it comes to collecting or archiving press clippings, but I was given a copy at some point, and I’ve only just managed to scan it up. Here’s the version that ran on the front page of Times of T Nagar. To read, please click to enlarge.
Angela Meyer on the book, here. And a poem you may already know, but hopefully still like. :)
I had such fun being live on air with Chennai Live 104.8FM’s Jane Jeyakumar this afternoon that I wished I’d announced it earlier! Hope some of you caught me there. Here are a few more media snippets on me/the book. Rumjhum Biswas talks about the launch, Vaibhav Vats writes an article based on an interview he did last month, and Verve magazine runs a feature in their March issue – with a never before published poem.
Pictorial evidence, as requested in the last post’s comments:
Chennai, March 13 2009
Pix: Dilip Muralidaran.
Also, I wanted to add that Eric Miller pulled a surprise that ended the event with a twist, (thankfully – in lieu of a q+a session) by reading a poem written during the launch. Here it is, reproduced with permission:
“Poem for Sharanya”
On the occasion of her reading from, and launch of, her collection of poems, Witchcraft, at the Park Hotel, Chennai, 13 March 2009.
Goddess priestess, witch, poet.
What is this public persona you are weaving?
Will you shake the city?
Will you melt it?
All the world disappears
and is reborn
in the words,
Yes, bring down the moon,
and let us all discover where to put it.
I woke up the morning after the launch with some badass blues. Readings normally leave me feeling exhilarated, but I was so sad that morning that it was over. Good readings are rare in Chennai. Very rare. That I stressed out over it, instead of just savouring it, left me regretful.
That being said, it went well. I think about 50 people came. If I didn’t say hi to a familiar face and give you a hug, I apologise. There were just so many people and so much to do and the press to speak to immediately before and after.
Speaking of press — big thanks to Niladri Bose of Hello FM, who ran a pre-recorded interview with me on his weekend shows. And to Sonali of Chennai FM, who recorded something just before the launch. Also to Ponnu Elizabeth Mathew of The New Indian Express for putting me on the cover of Monday’s Expresso. And to Shonali Muthalaly of The Hindu for this article in Metroplus. As tends to happen in print journalism, there are discrepancies — for instance I have never lived in Canada and do not consider myself a Sri Lankan refugee as to do so is to undermine the plight of people far less privileged than me (I’m assuming these two things were gleaned from an extremely literal reading of a certain poem in my book), and I’d probably said witches were persecuted, not castrated (!). I know that The Times of India ran an interview in three of its neighbourhood supplements but haven’t seen it yet. I’m also interviewed in this month’s Verve magazine, which is on the stands now.
But none of those made me quite as happy as Orange Jammies’ post here.
I’m deeply grateful to Ranvir and Devika of the Prakriti Foundation. I’ve known them for years professionally but only recently have gotten to know them on a more personal level. Both of them are inspirations to me in their own ways.
I’m also especially grateful to Salma, Vivek Narayanan, Tishani Doshi and Rumjhum Biswas, who all came to the launch. The support of other poets is so important.
And if anybody cares what I wore, I wore a ridiculous copper sulphate blue dress. :)
Prakriti Foundation in association with The Park is delighted to invite you
for the launch of Witchcraft, a book of poems by Sharanya Manivannan
on Friday, March 13 2009 at 6 p.m.
Venue: Leather Bar, The Park, Anna Salai, Chennai – 600 006
Dress code: Black
Praise for the book:
“Sensuous and spiritual, delicate and dangerous and as full as the moon reflected in a knife,” Ng Yi-Sheng, winner of the 2008 Singapore Literature Prize
‘Bloody, sexy, beguiling as in a dance with veils,” from the foreword by Indran Amirthanayagam, winner of the 1994 Paterson Prize and 2006 Juegos Florales
[Update: ABOUT THE DRESS CODE
I’ve been getting enquiries about the dress code. Why have one? Because we’re poking fun at the “Witchcraft” connotations. That’s why Friday the 13th and black outfits. Please remember that it’s *black* and not *black tie*, so wear a tee shirt by all means. It’s fine. :) ]