Penguin India releases Varavara Rao’s poetry, translated in English for the first time

Varavara Rao: A Life in Poetry is the first-ever collection in English of poems by the Telugu poet, selected and translated from sixteen books that he has published. Having begun to write poetry in his early teens, Varavara Rao, now in his early eighties, continues to be a doyen of Telugu modern poets.

He was a consistent comrade-in-letters to all the social movements from the 1960s to the 2010s, and this volume is a capsule of momentous social history captured in his poetic imagination.

The poems in the collection offer an artistic blend of tender response and thoughtful reaction to social realities, as well as an explosion of powerful emotions from a voice sought to be subdued. Varavara Rao’s poetry, more than anything else, is an offering of solidarity to the voiceless, the underdog and the oppressed.  

About the editors

N. Venugopal is a poet, literary critic, journalist, public speaker and translator with 32 books both in Telugu and English and as many in translation to his credit. After being in mainstream journalism for more than 20 years, he has been running his own alternative, small magazine, Veekshanam, a monthly journal of political economy and society, for the last 20 years. 

Meena Kandasamy is an activist, poet, novelist and translator. Her books of poetry include Touch and Ms Militancy, and she is the author of three acclaimed novels, Gypsy GoddessWhen I Hit You and Exquisite Cadavers. In 2022, she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (FRSL) and was also awarded the PEN-Germany’s Hermann Kesten Prize for her writing and work as a ‘fearless fighter for democracy, human rights and the free word.’ Her latest published work is The Book of Desire, a translation of the love poetry of Thirukkural, and her own political poetry pamphlet, Tomorrow Someone Will Arrest You. 

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