Mani Rao is a poet, translator and independent scholar with nine books of poetry and two books in translation from Sanskrit. Her recent poetry books are "New and Selected Poems" (Poetrywala, 2014), "Ghostmasters" (Chameleon, 2010) and "echolocation" (Math paper Press, 2014; Chameleon Press 2003) and her book translations are "Bhagavad Gita" as a modern poem (Autumn Hill Books, 2010 ; Fingerprint Press, 2015) and "Kalidasa for the 21st Century" (Aleph, 2014), which was a finalist for the Lucien Stryk Translation Prize. Mani's poems and essays are published in numerous journals including Indian Literature, Asia Literary Review, Asian Cha, Tinfish, Wasafiri, Meanjin, Takahe, Printout, Washington Square, Fulcrum, West Coast Line, XCP and Interim, and in anthologies including "Zoland Poetry," W.W.Norton’s "Language for a New Century," Penguin’s "60 Indian Poets," and the "Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets." She was a Visiting Fellow at the Iowa International Writing Program in 2005 and 2009, and the 2006 University of Iowa International Programs writer-in-residence. Translations of her poems have been published in Latin, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, French and German. Mani has performed at literary festivals, taught creative writing and given poetry appreciation workshops, and in Hong Kong, she was a co-founder of the Outloud poetry readings. Mani worked in advertising and marketing for nearly 20 years. She was the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Star (TV) in Hong Kong, which she left in 2004 to pursue literary and scholarly interests full-time. Subsequently, she did an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Nevada Las Vegas and a PhD in Religious Studies from Duke University (2016). Her doctoral dissertation was based on anthropological research into mantra-practice among tantric communities in Andhra-Telangana and she is soon completing a manuscript from this material.
Member Since: 11/1/2012
Identity: Writer, Translator