We were like cartographers, mapping the city" : An interview with Arvind Krishna Mehrotra Article - Juin 2017

Laetitia Zecchini

Journal of Postcolonial Writing, juin 2017, pp. 191-207. ISSN 1744-9855


Arvind Krishna Mehrotra is one of the most distinguished “Bombay poets”, whose career spans six decades, from his first work "Bharatmata : A Prayer" (1966) brought out by the Ezra-Fakir Press he founded to his recently published "Collected Poems 1969–2014". His contribution to the Indian English language tradition has been far-reaching, not only through his poetry itself, but through his role as translator, anthologist, editor and critic. In this interview, conducted on April 20–21, 2016, Mehrotra ranges over his extensive career, reflecting on the transnational web of genealogies, associations and translations that lie behind an “Indian poem”, on his friendship and artistic collaborations with Arun Kolatkar, Adil Jussawalla and A.K. Ramanujan, on the break that Indian writers and artists of his generation were trying to make, and on the way his own poetry was inspired by the American Beats. He also discusses his role in the little magazine/small press movement of the 1960s and 1970s when he edited "ezra" and "damn you : a magazine of the arts", and co-founded the Clearing House collective.

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