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Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 4:30pm
Uris Hall, G08
A.K. Ramanujan (1929–1993) is well known as one of the finest poets, translators, folklorists, essayists and scholars of the twentieth century. His translations of ancient Tamil and medieval Kannada poetry, as well as of U.R. Anantha Murthy’s novel Samskara, are considered classics in Indian literature. A pioneering poet, he had produced during his lifetime four poetry collections in English and three in Kannada. However, little is known about the personal material that is contained in the ‘AKR Papers’, a large treasure of literature—journals, diaries, notes—Ramanujan left behind in his prolific career: his literary footprints. He had intended to publish many of these private writings, but never did. Edited by Krishna Ramanujan and Spanish scholar Guillermo Rodríguez, Journeys. A Poet's Diary (Penguin Random House, 2019) offers access to Ramanujan’s hitherto unpublished personal diaries and journals from the Papers—meticulously preserved at the University of Chicago—shining new light on his creative process. It includes accounts from his travels, his thoughts on writing, many improvised as well as early poetry drafts, and dreams—the fertile grounds where the seeds for much of his later published work were planted. Krishna Ramanujan, the poet’s son, will read selections from the book and explain the making of Journeys and the window it provides to the author’s innermost thoughts and his creative process.
Krishna Ramanujan is a science writer at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Coupled with life-long literary interests, he has worked as a writer for Earthwatch Radio, NASA and Cornell University, and has published more than 2,000 news stories on topics related to climate change, ecology, biology and genetics. He is the son of A.K. Ramanujan.
Photo: A.K. Ramanujan, 1966