Life On My Side Of The Street
- Author: Anna Sujatha Mathai , Priya Sarukkai Chabria
- Publisher: Sahitya Akademi
- ISBN: 9798126019913
In its golden jubilee year the Sahitya Akademi (Academy of Letters) decided to showcase and anthologise Indian poetry in English by women writers in two-in-one volumes. A fairly comprehensive anthology of women poets is under preparation simultaneously. The present two-in-one collection contains the work of Anna Sujatha Mathai and Priya Sarukkai Chabria.
In some ways, the two poets are a study in contrast. Sujatha Mathai has been publishing poetry for more than three decades and has three volumes of poetry to her credit. Priya Sarukkai Chabria, in her forties, has been published in many journals but has yet to come out with a book. Mathai's poems are confessional, at times lyrical. She feels "a deep sense of loss" at not being able to write in Malayalam. She does not draw upon the conventions and poetics of other languages. Priya Sarukkai Chabria experiments with poetic forms, and draws from the wealth of the Tamil and Sanskrit traditions. She roots the first section of her collection in the Tamil akam tradition of the second century BC. As Chabria says, "I found I was dialoguing with different forms, Indian, Japanese and western; that the poems conversed with each other within a series, and with series written in other forms; also 1 was constantly in dialogue with myself." And while Mathai is a paint-er of bleak landscapes, Chabria's poems are full of joie de vivre.