Sujata Bhatt

Zu Gast bei poetry on the road 2014

I am the one
who always goes
away with my home
which can only stay inside
in my blood – my home which does not fit
with any geography.
– from: Point No Point
Carcanet Press, 1997

Foto: Michael Augustin

Geboren 1956 in Ahmedabad/Indien. Sujata Bhatt ist weltweit als Lyrikerin und Übersetzerin bekannt. Ihr Leben zwischen Indien, den USA und Deutschland, die Suche nach Identität und Heimat sind immer wieder Thema ihrer Arbeit, so auch im Gedicht »Search for my tongue«, das die UNESCO im Februar 2004 aus Anlass des Internationalen Tages der Muttersprache veröffentlichte. Auch der 2002 erschienene und der Malerin Paula Modersohn-Becker gewidmete Gedichtband »A Colour for Solitude« zeugt von der Intensität, mit der Sujata Bhatt die Welt wahrnimmt. Nicht weniger beeindruckend wirkt ihr melancholischer, zugleich tief sinnlicher Tonfall.

Für ihren Gedichtband Pure Lizard erhielt sie im November 2008 von dem Verband deutscher Schriftsteller, Landesverband Niedersachsen/Bremen, den Literaturpreis Das neue Buch in Niedersachsen und Bremen.
Neben der Veröffentlichung ihrer Texte in zahlreichen Anthologien und über zwanzig Sprachen war Sujata Bhatt selbst immer wieder im Ausland tätig: sie lehrte als Lansdowne Visiting Writer an der Universität von Victoria in British Columbia/Kanada und gastierte als Visiting Fellow am Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Außer »A Colour for Solitude« erschienen im englischen Verlag Carcanet Press sieben weitere Gedichtbände. 1998 legte der Wehrhahn Verlag, Hannover, mit den Übersetzungen von Jürgen Dierking eine zweisprachige – englisch-deutsche – Auswahl ihrer Texte im Band »Nothing is Black, Really Nothing« vor.

Weitere Informationen zu Leben und Werk finden Sie auf der Website ihres Verlages in Manchester, England: http://www.carcanet.co.uk Hörproben und einen Interviewfilm gibt es auf den phantastischen Seiten von The Poetry Archive: www.poetryarchive.org

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Born 1956 in Ahmedabad, India. Poet. Translator (Günter Grass etc) She grew up in Pune  and in the United States. Received MFA from the Writers‘ Workshop at the University of Iowa. She is the author of six collections of poetry. She received the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Asia) and the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award and a  Cholmondeley Award as well as the Italian Tratti Poetry Prize in 2000. Her work has been translated into more than 20 languages. Her poetry is part of the curriculum at British schools.


Bücher

Collected Poems

2013
Carcanet Press, ISBN: 978 1 857549 97 3
320 Seiten, €23,99

Sujata Bhatt’s poems, ‘Search for my Tongue’, ‘Muliebrity’, ‘A Different History’ and other works, are familiar to many British readers, who study them at school. Ever since the publication of her first collection, Brunizem, in 1988, her poetry has been a favourite with those excited by new geographies and forms, and by issues of language and gender.
Her Collected Poems trace a fascinating development. In the early work her imagination stays close to Pune, India, and its languages (including Gujarati, her mother tongue), landscapes, people and customs. After her family’s exile she had to re-invent Pune in her writing. As the poet moves to Europe following her education in the United States, her poems continue in their vocation of reinvention. Elegies, ekphrastic work, travel and landscape pieces make up a complex world which is always lyrical in impulse. In Bhatt’s work, poetry is a place where nothing is certain and there are surprises with each reading.

Pure Lizard

Poems, 2008
Carcanet, ISBN: 978-1857548334
96 Seiten, €13,99

In this new collection of poetry that juxtaposes images such as organic sunflowers in Pennsylvania with sunflowers grown out of the toxic soil of Chernobyl, transformation and the natural world are central themes. Poems that respond to the work of composers Telemann, Bob Zieff, and Philip Glass are included, as is a poetic correspondence with the Welsh writer Gillian Clarke on the writer’s sense of home and place.

Brunizem

Poems, 2008
Carcanet Press, ISBN: 978 1 857549 81 2
110 Seiten, €10,99

‚Brunizem‘ is a dark prairie soil found in Asia, Europe and North America, the three worlds of Sujata Bhatt’s imagination. Born in India, her mother tongue Gujarati, Bhatt was educated in the United States and now lives in Germany. In Brunizem, her acclaimed first collection, she explores the richness and the conflicts of moving between cultures and languages, in poems that are passionate, direct and eloquent. Brunizem was awarded the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Asia) and the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award. In 1994 ‚Search for My Tongue‘ was choreographed by Daksha Sheth and performed by the UK-based South Asian Dance Youth Company in nine cities in England and Scotland, under the title ‚Tongues Untied‘.’Brunizem‘ is a dark prairie soil found in Asia, Europe and North America, the three worlds of Sujata Bhatt’s imagination. Born in India, her mother tongue Gujarati, Bhatt was educated in the United States and now lives in Germany. In Brunizem, her acclaimed first collection, she explores the richness and the conflicts of moving between cultures and languages, in poems that are passionate, direct and eloquent. Brunizem was awarded the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Asia) and the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award. In 1994 ‚Search for My Tongue‘ was choreographed by Daksha Sheth and performed by the UK-based South Asian Dance Youth Company in nine cities in England and Scotland, under the title ‚Tongues Untied‘.

A Colour For Solitude

Poems, 2002
Carcanet Press, ISBN: 978-1857545890
112 Seiten, €12,99

Revolving around the public and private lives of the great modern painter Paula Modersohn-Becker, this collection explores the artist’s relationship with her craft and her friendship with poet Rainer Maria Rilke and his wife, sculptor Clara Westhoff. Inspired by the artist’s numerous self-portraits, Bhatt transports the image of Modersohn-Becker to present-day Germany. This book-length sequence of poems presents a rich and fully conceived history of the inner and outer worlds of one of the century’s great modern painters.

Augatora

Poems, 2000
Carcanet Press, ISBN: 978 1 857543 81 0
96 Seiten, €11,99

‚Augatora‘ is not a new word: it is a word lost from language a millennium ago. In Old High German it meant, more or less, ‚eye gate‘ (‚window‘ with an inbuilt etymology).
The windows in this book open on real and imagined land- and cityscapes. India, past and present, remains ‚a necessary obsession‘. Here also we see Durban, Riga, New Orleans, Amsterdam, Jerusalem, Barcelona, and the small island of Juist off the German North Sea coast, site of her long poem ‚The Hole in the Wind‘, broadcast by BBC Radio Drama. Memory, science, language, history and love remain Bhatt’s themes; she amply justifies the New Statesman claim that she is ‚one of the finest poets alive‘ – alive in many different ways.

Nothing is Black, Really Nothing

Gedichte in Deutsch und Englisch, 1998
Wehrhahn-Verlag, ISBN: 978-3932324543
80 Seiten, €10,00

Das Buch wurde 1998 im Wettbewerb „Das neue Buch in Niedersachen und Bremen“ neben vier weiteren Titeln auf die niedersächsische Bestenliste gesetzt.

Point No Point

Poems, 1997
Carcanet Press, ISBN: 978 1 857543 06 3
144 Seiten, €12,99

Sujata Bhatt’s first book of poems, the award-winning Brunizem, appeared in 1988. In a very short time she has gained recognition as one of the distinct and reckonable new voices. She has things to say about her native India and her native tongue (Gujarati), about America and Britain, and about Germany where she now lives. She is, the New Statesman declared, ‚one of the finest poets alive‘, and alive in a unique way to language, to issues of politics and gender, to place and history. Hers is a remarkable complete imagination, generous and at the same time unsparingly severe in its quest for the difficult truths of experience.