Vivek Narayanan’s two books of poems are Universal Beach (Harbour Line Press, 2006/In Girum Books, 2011) and Life and Times of Mr S (HarperCollins India, 2012). He is a coeditor at the literary magazine Almost Island and its press and has worked at Sarai, a program of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, which focuses on experimental and interdisciplinary theory and practice in New Delhi.
Narayanan is working on a book of poems, currently titled “The Jewelled Deer,” that attempts to “write through” the Ramayana of Valmiki (the earliest Sanskrit poet) in fragmented, unpredictable, and sometimes contrary ways. Beginning with but not limiting himself to features and passages in the source text—and using a wide variety of formal strategies to do so—Narayanan is exploring the distance between our poetics and Valmiki’s.
Narayanan’s previous work has been included in several recent anthologies, such as The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (HarperCollins India, 2012), 60 Indian Poets (Penguin Books India, 2008), and The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poetry and Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (W.W. Norton, 2008). In addition to publishing poetry, Narayanan has conducted experiments with technology, performance, physical space, movement, site-specific poetry, and audience interaction through a series of collaborations with other artists. He earned a master’s degree in cultural anthropology from Stanford University and a master’s in creative writing from Boston University.