Menka Shivdasani is a founder member of Poetry Circle, which began in Mumbai
in 1986. Her first book of poems, Nirvana at Ten Rupees, was published by Adil
Jusswalla for XAL-Praxis in 1990, and was described by Bruce King as “one of the
best first books of poetry to appear during the 1990s” (Modern Indian Poetry in
English, Revised Edition, OUP, 2001.) Her second poetry collection Stet first
appeared in 2001. Menka is also co-translator of Freedom and Fissures, an
anthology of Sindhi Partition poetry, published by the Sahitya Akademi in 1998.
She recently edited an anthology of women’s writing, which forms part of a series
being brought out by Sound and Picture Archives for Research on Women
Menka's poems have appeared in several literary journals and anthologies. both in
India and elsewhere. These include Poetry Review (London), Poetry
Wales, Fulcrum (USA), Many Mountains Moving (USA), ARC (Canada), and
Literature Alive (New Writing from India and Britain). Her work has also appeared in
collections such as An Anthology of New Indian English Poetry (Rupa and Co.)
Confronting Love (Penguin India) and Fulcrum's Give the Sea Change and It Shall
Change. Her poems have been included in We Speak in Changing Languages
(Sahitya Akademi), the Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets, 60 Indian
Poets (Penguin Books India), Both Sides of the Sky (National Book Trust) and
Interior Decoration: Poems by 54 Women from 10 Languages (Women Unlimited).
Contemporary Indian Poetry in English (Sahitya Akademi, 2010), features a
conversation with her. Modern Indian Poetry in English: Critical Studies, edited by
Nila Shah and Pramod Nayar (Creative Books, Year 2000) has an essay on her
work. She is also represented in the 2012 textbook for Second Year B.A.
students, in Indian Literature in English: An Anthology. Menka is Mumbai
coordinator for the global movement, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, which forms
part of the permanent archives of the Stanford University.
As a journalist, Menka’s career includes a stint with South China Morning Post in
Hong Kong and the publication of eight books co-authored with Raju Kane, two of
which were released by the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. She
currently heads The Source, an editorial consultancy in Mumbai.
Interests: Poetry, especially poetry by women
Published writer: Yes