Individual Author Record
Name: Srikanth ReddyPen Name: None Genre: Poetry Born: Sites:
Illinois ConnectionSrikanth is an assistant professor of English at the University of Chicago.
Biographical and Professional InformationHe has held fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the Whiting Foundation (in the Humanities), and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. Holding an MFA from the Iowa Writer's Workshop and a PhD from Harvard University.
Voyager , University of California Press, 2011Facts for Visitors: Poems, University of California Press, 2004
Titles At Your Library
Voyager (New California Poetry)
ISBN: 0520268857 University of California Press. 2011
Srikanth Reddy’s second book of poetry probes this world’s cosmological relation to the plurality of all possible worlds. Drawing its name from the spacecraft currently departing our solar system on an embassy to the beyond, Voyager unfolds as three books within a book and culminates in a chilling Dantean allegory of leadership and its failure in the cause of humanity. At the heart of this volume lies the historical figure of Kurt Waldheim―Secretary-General of the U.N. from 1972-81 and former intelligence officer in Hitler’s Wehrmacht―who once served as a spokesman for humanity while remaining silent about his role in the collective atrocities of our era. Resurrecting this complex figure, Reddy’s universal voyager explores the garden of forking paths hidden within every totalizing dream of identity.
Facts for Visitors: Poems (New California Poetry)
ISBN: 0520240448 University of California Press. 2004
Speaking in the wake of empire, of terrestrial love and of the collapse of traditional literary forms, the protagonist of this collection of poetry reconstructs a world from the language of encyclopedias, instruction manuals, and the literary legacies of Wallace Stevens, W. G. Sebald, and Joseph Conrad. The prefatory lyric, "Burial Practice," imagines the posthumous narrative of "then’s" that follows an individual's extinction in the poem "Aria," a stagehand steps onto the floorboards to wax poetic after the curtain has dropped on an opera and the extended sequence of "Circle" poems obliquely revisits Dante's ethical landscape of the afterlife.
Many of these poems were written while Srikanth Reddy worked for a rural literacy program in the south of India, a fact reflected in the imagined postcolonial world of lyrics such as "Monsoon Eclogue" and "Thieves’ Market." Yet the collection moves beyond the identity politics and ressentiment of postcolonial and Asian-American writings by addressing the fugitive dreams of shared experience in poems such as "Fundamentals of Esperanto." Mobilizing traditional literary forms such as terza rima and the villanelle while simultaneously exploring the poetics of prose and other "formless" modes, Facts for Visitors re-negotiates the impasse between traditional and experimental approaches to writing in contemporary American poetry.