Favorite Poems: Islam, Hopkins

Neelanjana Banerjee and Frank Stewart

At the 2015 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference this year, our team at tatestreet.org were excited to kick off a new collaboration between Tate Street, Robert Pinsky, and the Favorite Poem Project (favoritepoem.org). The FPP was created by Robert Pinsky during his time as Poet Laureate (1997-2000) of the United States to celebrate and document the role of poetry in the lives of Americans. Tate Street filmed a new and more informal branch of the FPP’s online collection of short video documentaries. These videos showcase individuals reading and speaking personally about their favorite poems. Robert Pinsky, the Favorite Poem Project and Tate Street selected a diverse group of readers from the writing conference—composed of editors, translators, educators, fiction writers, and poets—to participate at AWP 2015.

Kazi Nazrul Islam’s “Bidrohi” (“The Rebel”)
Translated by Basudha Chakravarty
Published by Sahitya Akademi

Neelanjana Banerjee’s fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming inPrairie SchoonerThe LinerPANK MagazineThe RumpusWorld Literature Today, The Literary Review, Asian Pacific American JournalNimrodA Room of One’s OwnDesilit, and the anthologies: Desilicious(Arsenal Press, 2003), The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (HarperCollins India, 2012) and Breaking the Bow: Speculative Stories Inspired by the Ramayana (Zubaan Books, 2012). She is a co-editor of Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry (University of Arkansas Press, 2010). In 2007, she received an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She has had residencies at Hedgebrook and the Blue Mountain Center, and received scholarships to attend the David Henry Hwang Writers Institute and the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. Her journalism has appeared inAlternet, WordRiot, Colorlines, Fiction Writers Review, HTML Giant, Kitchen Sink, and more. She is currently based in Los Angeles, where she is the Managing Editor of Kaya Press, an assistant editor with the Los Angeles Review of Books, and teaches writing to young people and adults through artworxLA and Writing Workshops Los Angeles.

Website: http://neelanjanabanerjee.com
Twitter: @neelanjanab @kayapress

Read “As Kingfishers Catch Fire” by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Frank Stewart has been editor of Mānoa: a Pacific Journal of International Writing since 1989 and is the author of four books of poetry, the editor of eight anthologies, an essayist, and a translator. For his first three books of poetry, he was awarded the prestigious Whiting Writers’ Award in New York in 1986. His latest collection, By All Means, was published in 2003 by El Léon of Berkeley, California. He has also edited eight anthologies on the contemporary literature and environment of Hawai‘i, Asia, and the Pacific. In 1978, he co-edited Talk Story: An Anthology of Hawaii‘s Local Writers, and in 2004, the anthology The Poem Behind the Poem: Translating Asian Poetry into English was published by Copper Canyon Press. His books of environmental writing include A Natural History of Nature Writing and such edited works as The Presence of Whales and Wao Akua: The Sacred Source, which came out in 2003. His essays have been widely anthologized, most recently in Father Nature: Fathers as Guides to the Natural World, published by University of Iowa Press in 2003.

In 2002, Stewart represented American writers at the Asia-Pacific Conference on Indigenous and Contemporary Poetry, held in Manila; and in 2003 he was a U.S. representative to the Taipei International Poetry Festival, held in the Taiwan capital. He is a member of the board of the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, headquartered at the University of San Francisco’s Center for the Pacific Rim, and an editorial advisor to the journal Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, published by the University of Nevada.

Stewart is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i, where he has taught since 1974. In 1998, he received an excellence-in-teaching award, given by the College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature, and the George Lucas Award, which recognized him for his service to student publications. He is also a recipient of the Elliott Cades Award for Literature and the Hawai‘i Award for Literature, which is given by the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and the Hawai‘i Literary Arts Council to a resident of Hawai‘i for outstanding achievement in the field of literature.


Opening Credits Title Card

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