What Jeet [Thayil] is trying to do with Indian poetry in English is an archaeologist's job: to recover what was lost, to take scattered shards and isolated schools of poets and fit them together in a pattern. It was Fulcrum's editor, Philip Nikolayev, who first broached the idea of a special issue of Indian poetry. It took Jeet nine months of concentrated work to put it together, and a revised version of this anthology, with sensitive portraits of several poets by photographer Madhu Kapparath, will be published by Penguin India later this year in 60 Indian Poets: 1952-2007. It's one of the most ambitious, and most significant, anthologies of Indian poetry to emerge in recent times.
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