Poetry was an all−boys club for the longest time. Women, like so many other domains, were first invisible and then shunned and ridiculed. Women like Amrita Pritam, who was the first Indian woman to win the Sahitya Akademi award in 1956, eventually broke the glass ceiling. The country has also witnessed great poetic forces such as Kamal Surayya, Sarojini Naidu, and Mahadevi Varma, who have enthralled us with their poems. Surayya was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1984.
This 22-year-old uses slam poetry to confront the standards of beauty and explore the dynamics of gender equality, body positivity and mental health. Brown Girl's Gender Guide, her first release, became a viral hit after receiving more than a million views in two days. Aranya was featured in Rolling Stone, Harper Bazaar, and Teen Vogue. Her piece, Bleeding Rani, was featured in the film Padman, making it the first feature of spoken word poetry in Bollywood.
The Indian poet based in France spent most of her childhood reading. Karthika Nair is a French−Indian poet, dance producer and curator. Her remarkable works include Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata, published by HarperCollins India and Arc Publications in 2015. She is India's only poet to have won a fiction literary award for poetry.
Aditi Rao is a writer and potter who is based in New Delhi and Shimla. She also teaches creative writing and research workshops on writing. Aditi Rao is an Indian activist, essayist, and poet. Her poems have been published in national and international journals and she has won several awards for writing. She has two poetry collections to her credit: The Fingers Remember and The Freedom Song. Rao has won several awards and fellowships, including the Hedgebrook Residence, the Akademie Schloss Solitude Fellowship, the TFA Creative Writing Award, the Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize and the Muse India Young Writer Award.
Rupi has authored and illustrated her first poetry collection, Milk and Honey as a 21−year−old student of the university. Next came her artistic sibling, The Sun and The Flowers. These collections have sold over 8 million copies and have been translated into more than 42 languages. Her most recent book, Home Body, debuted #1 on bestseller lists all over the world. The work of Rupi deals with love, loss, trauma, healing, femininity and migration.