Ms. Mandava started writing poetry in high school. Her first reading was in 1993 at NYC's St. Mark's Poetry Project, where she read with Sapphire, author of the novel Push. After Ms. Mandava moved to Los Angeles, she continued to read her work at the Living Planet and other venues. She continues to write poetry and hopes to someday publish a collection.
"Moonsweets" and "Of Starry Silence" are featured in the anthology Indivisible, An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. The anthology is edited by poets Pireeni Sundaralingam, Summi Kaipa and Neelanjana Banerjee and was published by the University of Arkansas Press in April 2010. It features poets who trace their roots to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
"Indivisible is seamless passion, held together by the will to cross borders and embrace that which is sacred in the individual. This collection of poems underscores a voyage through physical and psychological time and space, but it also clearly undermines any notions of diaspora of the soul and spirit. Moments of graceful resiliency are captured again and again, and Indivisible becomes an unbroken map of lyrical recollection. There are lived lives behind these marvelous poems."
- --Yusef Komyunakaa
Distinguished Senior Poet at NYU
Through a Child's Eyes
Ms. Mandava's poem "Of Starry Silence" appears in the anthology Through a Child's Eyes, Poems and Stories About War. This anthology grew out of a conversation editors Samuel Torvend and Victor Klimoski had after seeing an exhibit of photographs from the Bosnian War. Proceeds from the sales of Through A Child's Eyes will be donated to the International Red Cross.
Another Way to Dance
Five of her poems--"Hearing Tongues," "Indian Fever," "Absence," "Moonsweets" and "Desert Haiku"— appear in Another Way to Dance, Contemporary Asian Poetry from Canada and the United States. Following is an excerpt from "Desert Haiku," a series of haiku inspired by the California desert where she currently resides.
Glimpse orange fishtail
splashing behind blue mountain;
sunset missed again.
Caught in purple caught
in petal caught in cactus
caught in desert caught.
Plump moths twirling
Copyright (C) 1995-2013 Bhargavi C. Mandava