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MAMTA G. SAGAR
Prof. Mamta Sagar is a poet, writer, academic, translator and an activist writing in Kannada language. Her writings focus on identity politics, feminism, issues around linguistic and cultural diversities. Mamta is a recipient of the wealth Foundation's Commonwealth Writers Translation network (2019), Poetry Connections, a Literature Across Frontiers project organised as part of the official India Wales Season and the UK India Year of Culture (2017-18), Poets Translating Poets, a project by the Goethe-Institut in Collaboration with Literaturwerkstatt Berlin and in Cooperation with Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission (2015-2016), The Charles Wallace India Trust fellowship for the year 2015 at the British Centre for Literary Translation, University of East Anglia, UK (2015) and AUROPOLIS Poet in Residence at Belgrade (2012). She is honoured with Sanchi Honnamma Kaavya Prashasti, conferred by Ranga Samudra & Kannada Sahitya Parishat of Rajarajeshwari Nagar (2019).
Mamta has four collections of poems and plays. Kaada Navilina Hejje (1992), Nadiya Neerina Teva (1999), Hiige HaaLeya Maile HaaDu (2007), Hide & Seek a collection of selected poems in English translated by Chitra Panikkar with the source text in Kannada (2014), Chukki Chukki Chandakki, a musical play for children (1993), The Swing of Desire, translation of her Kannada play ‘Mayye Bhaara Manave Bhaara’, included in Staging Resistance: Plays by Women in Translation (2004), Como esto en la pagina la cancion a collection of her poems in Spanish translated by Nicolás Suescún and Nelson Roque Valdés (2008). She has translated and edited Beyond Barriers: Slovenian-Kannada Literature Interactions a trilingual compilation of poems and short stories (2011). She has translated ‘Preetiya Nalavattu Niyamagalu’, Elif Shafak’s novel, ‘Forty Rules of Love’ into Kannada (2017).
Mamta Sagar is actively involved with international poetry translation projects like the Commonwealth Writers/Translators Network, Literature Across Frontiers, and Melding Voices, UK, Poets Translating Poets, Germany, Centre for Slovenian Literature, Slovenia and Association of Multimedia Artists, Serbia. On invitation, Mamta has participated in poetry festivals and facilitated poetry workshops in India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, US, European, Southeast Asian and Latin American countries. Her recent creative works include FOR GAURI , a video presentation of her poem written for Gauri Lankesh and produced in collaboration with musician Vasi Dixit, INTERVERSIONS, a compilation of collaborative poetry activities into a book (2018), an exhibition of INTERVERSION performance and installations at 1Shanti Road Gallery (2018), three poetry films titled INTERVERSIONS 1, 2 & 3, produced with Srishti Films as part of the Wales-India collaborative projects (2018), kShaNabindu a poetry-music collaboration with Vasu Dixit & Bindumalini (2018) and Preetiya Nalavattu NiyamagaLu, translation of Elif Shafak’s novel into Kannada (2017). Her areas of interest include Curating Poetry Performances and Installations, Poetry in public spaces. Mamta has collaborated her poetry performance with visual artists, musicians and poets from other language cultures within and outside India. Kaavya Sanje the community poetry event curated by her connects poetry with people.
She has a PhD in Comparative Literature from Hyderabad Central University. Her doctoral work is in Comparative Literature from University of Hyderabad and the thesis is titled as “Gender, Patriarchy and Resistance: Contemporary Women’s Poetry in Kannada and Hindi (1980-2000)”. Mamta has worked with Hyderabad Central University and Bangalore University where she has taught Comparative Literature, Translation Studies, Kannada Literature, Feminism, Postcolonial and Cultural Studies.
Poetry, performance poetry, lyrics for the movies, plays, short prose, column writing, essays, academic writings, criticisms, art reviews, journalistic writings, translations from and into the Kannada language.
Poetry/literature festivals attended
Curator at the PAMPA LITERATURE FESTIVAL, SIWE 2018 (South India Writers Ensemble) - Chengannur Kerala, at the Literature and Cultural Festival in memory of Ha Ma Bhat at Halkere Village, Tumari, Holebaagilu (2018), The Language Festival 2018 - Bengaluru, The Hindu Lit For Life - Chennai 2018, Tata Steel Bhubaneshwar Literary Meet 2018, Tanta International Poetry Festival, Egypt 2017, Hay Festival 2017 UK, Wales International Poetry Festival 2017 UK, City Scripts/Urban Writing Festival IIHS Bengaluru 3-5 Feb 2017, 17th Poesie festival Berlin 2016, Safi International Poetry Festival, Morocco 2016, Poetry presentation and provocation at Worlds 2015, lit-fest hosted by the Norwich Writers Centre, UK. She has participated and presented poems at Ledbury Poetry Festival 2015, Crossbones Festival London 2015, Pune International Literary Festival 2015, Hyderabad Literature Festival 2015, 2014, 2012, New Delhi World Book Fair 2014, 2015, Chennai Book Fair 2014, The International Poetry and Literature Festivals-Vietnam (2010 and 2012), Mamta was invited by the Instituto Cervantes Nueva Delhi for reading and interaction with Noni Benegas, poet from Argentina, New Delhi 2012, poetry reading and panel discussion ‘Body & Biography’ at LEKHANA a festival of literature, Bangalore 2012, Bangalore Literature Festival, Bengaluru, 2012, 2013, 2014. The International Translation workshop and Living Literature Festival Ljubljana-Slovenia (2010), Granada International Poetry Festival-Nicaragua (2010), XVIII International Poetry Festival of Medellin-Colombia (2008), 5th International Congress “Defending Cultural Diversity”, Havana-Cuba (2007), Poetry Africa-South Africa (2005) and South Asian Literary Association International Conference, San Diego, USA (2003).
Poetry, Performance & Translation Workshops
Some of the workshops Mamta has participated include:
• Literature Across Frontiers (LAF) International Poetry Translation Workshop 2017-18
• Poetry Connections India, Literature Across Frontiers international translation workshop, Hyderabad 2015
• Literature Across Frontiers international Poetry Translation workshop, Shantiniketan, Kolkata 2013
• Poets Translating Poets, international poetry translation workshop, Goethe-Institut Chennai at Kollam, Kerala, 7-12 Dec 2015.
• International poetry translation workshop, Centre for Slovenian Literature, Ljubljana, Slovenia 2010.
Some of the workshops facilitated by Mamta include:
• Poetry & Performance Workshop, Batticaloa Eastern University Sri Lanka 2019
• Modes of Writing, a Creative Writing workshop with Alto University, Helsinki, Finland, 2018
• A two day workshop facilitated for the Sexual minority groups of Karnataka to make the community understand importance of the supreme court verdict on section 377 and realise the importance of this historical judgement, SANGAMA, Bangalore 2018
• MERAKI, Culminating with Poetry & Performance, a workshop for the BMS College of Engineering, organised by the BMSCE’s Literary Society, Bangalore 2018
• Poetry as Performance, a workshop for Students from Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, 2018
• ‘Shabdha Suthaka’, a workshop on nuances of Kannada Literature, as part of the political education and perspectives building initiatives, Sangama, Bangalore 2018
• Transcultural Poetry and Performance Workshop, University of Salford, Manchester UK May 2017.
• Poetry workshop on gender sexuality in the context of devotional poetry, facilitated for Sex workers, SANGAMA 2017
• Multilingual Poetry Performance Workshop as part of Poets Translating Poets Festival, Mumbai 2016.
• ‘Vachana Walk’, Festival of Stories, Art in Transit, Bengauru 2016 & 2017.
• ‘Poetry and Politics’, a workshop for the Azim Premji University, Bangalore 2016.
• Poetry workshop and master Classes at University of Leicester, UK 2015.
• ‘Poetry and Posters for Palestine’, a workshop on public art for the Freedom Jatha Festival is in support of the Palestinian freedom movement, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat, Bengaluru 2015.
• Poetry Installations, a workshop for NID (National Institute of Design) Bengaluru 2014.
• She has conducted poetry workshops for two schools in Durban, South Africa (2005)
Rangashankara Theatre festival 2007, Bangalore
Some of her creative achievements include kShaNabindu a poetry-music collaboration with Vasu Dixit & Bindumalini (2018), Interversions a compilation of collaborative poetry activities into a book and three poetry films INTERVERSIONS 1,2,&3 produced with Srishti Films as part of the Wales-India collaborative projects (2018), Preetiya Nalavattu NiyamagaLu a translation of Elif Shafak’s novel into Kannada (2017). Mamta Sagar has four collections of poems, “Hide & Seek”, a collection of selected poems in English with the source text in Kannada 2014, “Hiige Haaleya Maile Haadu” (Like this the song) 2007, “Kaada Navilina Hejje” (Footprints of The Wild Peacock) 1992 and “Nadiya Neerina Teva” (Dampness of the River) 1999 and four plays to her credit, an anthology of column writing, a collection of critical essays in Kannada and English on gender, language, literature and culture and a book on Slovenian-Kannada Literature Interactions to her credit. She has translated poetry and prose into Kannada and English, collaborated with the translation activity in many Indian and foreign languages. Her poems are translated into many Indian languages including English apart from Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Galician, Maltese, Japanese, Chinese, Slovenian, Serbian, Russian, Cebuano and are published in those respective languages. She has conducted poetry workshops for two schools in Durban, South Africa (2005) and at Rangashankara Theatre festival 2007, Bangalore and a theatre workshop for young girls from economically backward communities in Hyderabad. Mamta has collaborated/performed in ‘MOTHERLAND’, with artists N.Pushpamala (India), ‘Emily Dickenson project’ with Jannet and Jennifer (Australia), and poets Marjorie Evasco (Philippines) and Que Mai (Vietnam).
Mamta Sagar has toured with Mark Gwynne Jones in India and UK on ‘Melding Voices’, the UK Arts Council Funded projects.
“Purdah", a play script in Urdu, evolved during this workshop [which workshop] was staged at "AKKA" National Theatre Festival for Women, Rangayana, Mysore, 2001. She has curated international poetry events in Hyderabad and Bangalore by inviting poets from Senegal, England, Malta, Germany and Slovenia. Poets from different Indian languages have participated in the national poetry events curated by Mamta.
Collecting and sharing DREAMS, poetry performance at the Basavanagudi Live Art Project 7 May 2014.
KANASUGALU/DREAMS poetry and performance at the Basavanagudi Live Art Project curated by Dimple Shah, 7 May 2014. Presented poetry at the ‘MARMARA’ events organised by Vimochana, Forum for Women’s Rights, 15 April and 5 May 2014.
Mamta Sagar’s poems are showcased in ‘Babelia En Galego’, an anthology of poems by seven poets edited and translated into Galician by Yolanda Castaño, Galicia. 2011 ‘Beyond Barriers, Slovenian-Kannada Literature Interactions, ed. and compiled by Mamta Sagar, Bangalore. 2011,
‘119 Web Streaming Poetry’ edited by Tzveta Sofronieva, Serbia. 2011 “Interior Decorations” 2010, Poetry magazine pick up issue of the WHO. Re-registration translation of selected poems by Xi Chuan, Biejing, China 2010, “World Poetry almanac 2008”, ed. Hadaa Sendoo, Mangolia. 2008, Featured as Kannada Poet, Playwright and academic on ‘Poetry International’, website, 2009. “Growing Up As A Woman Writer”, ed. Jain, Jasbir. Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. 2007, “An Evening of Poetry”, Catalogue designed and produced as part of a multilingual poetry event curated in collaboration with Alliance Francaise Hyderabad and Book Section of the French Embassy in India, Hyderabad, India. Dec 2007. “Sexism and Language” in ‘Battleground: Women, Gender and Sexuality’ edited by Amy Lind. Greenwood Publishers, USA. 2007, ‘Agenda’, Empowering Women for Gender Equality, journal No. 69, September 2006 South Africa. Routes-‘Moving Worlds’ A Journal of Transcultural Writings, Vol 2, Issue One, 2002, University of Leeds-UK. South Asian Studies News Letter-IOWA, Spring 2002. ‘TOMAS’, The Literary Journal, published by Centre for Creative Writing and Studies, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines Issue 10, March 2006. SAMYUKTA- A Journal of Women Studies, Thiruvananthapuram. URDHVA MULA: An Inter-disciplinary Journal focusing on Women andRelated Issues, Mumbai. British Council’s Website on Women Writing, ‘Kerala Kavitha 2000’ edited by Dr. K. Ayyappa Panikkar, January 2000, Calicut. INDIAN LITERATURE, journal published by the Academy of Letters, New Delhi. Behind Closed Doors: Domestic Violence in India, Mumbai etc. carries her articles, poems in translations and her works of translation from Kannada literature and culture. As part of the Fifth Anniversary of the World Poetry Gala Celebrations, her poems in Kannada original along with translations in English were displayed at the Vancouver Public Library, (Central branch) 350 West Georgia, Vancouver, B.C. Canada, February 2006. Her poems in English translation is published in the anthology, “In Our Own Words: A Generation Defining Itself - Volume 7” edited by Marlow Peerse Weaver and published by MW Enterprises, USA. Her poems in Kannada along with their translation in English is included in an anthology of Women of Color Poets edited by Nagueyalti Warren and published by The Africa World Press and were on display at the World Social Forum, Nairobi, Kenya 20-25, Jan 2007.
Commonwealth Writers Translation Symposium, Penang, Malaysia 2019.
Chaired the session on “The Politics of Translation”, Penang, Malaysia 2019
Preetiya Nalavattu NiyamagaLu a translation of Elif Shafak’s novel Forty Rules Of Love into Kannada Published by Desi Pustaka, Bengaluru 2017.
Translated English Poet Dylan Thomas into Kannada as part of Dylan Day Celebrations at Swansea, Wales, May 2017.
South Indian Poetry Translation Workshop 2017 Keral Sahithya Academi and the Poetry Carnival Pattambi. SHORNUR, Kerala, 25 – 28 January 2017.
Poetry Translation Project of Goethe-Institut ‘Poets Translating Poets’. Workshop was held at Kerala and the festival readings/presentatons/performance were at Berlin, Mumbai and Chennai, 2016.
Invited by the Literature Across Frontiers International Poetry Translation Workshop – Poetry Connections India 2015 in Hyderabad and International Poetry Translation Workshop at Shantiniketan Kolkata in 2013, Mamta Sagar’s poems were translated into Estonian, English, Bengali, Portuguese, German, French, Welsh and Frisian and the poet translated poems by poets from all these language cultures.
'A River Poem’, English translation of her poem ‘Nadiyolage’ has been included in the textbook published by Cambridge University Press for primary school children in the UK. Her latest book ‘Hide & Seek’ is a collection of her poems in English translation with source text in Kannada
Translated Emily Dickenson’s poem 870 into Kannada for the ‘Emily Dickenson Project Cont’, by Janet Burchill and Jennifer McCamley, 2011
Translated SEEMANTHA’, short story in Kannada by Nagaveni into English for the British Council’s Website on Women Writing and SAMYUKTA- A Journal of Women Studies, Vol. III No. 2, Trivandrum, 2003
Translated poems by Tirumalamba, the first woman poet among the early modern Kannada writers into English.
Translated poems by Slovenian poets Brane Mozetic and Veronika Dintinjana and Slovenian Short story writers Andrej Blatnik and Suzana Tratnik into Kannada for the book, ‘Slovenian-Kannada Literature Interactions’ edited by her for Centre for Slovenian Literature, Ljubljana, Slovenia 2011.
At The International Poetry Translation Workshop - small and big languages, organised by Center for Slovenian Literature in collaboration with Literature Across Frontiers Slovenia 2010, Mamta has translated poems by poets from six languages: Antoine Cassar (Malta), Stanislav Lvovsky (Russia), Veronika Dintinjana (Slovenia), Yasuhiro Yotsumoto (Japan), Yolanda Castano (Spain, Galicia) and Xi Chuan (China); into Kannada, while her poems in Kannada were translated into all these languages.
Translated many passages into Kannada for Tim Supples’s production of Shakespeare’s play ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’, 2008.
In collaboration with the poets, she has translated poems by Marjorie Evasco a poet from Philippines writing in Cebuano language, Gahston Saint Fluer (Haiti) and Amadou Lamine Saal (Senegal) writing in French, Alex Fleites Rodriguez and Domingo Alphanso (Cuba), Lina Zeron (Mexico), Francisco Ruiz Udiel (Nicaragua) writing in Spanish, Abdul Hadi Sadoun (Iraq) writing in Arabic, Elena Liliana Popescu (Romania), Aryan Kaganof (South Africa) and Tenzin Tsundu (Tibet) writing in English into Kannada.
The International Poetry Translation Workshop, Slovenia 2010.
She has translated contemporary African and Francophonic poetry into Kannada language.
She has collaborated with Nicola Verderame in translating her poems from Kannada into Italian.
English translations of poems by contemporary women poets from Kannada are extensively used in her own articles and critical writings on gender.
English and Kannada translations of poems by contemporary women poets from Hindi language are used in her own articles and critical writings.
Translated poems from collection HODYA by Marathi poet Hemantha Jogalekar into Kannada.
Translated the article, ‘What Do We Mean by Gender-based Censorship?’ into Kannada for a two day workshop for women writers on Gender and Censorship, held at Mysore during May 2000, a programme jointly organised by ASMITHA and Women’s World.
Co-translated the Kannada play “MAHA CHAITRA” into Malayalam with Dr Chitra Panikkar, Published in ‘Kerala Kavitha 2000’ edited by Dr. K. Ayyappa Panikkar, January 2000, Calicut.
She has translated many poetry, prose and critical writings from Kannada language into English.
The translated poems are often used in ‘KAAVYA SANJE’, poetry performance/reading activity in public spaces curated by Mamta Sagar.
Her poems are subscribed for textbooks from Jain University, Bangalore and University of Kerala. Some of her poems are composed with music by known musicians, Vasu Dixit, Bindumalini and Sunitha Ananthaswamy.
She is interviewed and included in the documentary, ‘Cultures of Resistance’ directed by Iara Lee. Her poetry and interviews are showcased in ‘Los Chicos de Mañana’ a documentary directed by Javier Monero for Flying cat Productions, Spain. Mamta has scored songs for the Kannada film Nan Love Track (My Love Track) to be launched shortly.
Her doctoral work is in Comparative Literature from University of Hyderabad and the thesis is titled as “Gender, Patriarchy and Resistance: Contemporary Women’s Poetry in Kannada and Hindi (1980-2000)”. With a specialization in Comparative Literature, Gender Studies, Kannada Literature and Cultural Discourse, she has presented papers in important national and international seminars and conferences. Mamta is a recipient of the Charles Wallace India Trust Translation Fellowship 2014-15. Dr. Mamta G. Sagar teaches Academic and Creative Writing at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology and lives in Bangalore, India.
- Preetiya Nalavattu NiyamagaLu, translation of Elif Shafak’s novel into Kannada (2017). three poetry films titled INTERVERSIONS 1, 2 & 3, produced with Srishti Films as part of the Wales-India collaborative projects (2018).
- “Hide & Seek” a collection of selected poems in English with the source text in Kannada, published by Kadalu, An imprint of Peak Platform, UK 2014. “Hiige HaaLeya Maile HaaDu”, third collection of poems in Kannada, published by Abhinava Prakashana, Bangalore, 2007. “The Swing of Desire”, translation of the Kannada play ‘Mayye Bhaara Manave Bhaara’, included in the anthology, “Staging Resistance: Plays by Women in Translation”, edited and introduced by Tutun Mukherjee. Oxford University Press, New Delhi. 2004. “Nadiya Neerina Teva”, second collection of poems in Kannada, published by Ila Prakashana, Bangalore, 1999. Authored “Chukki Chukki Chandakki”, a play for children, directed by Iqbal Ahmed in Bangalore, 1993 has seen more than sixty shows all over Karnataka. This book is designed by Mamta Sagar and published by C.V.G. Publications, Bangalore, 1999. “Kaada Navilina Hejje”, first collection of poems in Kannada, published by Akshara Prakashana, Heggodu, Karnataka, 1992. “Growing Up As A Woman Writer”, ed. Jain, Jasbir. Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. 2007. “An Evening of Poetry”, Catalogue was designed and produced by Mamta as part of a multilingual poetry event curated in collaboration with Alliance Francaise Hyderabad and Book Section of the French Embassy in India, Hyderabad, India. Dec 2007. English translation of three poems along with one of them in Kannada language published in ‘TOMAS’, The Literary Journal, edited and introduced by Alfred A.Yuson and published by Centre for Creative Writing and Studies, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines. Issue 10, March 2006. As part of the World Poetry Fifth Anniversary Celebrations, Poems in Kannada along with English translation were on display at the Vancouver Public Library, (Central branch) 350 West Georgia, Vancouver, B.C. Canada, under the banner World Poetry Gala. – February 2006.
- MahiLa Vishaya" a collection of essays in Kannada and English on Gender, Language, Literature and Culture. 2007" ‘Illi Salluva Maatu’ a collection of column writings, published by Chaitrapallavi Prakashana, 2010. "Motherland" Performance with artist Pushpamala.N. 25 May 2010, Samuha Artist Space, Bangalore. Published in ART India. Issue IV/Quarter IV. 2010-11. Mamta Sagar Poems in Spanish published in CARATULA. Edición No. 35, Abril - Mayo 2010. Director: Sergio Ramírez. Editor: Francisco Ruiz Udiel, Nicaragua. KAAVYA SANJE, a multilingual community poetry event curated by Mamta Sagar involving translation, readings, reciting and presenting poems around selected themes from all over the world in public spaces in Bengaluru has seen 15 editions until now. Mamta has translated poetry and prose into Kannada and English, collaborated with the translation activity in many Indian and foreign languages. Her poems are translated into most of the Indian languages including English apart from Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Estonian, German, Portugal, Galician, Maltese, Japanese, Chinese, Slovenian, Serbian, Russian, Turkish, Italian, Arabic, Cebuano, and Sinhala and are published in those respective languages.
- Her doctoral thesis is titled as, “Gender, Patriarchy and Resistance: Contemporary Women’s Poetry in Kannada and Hindi (1980-2000)”. 2004
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- Ljubljana Poetry Festival, Slovenia
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- Literature Festival, Hanoi-Ha long bay, Vietnam 2010
- International Poetry Festival of Medellin,Colombia
- Poetry Africa 2005
- Seemantha, Translated By Mamta G Sagar[permanent dead link]
- Best Poems from Mamta G. Sagar
- MahiLa Vishaya Book launch in Hyderabad