Mani Rao

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Mani Rao (born 28 February 1965) is an Indian poet and independent scholar, writing in English.


Mani Rao has authored ten poetry collections, two books in translation from Sanskrit and a translation of the Bhagavad Gita as a poem,[1] besides an anthropological study of mantra-sadhana.[2]

Rao has had poems published in literary journals including Poetry Magazine,Fulcrum, Wasafiri, Meanjin, Washington Square, West Coast Line, Tinfish, and in anthologies including The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem,Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (W.W. Norton, 2008), and The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets. (Bloodaxe Books, 2008) [3] She was a Visiting Fellow at the Iowa International Writing Program in 2005 and 2009, held the 2006 University of Iowa International Programs writer-in-residence fellowship, and writing residencies at Omi Ledig House in 2018 and International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI) Canberra in 2019. She was a co-founder of OutLoud, a regular poetry-reading gathering in Hong Kong, and contributed a poetry segment to RTHK Radio 4.[3]

She has performed at literary festivals in Hong Kong, Singapore, Melbourne, Vancouver, Chicago, Canberra and at the 2006 New York PEN World Voices.[4][3]

Rao worked in advertising and television from 1985 to 2004[3] She was born in India and moved to Hong Kong in 1993.[4] She has an MFA from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and a PhD in Religious Studies from Duke University.


Books and Chapbooks

  • Sing to Me (Recent Work Press, 2019).
  • Living Mantra – Mantra, Deity and Visionary Experience Today (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
  • Bhagavad Gita (Fingerprint, 2015). (This edition includes a translation of Ishavasyopanishad).
  • New & Selected Poems (Poetrywala, India, 2014).
  • Echolocation (Math Paper Press, Singapore, 2014).
  • Kalidasa for the 21st Century Reader (Aleph Book Co. 2014)
  • Bhagavad Gita – A translation of the poem," (Autumn Hill Books, 2010) (Penguin India, 2011).
  • Ghostmasters, (Hong Kong: Chameleon Press, 2010)[3]
  • Mani Rao:100 Poems, 1985–2005, (Hong Kong: Chameleon Press, 2006)[3]
  • Echolocation (Hong Kong: Chameleon Press, 2003)
  • Salt (Hong Kong: Asia 2000)
  • The Last Beach (Bilingual with Chinese translation. Trans. Huang Chan Lan. Hong Kong: Asia 2000, 1999)
  • Living Shadows (Bilingual with Chinese translation. Trans. Huang Chan Lan. Drawings Mani Rao. Hong Kong: HK Arts Development Council, 1997)
  • Catapult Season (Calcutta: Writers Workshop, 1993)
  • Wing Span (Calcutta: Writers Workshop, 1987)


  1. ^ Autumn Hill Books Website Archived 26 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b c d e f Mani Rao’s Official Website
  4. ^ a b "PEN World Voices > 2006 Festival Mani Rao". Archived from the original on 11 July 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2009.

External links[edit]