Mani Rao (born 28 February 1965) is an Indian poet and independent scholar, writing in English.
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)  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.
Rao worked in advertising and television from 1985 to 2004 She was born in India and moved to Hong Kong in 1993. 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)
- Mani Rao:100 Poems, 1985–2005, (Hong Kong: Chameleon Press, 2006)
- 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)
- Review of Bhagavad Gita translation in Asymptote
- Excerpts from Rtusamharam in Almost Island
- Review of Ghostmasters in Cha literary journal
- Author’s Website
- Poem: WebdelSol > In Posse Review > Which Way Does the River Flow by Mani Rao
- Poems: Cha: An Asian Literary Journal (Issue#1) > Mani Rao: Four Poems
- Review: Quarterly Literary Review Singapore > Vol. 3, No. 4, Jul 2004 > A Review by Cyril Wong of Echolocation by Mani Rao
- Poets & Writers > Directory of Writers > Mani Rao
- Gita Translation Excerpts: eXchanges Winter 2009
- Interview: South China Morning Post > 30 May 2010 > "My Life" Interview by Mark Footer
- Author's Page on Facebook
- Author's Twitter handler