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Ravi Shankar (poet)

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Ravi Shankar
Ravi shankar 3281654.JPG
Born1975 (age 43–44)
  • Tamil
  • English
Alma mater
Notable awards

Ravi Shankar (born 1975) is an American poet, editor, and former literature professor at Central Connecticut State University and City University of Hong Kong. He is the founding editor of one of the earliest online literary journals, Drunken Boat.[1][2][3]


Shankar received his bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia and his M.F.A. in poetry from the Columbia University School of the Arts.[4][5] Upon completion of his graduation, he moved to Chester from Brooklyn, and joined the Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) as a faculty member in 2002.[6][7] He was also a guest teacher of the masters program at Fairfield University.[8][9] He was elected as the chairman of the Connecticut Young Writers Trust in 2011. In 2014, he was promoted from the rank of associate professor to professor at CCSU.[10] He also served as the co-director of the creative writing minor at CCSU.[11] He has also appeared on PBS [12] and on National Public Radio.[13] He received the University-level Trustees Research Award as a faculty member at CSUS in 2009.[14] In the same year, he also received fellowship award from The Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism (CCT) and Summer Literary Seminars fellowship to Kenya.[15]

In 1999, he founded an international online arts journal named Drunken Boat.[16] Currently, he is a teacher at the New York Writers Workshop and City University of Hong Kong.[17]

Literary career

Shankar's collections of poetry include The Many Uses of Mint (2018), What Else Could it Be (2015), Instrumentality (2004), a finalist for the 2005 Connecticut Book Awards, and Deepening Groove (2011), winner of the National Poetry Review Prize.[18] He has also served as an editor for other works such as Language for a New Century (2008), which was hailed as "a beautiful achievement for world literature" by Nobel laureate in Literature Nadine Gordimer.[19] He won a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship in 2017 [20] His translations with Priya Sarukkai Chabria of the 8th century Tamil poet/saint Andal won the 2016/2017 Muse India Translation Award at the Hyderabad Literary festival.[21][22][23] He also appeared as a guest speaker at the Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2018.[24]

His literary works appeared in Paris Review, Fulcrum, McSweeney's, the AWP Writer's Chronicle, and Scribner's Best American Erotic Poems.[25][26] In 2014, he won Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner.[26][27]


Shankar became the subject of several controversies during 2014–2015. He was alleged in a number of cases[28] including driving under the influence,[29][30] larceny,[31] credit card fraud, and unauthorized use of university funds.[32][33] He served 90 days in Hartford Correctional Center.[33][29]

In 2015, Shankar resigned from teaching at Central Connecticut State University.[6] He also filed multiple charges against the public university system of Central Connecticut. All of the pending cases filed by both parties were dismissed with a settlement of $60,409, paid by the college authority to Shankar.[34]

Following his resignation from the University, it was reported in the media that he had been suffering from acute mental illness.[30]

Selected works


  • Instrumentality, Harper & Row, 2004, (WordTech Communications, 2004)
  • Wanton Textiles, with Reb Livingston, (No Tell Books, 2006)
  • Seamless Matter, with Sol LeWitt (Chapbook), OHM Editions – Rain Taxi, 2010
  • Deepening Groove, (The National Poetry Review Press, 2011)
  • What Else Could It Be: Ekphrastics and Collaborations, (Carolina Wren Press, 2015)
  • Durable Transit: New and Selected Poems, (Poetrywala, 2018)
  • Many Uses of Mint, (Recent Works Press, 2018)


  • The Autobiography of a Goddess, with Priya Sarukkai Chabria, Zubaan Books/University of Chicago Press, 2016

As editor

  • Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from Asia, the Middle East & Beyond, with Tina Chang and Nathalie Handal, W. W. Norton & Company, 2008
  • Radha Says: Final Poems of Reetika Vazirani, Drunken Boat Books, 2010
  • UNION: 50 Years of Writing from Singapore and 15 Years of Drunken Boat, with Alvin Pang, Drunken Boat Media, 2015
  • The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks, with Patricia Smith and Peter Kahn, University of Arkansas Press, 2017


  1. ^ hermes (2015-12-06). "Restless at home". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  2. ^ Shivani, Anis (2015-08-10). "The Festival That Was Matwaala: South Asian Poets Celebrating Poetry and Love". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  3. ^ Kelley, Tina. "Suburban Region's Poets Convey a Sense of Place". Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  4. ^ "Ravi Shankar (poet) - India - Poetry International". Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  5. ^ Daily, Verse. "Verse Daily: Ravi Shankar". Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  6. ^ a b RONDINONE, NICHOLAS. "CCSU Professor Ravi Shankar Resigns". Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  7. ^ Kelley, Tina. "Suburban Region's Poets Convey a Sense of Place". Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  8. ^ Daily, Verse. "Verse Daily: About Deepening Groove by Ravi Shankar". Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  9. ^ University, Fairfield. "Fairfield University - Fairfield University journal awards its first prize for creative non-fiction". Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  10. ^ "CT Young Writers honors 30 students". The Register Citizen. 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  11. ^ "Monday's Poem: 'Breast Feeding at the Blue Mosque,' by Ravi Shankar – Arts & Academe - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education". Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  12. ^ "PBS". Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Connecticut State University System (March 12, 2009). "THE CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM 2009 UNNERSITY -LEVEL TRUSTEES RESEARCH AWARD" (PDF). Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  15. ^ Tourism, Connecticut Commission on Culture and. "CCT: FY 09 Artist Fellowship Recipients". Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  16. ^ Kelley, Tina. "Suburban Region's Poets Convey a Sense of Place". Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  17. ^ "Berry College - Ravi Shankar". Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  18. ^ "Ravi Shankar". Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation. 2017-12-27. Retrieved 2017-12-28.
  19. ^ "Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond". Nathalie Handal. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  20. ^ "Berry College - Ravi Shankar". Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  21. ^ "Muse India Prize Panel on Translations - Hyderabad Literary Fest 2018".
  22. ^ "Three new attractions at HLF 2018".
  23. ^ "Three new attractions at HLF 2018". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  24. ^ Pareek, Harsh (January 27, 2018). "At the Jaipur Literature Festival 2018, whispers of Karni Sena, an absent CM, and Rupi Kaur hysteria". Firstpost. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  25. ^ Banerjee, Neelanjana; Kaipa, Summi; Sundaralingam, Pireeni (2012). Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. University of Arkansas Press. p. 198. ISBN 9781610752077. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Gold Coast Participants | Asia Pacific Writers & Translators || APWT". Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  27. ^ "Prairie Schooner Announces $8,250 in Writing Prizes for 2014 | Prairie Schooner". Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  28. ^ MORAN, DAVID. "CCSU Suspends Professor Ravi Shankar; Senator Says Fire Him". Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  29. ^ a b "CCSU professor appears in court after being arrested 3 times in a year". FOX 61. 2015-08-26. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  30. ^ a b "Ravi Shankar Still in Hot Water – The Recorder". Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  31. ^ RONDINONE, NICHOLAS. "CCSU Professor With Criminal History Faces Larceny Charge". Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  32. ^ Schoenfeld, Samantha; Roberts, Laura. "CCSU professor suspended without pay after latest arrest". Fox61. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  33. ^ a b "As professor racks up convictions, CSCU unable to consider them in employment decisions - The CT MirrorThe CT Mirror". Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  34. ^ "For CCSU professor with multiple convictions, a $60K settlement and resignation - The CT MirrorThe CT Mirror". Retrieved 2018-09-29.

External links