A sense of evening pervades Christos Koukis’ Modern Guilt, translated into English by Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke and Elle Arscott. This twilight is historical, ridden by the background of the financial crisis in Greece, as much as poetic, where ‘we are rich in such a way that no bank condescends to accept us’. But like all things Greek, there is the sun, which peeks at odd places and throws light on hidden corners. In Koukis’ world, the sun glints, before setting at nine o’clock behind the Acropolis, even if ‘deep down, the light makes things difficult’.
It is in this sense that Modern Guilt holds a mirror to us, our anxieties and vanities. The earthquakes in Modern Guilt are political. History is ugly and ‘the country does not go to sleep with clear conscience’. Continuing in the tradition of the modern Greek masters, Koukis has use for antiquity, but this antiquity is not removed from history, its pain and betrayal. It provides no respite, only hard lessons. The financial earthquake of Greece is but one more link in that story.
Yet in its moments of crises, hope shines through —‘there is a feeling of life that never abandons us, an honest victory’. There is redemption in love and in the hope of love. Amidst the shadows, for Koukis it ultimately ‘doesn’t matter’, for even ‘Dresden was rebuilt and now it shines’.
Mahendra Bhavre 1961 is a poet, critic and the Head of the Marathi Department-at the SD College, Palghar. His collection of poems, Chintakranta Mulukhache Rudan, 2000, won the Saratchandra Muktibodh Kavya Puraskar, and Vikhe-Patil Sahitya Puraskar in 2000. He has many books of criticism including Dalit Kavitetil Nave Prawah by Shabdalay Prakashan, 2001. His poetry collection Mahasatteche Peedadaan was published by Abhidhanantar in 2005
Mustansir Dalvi was born in Bombay. He teaches architecture in Mumbai. His poems are included in the anthologies: These My Words: The Penguin Book of Indian Poetry (Eunice de Souza and Melanie Silgardo, editors); Mind Mutations (Sirrus Poe, editor); The Bigbridge Online Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry (Menka Shivdasani, editor); The Dance of the Peacock: An Anthology of English Poetry from India (Vivekanand Jha, editor); To Catch a Poem: An Anthology of Poetry for Young People (Jane Bhandari and Anju Makhija, editors); and The Enchanting Verses Literary Review (online, Abhay K, editor). Mustansir Dalvi?s 2012 English translation of Muhammad Iqbal's influential Shikwa and Jawaab-e-Shikwa from the Urdu as Taking Issue and Allah's Answer (Penguin Classics) has been described as 'insolent and heretical' and makes Iqbal's verse accessible to the modern reader. This book was awarded Runner Up for Best Translation at the Muse India National Literary Award in 2012. His translations of the Sufi mystic poet Rahim are published in the anthology Eating God: a Book of Bhakti Poetry (Arundhati Subramanium, editor). His most recent book is struggles with imagined gods – selected translations of the poems of Hemant Divate from the Marathi, published by Poetrywala in 2014. Brouhahas of Cocks is his first book of poems in English published by Poetrywala in 2013. Mustansir Dalvi's poems have been translated into French, Croatian and Marathi.
Sachin C. Ketkar (b.1972) is a bilingual writer, translator, editor, blogger and researcher based in Baroda, Gujarat. His most recent book is Changlya Kavitevarchi Statutory Warning: Samkaleen Marathi Kavita, Jagatikikaran ani Bhashantar (Sept 2016) is a collection of Marathi articles on contemporary Marathi poetry, globalization and translation. His books in English include Skin, Spam and Other Fake Encounters: Selected Marathi Poems in translation, (2011), (Trans) Migrating Words: Refractions on Indian Translation Studies (2010) and A Dirge for the Dead Dog and Other Incantations (2003). His collections of Marathi poetry are Jarasandhachya Blogvarche Kahi Ansh (2010) and Bhintishivaicya Khidkitun Dokavtana, (2004). He has extensively translated present-day Marathi poetry, most of which is collected in the anthology Live Update: An Anthology of Recent Marathi Poetry, 2005 edited by him. He has translated fiction by Jorge Luis Borges, Ted Hughes and Adam Thopre into Marathi. He won 'Indian Literature Poetry Translation Prize', given by Indian Literature Journal, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi for translation of modern Gujarati poetry in 2000. Apart from rendering the fifteenth century Gujarati poet Narsinh Mehta for his doctoral research, he has also translated numerous modern Gujarati writers like Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh, Bhupen Khakkar, Jayant Khatri, Rajendra Patel, Nazir Mansuri and Mona Patrawala into English. He works as Professor in English, Faculty of Arts, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara. Several of his publications are available at Academia.edu . His books are available at Amazon.in and Paperwall.in He blogs at: Cosmic Joke
Indran Amirthanayagam writes in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Haitian Creole. He has published thirteen poetry collections thus far, including The Elephants of Reckoning (Hanging Loose Press,NY,1993) which won the 1994 Paterson Prize in the United States, Uncivil war (Tsar/now Mawenzi House, Toronto,2013) and The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems (Hanging Loose Press,NY,2008). His latest books are IL n’est de solitude quel’ile lointaine (Les Editions, Haiti,2017), Pwezi a Kat Men, written with Alex Laguerre (Delince Editions, Miami,2017), and Ventana Azul (El Tapiz del Unicornio, Mexico City,2016). Two new manuscripts, Paolo 9, a suite of poems about the case of Paolo Guerrero and the World Cup and En busca de posada are forthcoming in 2019.
Arjun Rajendran's first collection, Snake Wine, was published by Les Editions du Zaporogue in 2014. His poems have appeared in publications including Berfrois, The Missing Slate, Caesura, The Bombay Literary Magazine, Star*Line, Strange Horizons, Mithila Review, VAYAVYA and others. He has also been published in Eclectica?s Best of Poetry Anthology (2016), celebrating the best poems published by Eclectica Magazine in 20 years, and the 40 Under 40 anthology published by Paperwall (2016). Rajendran was the editor of The Four Quarters Magazine until 2014.