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’.
Mandakranta Sen was born in Kolkata, West Bengal. Her first collection of poetry- HRIDAY ABADDHYA MEYE (MY HEART IS AN UNRULY GIRL) brought her the Ananda Puraskar in 1998. Since then she has written twenty collections of poetry, eight novels, one collection of novelettes, two collections of short stories and one collection of essays. She has won several awards including the Sahitya Akademi Golden Jubilee Young Writers' Award (2004), which she returned in 2015 as a protest against the growing intolerance in the country. Her poems have been translated into several other Indian languages, and internationally into the German, French and Polish. Currently, along with her husband, Mandakranta Sen edits Brishtydin- a literary journal in Bengali.
Gabor Lanczkor was born in Székesfehérvár, Hungary, in 1981. He was studying in Budapest, and spent longer periods in Rome, Ljubljana and London.
He is an award-winning author with eleven published books; novels, poetry volumes, children’s books and essays. He is the guitarist of the band Médeia Fiai, and is involved in the musical project Anarchitecture.
His selected poems in English were published under the title Sound Odyssey in 2016 (Poetrywala, Mumbai).
He is living is a tiny Hungarian village with his wife and two daughters.
Ashwani Kumar is Mumbai- based Indian English poet, writer, and professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences. His anthologies ‘My Grandfather’s Imaginary Typewriter’ with a prolegomenon by Ashis Nandy and ‘Banaras and the Other’ have been published by Yeti Books and Poetrywala. His poems-translated in Indian languages and Hungarian, are noted for ‘lyrical celebration’ of garbled voices of memory and their subversive ‘whimsy’ quality. His ‘Banaras and the Other’, first of a trilogy on religious cities, was long listed for 1stJayadev National Poetry Award 2017. Select cantos of ‘Banaras and the Other’ were performed by Hungarian band Kalaka at the Times Lit Fest 2017 in Mumbai. He is currently working on Ayodhya, second of Banaras trilogy, his non- fiction book ‘Biharis’ (forthcoming, Aleph Books) and a special volume on Tagore titled ‘Architecture of Alphabets’/ Betűrendek architektúrája in Hungarian (forthcoming 2019). He is co-founder of Indian Novels Collective to bring classic novels of Indian Literature to English readers. He is also a visiting fellow at leading global universities and think tanks including London School of Economics, German Development Institute, Korea Development Institute, University of Sussex etc. He has also served as member of Central Employment Guarantee Council (Government of India). His major scholarly contributions include ‘Community Warriors’ (Anthem Press; London), ‘Power Shifts and Global Governance’ (Anthem Press; London), ‘Global Civil Society: Poverty and Activism’ (Sage International; London) and ‘Migration, Mobility and Citizenship’ (forthcoming, Routledge). He is recipient of Azim Premji foundation’s research grant and the Indian Council of Social Science Research has awarded him the prestigious ‘Senior Fellowship’ for a book-length study of welfare regimes in India. At leisure, he writes articles and reviews for Financial Express, the Print, Business Standard, The Hindu, Indian Express, DNA, Open Democracy, among others.
Eunice de Souza (1940) is the author of several books of poems. Her groundbreaking debut Fix was published in 1979 followed by Women in Dutch Painting (1988), Ways of Belonging (1990), A Necklace of Skulls (2009). Her poems are spare, unsettling, ironic, lyrical, referencing a landscape striated with relationships to city, lovers, pets and poetry itself. If Fix established her as a poet with an original and remarkable voice, learn from the Almond Leaf settles that reputation with a volume of poems more distilled, extracted, potent and ultimately utterly wise. Over the last forty years Eunice de Souza has distinguished herself as an inspirational teacher, influencing generations of undergraduates at St Xavier's College, Mumbai; as a scholar of illuminating research into poetry written in English in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and poetry written by women; as an anthologist of several important collections of poetry the latest These My Words: The Penguin Book of Indian Poetry (2012) with Melanie Silgardo. She has also written two works of fiction Dangerlok (2001) and Dev and Simran (2003) as well as several books for children. She lives in Mumbai.
Zingonia Zingone (1971) is a graduate in Economics, a poet, a novelist and a translator who writes in Spanish, Italian, French and English. Her poetry books are published in Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Italy, France and India. Her most recent titles are: Los naufragios del desierto (Vaso Roto, 2013) and las tentaciones de la Luz (anamá, 2018). In English, she has two books published in India: Acrobat of Oblivion (Poetrywala, 2011) and Light, the Temptation (Poetrywala, 2016). Her translation works include Virus Alert by Marathi poet Hemant Divate (Alarma de Virus – Ediciones Espiral, 2012), award-winning Voces / Voci by Nicaraguan poet Claribel Alegría (Samuele Editore, 2016), and, by the same author, Amore senza fine (Edizioni Fili d’Aquilone, 2018).
She is editor of a monthly Poetry Review at MINERVA magazine.
Published Poetry Books:
Máscara del delirio (Perro Azul, 2006; Lietocolle, 2008)