Vidyan Ravinthiran — Artist

What self-consciousnesses do artists carry? It can be difficult to know how to hold onto confidence in your work, especially when small jibes from others remain long after apologies have been offered. Art compels and calls, and also complicates.

Vidyan Ravinthiran was born in Leeds to Sri Lankan Tamils. His first book of poems, Grun-tu-molani (Bloodaxe Books, 2014), was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize, and the Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. His second, The Million-petalled Flower of Being Here (Bloodaxe Books, 2019), won a Northern Writers Award and a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. It was shortlisted for the 2019 Forward Prize for Best Collection, the 2019 T.S. Eliot Prize, and the 2021 Ledbury Munthe Poetry Prize for Second Collections. He is the author of Elizabeth Bishop's Prosaic (Bucknell, 2015); a collection of essays, Worlds Woven Together (Columbia University Press, 2022); a critical study, Spontaneity and Form in Modern Prose (OUP, 2020); and Asian/Other, a fusion of poetry criticism and memoir forthcoming from Icon in the U.K. and Norton in the U.S. Ravinthiran is an associate professor of English at Harvard University.

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We’re pleased to offer Vidyan Ravinthiran’s poem, and invite you to connect with Poetry Unbound throughout this season.

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