Stryk Shortlist: Kalidasa for the 21st Century Reader translated by Mani Rao

KALIDASA_FOR_THE_21ST_CENTURY_READERKalidasa for the 21st Century Reader
Translated from the Sanskrit by Mani Rao
(Aleph Book Company)

“Inviting as well as formidable/Like the ocean/with gems and monsters both”— tropes for an ancient king but a fair description of Mani Rao’s Kālidāsa for the 21st Century Reader. Verse plays and epics by the greatest poet and dramatist in Sanskrit are available here for the first time in accessible, lyrical translations that erase the distance of time and previous scholarly renderings and evoke the majesty, humanity, and sheer beauty of image in Kālidāsa’s poetry. “They inhaled/The scent of lake-lotuses/Cool from ripples/They inhaled it like/their own breath”

The Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize recognizes the importance of Asian translation for international literature and promotes the translation of Asian works into English. Lucien Stryk was an internationally acclaimed translator of Japanese and Chinese Zen poetry, renowned Zen poet himself, and former professor of English at Northern Illinois University. Information about the prize is available on the ALTA website. Judges for the 2015 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize are Lucas Klein, Janet Poole, and Stephen Snyder.

The award-winning book and translator for 2015 will be announced on October 28th at the 38th annual conference of the American Literary Translators Association in Tucson, AZ and receive a $5,000 award. Information on the conference is available online:

Follow our blog (, on Twitter (@LitTranslate), or on Facebook ( for the announcement of the winners!

About Erica Mena

Erica Mena is a Puerto Rican poet, translator, and book artist. Pronouns: they/them.
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