Bold and original poetry from a leading figure of an underrepresented anglophone tradition.
Lakdhas Wikkramasinha (1941-1978) is considered to be among Sri Lanka's foremost anglophone poets of the twentieth century. This fearlessly political poet influenced generations of writers in Sri Lanka, but his works are largely inaccessible at present, as they were self-published in limited print runs and only a few of his poems were widely anthologized.
Selected Poems is the first book to include a wide range of Wikkramasinha's poems in English, drawn from the original sources and edited by Aparna Halpé and Michael Ondaatje, most of which have never been anthologized.
The volume also contains a representative selection of Wikkramasinha's poems in Sinhala, translated into English for the first time by Udaya Meddegama, to show readers of twentieth century South Asian poetry a rare example of an accomplished bilingual poet.
This selection of Wikkramasinha's poems will allow readers to engage more readily with the poet's overarching thematic concerns and provides an exceptionally strong and coherent portrait of his entire oeuvre, one which still resonates in South Asian literature to this day.
About this Author
Lakdhas Wikkramasinha (1941-1978) was a Sri Lankan poet, known for his experimental fusions of English and Sinhala. His work appeared in Madrona, Eastern Horizon, Outposts, University of Chicago Review, and other local and international journals. At age 36, he died by drowning.
Michael Ondaatje is a Sri Lankan-born Canadian author, filmmaker, and editor. Ondaatje's novel The English Patient was a Booker Prize winner in 1992 and was awarded the Golden Man Booker Prize in 2018. Ondaatje is also involved with Coach House Books, where he contributes as a poetry editor.
Aparna Halpé is a poet and a professor of English at Centennial College. Her work on contemporary postcolonial fiction has been published in numerous scholarly journals. She is the author of Precarious, a collection of poems.
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