Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Ofi Press Magazine Review of Yuyutsu Sharma's Nine New York Poems & Space Cake, Amsterdam & Other Poems from Europe and America by Agnes Marton

The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Fiction from Mexico City

By Agnes Marton

Poetry Review: Yuyu, the wandering poet

Both books are beautifully designed, with elegant bookmarks. I received them from India by post. When opening the envelope, the first thing I noticed was the spicy scent coming out of the pages. Then I started reading and couldn’t stop.

Yuyu, the wandering poet
Yuyutsu Sharma: Nine New York Poems. A Prelude to A Blizzard In My Bones. New York Poems
Nirala Publications, New Delhi, 2014
Yuyutsu Sharma: Space Cake Amsterdam & Other Poems from Europe and America
Nirala Publications, New Delhi, 2014
Poetry Review by Agnes Marton
Published in issue 39 of The Ofi Press

Yuyu is Mona Lisa’s hallucinatory lover, saying Namaste (‘I salute the soul of God that is within you’) (Mona Lisa Drunk). A shaman “chewing Tesco’s vegpledges” on the Tube (Miles on the Tube). A cityhopper who is not at all a tourist, who is at home everywhere, exploring urban fields through his Himalayan gaze. The master of observation, of detail, of compassion.
Half the year, Yuyutsu Sharma leads creative writing workshops at American universities and performs his poems all over the world, but then he returns to Nepal and India.
Yuyu’s New York poems are full of collisions and intersections, and his verse itself is also multicultural, with echoes of sounds and rhythms of the city:
“Meager, skimpy, bloodless,
punching the city’s famed roaches
my legs clanging, wheeling mantras
of angry and drunken avatars,
my breaths measuring menus
of Fast Food takeaways
like curses of the demented
on shaky subway tracks”
(The Scream, Subway Avatars)

and fractions of the everyday sightseeing of an expat:
“The day you stop taking the free
Staten Island Ferry to click a perfect shot
of the Statue of Liberty,
or stop visiting Times Square at night
and forget to find a way out of its labyrinth (…)
You are a New Yorker.”
(You are a New Yorker)

It’s glorious contemporary urban poetry where sometimes traces of pastoral elegy can be found, sometimes magic realism, sometimes the individual’s concerns of global matters, sometimes eroticism, sometimes the mythology of Sufi saints… Most often all of these together in harmony.

The collection ‘Space Cake Amsterdam’ is more like a series of colourful snapshots (of museums, of cafés, of castles), without any superficiality, on the contrary, time to time reaching the profound. Yuyu calls himself a “shaking frame” (Temple, London); inherits his role as a writer and he can accomplish it through his wandering (“Someone left a pen / on the palpable table of my travels”). In De Zuarte Ruiter Café he (“you man from the Himalayas”) is asked whether he can stop ghosts of relatives slipping into dreams, whether he can explain nightmares.

“I knew they wished me to wear
a shaman’s feathered crown for my head   
and dance round and round for several centuries
to avenge the atrocities of the male Buddhas
in the corridors of history for them.”

He depicts naked, noble, leopard‑like, shiny dances (Ruigoord) and talks about remembering long‑ago admired lovers (Look‑alike, Galway), about the uncanny language of husbands (Frankfurt), and about parrots flying out of the zoo to the city to sing (what else?) the song of survival (Heidelberg, Danke!).

Both books are beautifully designed, with elegant bookmarks. I received them from India by post. When opening the envelope, the first thing I noticed was the spicy scent coming out of the pages. Then I started reading and couldn’t stop.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Yuyutsu Sharma’s NYU Reading with American Poet, Kevin Prufer!

Yuyutsu Sharma’s NYU Reading with American Poet, Kevin Prufer![ONLINE]Global Poets Series3
Yuyutsu Sharma’s NYU Reading with American Poet, Kevin Prufer!
KEVIN PRUFER (United States) is the author of six books of poetry, the most recent of which include Churches (Four Way Books, 2014); In a Beautiful Country (Four Way Books, 2011); and National Anthem (Four Way Books, 2008). Kevin is also the editor of numerous volumes, including New European Poets (Graywolf, 2008) and the forthcoming Into English (Graywolf, 2016). He is the recipient of multiple Pushcart prizes, Best American Poetry selections, and awards from the Poetry Society of America, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets. Kevin is Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Houston, where he also co-directs the Unsung Masters Series, and is the Editor-at-Large of Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing.
YUYUTSU RAM DASS SHARMA (Nepal) is a Himalayan poet, translator, and journalist from Kathmandu. Born in the Punjab at Nakodar, India, Yuyu is the author of ten books of poetry, the most recent of which include Nine New York Poems (Nirala, 2014); Milarepa’s Bones (Nirala, 2012); and Space Cake, Amsterdam (Howling Dog Press, 2009; Nirala reprint, 2014). Yuyu has also translated and edited several anthologies of contemporary Nepali poetry in English, and recently authored a Nepali bilingual translation of Hebrew poet Ronny Someck’s Baghdad, February 1991. At the center of the Nepali literary movement, Kathya Kayakalpa (Content Metamorphosis), he has received key writing fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ireland Literature Exchange. Yuyu represented Nepal and India at the Poetry Parnassus Festival in London as a part of the 2012 Summer Olympics. A widely-traveled and distinguished public figure and journalist, Yuyu writes for The Himalayan Times, Nepal’s leading newspaper. He also currently serves as editor of Pratik, A Magazine of Contemporary Writing.
The Global Poets Series 2014 is Co-Sponsored by the Office of Global Services and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Yuyutsu Sharma’s April Readings in New York City

Sunday, April 6, 2014, 1pm – 4pm: Yuyutsu Sharma Reading at Oceanside Library, Davison Ave. Oceanside, NY 11572 766-2360; Hosted by Peter V. Dugan,
Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 7 pm, Yuyutsu Sharma reading at The Poets Settlement at Breuckelen Colony, Hosted by Ricardo Thomas Manuel Hernandez 274 4th Avenue and Garfield Place, Park Slope, Brooklyn, 11220, Two Blocks away from Union Street R Train Station
Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 6:30: Yuyutsu Sharma featuring in Tom Kane’s Boulevard Bards SeriesHosted by Anthony Vigorito, Boulevard Books & Café, 7518 13th Avenue (between Bay Ridge Parkway & 76th St) Brooklyn, NY 11228
Thurseday, April 10, 5:45pm Yuyutsu Sharma reading with Kevin Prufer, New York University at AIA New York Chapter House, located at 536 LaGuardia Place. Hosted by David Austell, NYU Office of Global Services, Open to the public. 212 998 4726
Sunday April 13 4:00 pm; Yuyutsu Sharma with David Austell and Robert Scotto in Phoenix Reading Series @ The Upright Brewm 9944 : 547 Hudson Street NY, NY 10014 212-810- Hosted by Michael Graves, Open to public, An eight dollar ($8) cover buys a drink or pays part of a more expensive. Directions :
Friday, April 18, 2014 6:15 to 8:00 pm: Himalayan Poet in NYC,Rubin Museum Reading: Internationally renowned Himalayan poet Yuyutsu Sharma reads from new book and launches his new book, Nine New York Poems: A Prelude to A Blizzard in my Bones.( Nirala, 2014) Poet David Austell to Introduce Yuyu and his New Book; Rubin Museum, 150 W 17th St, New York, Phone: (212) 620-5000. Free and open to public.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 7:30 pm, Yuyutsu Sharma reading with David Austell, William Seaton and Patricia Spears Jones at Brownstone Poets, Dada Café, 57, Seventh Avenue, ( Corner of Lincoln Place), Park Slope, Brooklyn, Hosted by Patricia Carragon, , 11217, 718-622-2800
Thursday, April 24, 2014, 6:30pm to 8:30 pm: Yuyutsu Sharma to read at Barnes and Noble in Ken Siegelman’s Brooklyn Poetry Outreach Series, Hosted by Anthony Vigorito, Barnes & Noble, Park Slope 267 7th Ave (at 6th Street), Brooklyn, NY 11215
Friday, April 25, 2014, 7:30 pm, Yuyutsu Sharma in the Poets in the Port Series, Caffe Portofino in North Poet on Friday, Hosted by Mary Jane Tenerelli