Award-Winning Author, Scholar and Poet. She is Distinguished Professor of English at the City University of New York (CUNY)
Meena Alexander was born in Allahabad, India. She turned five on the Indian Ocean, on the journey with her mother from India to Sudan. She was raised both in Kerala, South India and in Khartoum, Sudan. At eighteen she went to England for her studies. She has a B.A. Honors in French and English from…
Meena Alexander was born in Allahabad, India. She turned five on the Indian Ocean, on the journey with her mother from India to Sudan. She was raised both in Kerala, South India and in Khartoum, Sudan. At eighteen she went to England for her studies. She has a B.A. Honors in French and English from Khartoum University and a Ph.D. from Nottingham University. Birthplace with Buried Stones (Fall 2013) is her seventh book of poetry. She also has three earlier volumes of poetry published in India.
She has edited Indian Love Poems from the Everyman’s series, and published a critically acclaimed memoir Fault Lines (picked as one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of the year). Recent poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, Threepenny Review.
Her poems have been set to music, including “Impossible Grace,” which was the lyric base of the First Al Quds Music Award and “Acqua Alta,” which was set to music by the Swedish composer Jan Sandstrom for the Serikon Music Group’s climate change project.
She has published two novels Nampally Road (1991/ 2012 – republished by Orient Blackswan) and Manhattan Music. Her academic studies include The Poetic Self: Towards a Phenomenology of Romanticism and Women in Romanticism: Mary Wollstonecraft, Dorothy Wordsworth and Mary Shelley.
Her prose writings on trauma, migration and memory collected in The Shock of Arrival: Reflections on Postcolonial Experience and Poetics of Dislocation are relevant to our evolving understanding of postcoloniality. A book of essays on her work has appeared: Passage to Manhattan: Critical Essays on Meena Alexander (eds. Lopamudra Basu and Cynthia Leenerts, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009).
Meena Alexander has read her poems and spoken at Poetry International London, Rome Poetry Festival, Struga Poetry Evenings, Poetry Africa, Calabash Festival, Harbor Front Festival, Sahitya Akademi, India, Yale Political Union and other international venues.
Her book of poetry Illiterate Heart won the PEN Open Book Award and she received a Glenna Luschei Award for poems published in Prairie Schooner . She has received awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Arts Council of England, National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, National Council for Research on Women, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Ledig-Rowohlt Foundation in Switzerland.
She has been in residence at the MacDowell Colony and has held the Martha Walsh Pulver residency for a poet at Yaddo. She was Visiting Fellow at the Sorbonne (Paris IV); Frances Wayland Collegium Lecturer at Brown University; Writer in Residence at the Center for American Culture Studies at Columbia University; University Grants Commission Fellow, Kerala University; Writer in Residence, National University of Singapore, Poet in Residence at the University of Hyderabad, Visiting Professor at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. She has served as a Member of the Jury for the Neustadt International Award in Literature and as an Elector, American Poets Corner, Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York.
She was the recipient of the 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award in Literature from the South Asian Literary Association (an organization allied to the Modern Languages Association) for contributions to American literature. In 2014, Meena Alexander was named a National Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study.
She is Distinguished Professor of English and Women’s Studies at the City University of New York and teaches in the PhD Program in English at CUNY Graduate Center and in the English Department at Hunter College.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
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The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
A Conversation With Meena Alexander
One to One: Dr. Meena Alexander, poet, Distinguished Prof. of English at Hunter College
1 HOUR OR LESS