We are pleased to share a video of the University of Cincinnati’s 2017-2018 Elliston Poet-in-Residence Amit Majmudar. Each year, supported by the Elliston Poetry Fund, our Department of English and Comparative Literature brings a distinguished poet to UC’s campus to give public lectures, readings, and master classes, while also conducting poetry workshops and seminars.
Celebrated poet, novelist, and translator Amit Majmudar is the latest in a long line of notable Elliston poets, including Robert Frost, Randall Jarrell, Jean Valentine, John Ashbery, Terrance Hayes, and Louise Gluck. To read a full list of past Elliston Poets-in-Residence, you can click here.
During his two-week residency at UC, Amit Majmudar gave an electrifying reading of his work, presented a craft talk entitled “Poetry as Play,” and delivered a lecture about Godsong, his verse translation of the Bhagavad Gita (forthcoming in March 2018). He also led two poetry workshops and met with graduate students for individual conferences.
Amit’s brilliance as a writer and dynamism as a performer, in combination with his generosity and good humor, made his Elliston visit a major highlight of the academic year for many of us in the Department of English and Comparative Literature.
Here at the CR, we were lucky enough to catch up with Amit after his final workshop and talk to him about his artistic process. In the video below, he discusses and reads a poem titled “Recombinant Fairy Tale” from his most recent poetry collection Dothead.
In his introduction to “Recombinant Fairy Tale,” Amit draws a fascinating parallel between the way that genetics operate, via the complicated workings of human DNA, and the manner in which the stories we inherit over time—fairy tales, fables, myths, etc—continually mix and recombine the same core narrative elements. To see Amit Majmudar in action, check out this video:
Amit Majmudar is a novelist, poet, essayist, and diagnostic nuclear radiologist (MD). Majmudar is the author of the poetry collections 0˚, 0˚ (2009), which was a finalist for a Poetry Society of America’s Norma Faber First Book Award; Heaven and Earth (2011), which won the Donald Justice prize; and Dothead (2016). Majmudar has also published the novels Partitions (2011) and The Abundance (2013). His poetry has been featured in several anthologies, including Best of the Best American Poetry 1988–2012 (2013, edited by Robert Pinsky) and The Norton Introduction to Literature (2012, 11th edition, edited by Kelly J. Mays). He has also contributed essays to the Kenyon Review blog, the New York Times, and the New York Review of Books. He is the first poet laureate of Ohio. Majmudar writes and practices in Dublin, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, twin sons, and baby daughter.