How can I publish my Hindi poem

Contemporary South Asian poetry

2006 was a decisive year for the reception of South Asian literature in Germany. The Frankfurt Book Fair declared India a guest country for the second time (after 1986).

A flood of new publications related to India poured out onto the German book market. Some outstanding Indian authors such as Kiran Nagarkar and Altaf Tyrewala became known to the German-speaking reading public. For a few weeks, Indian literature was one of the main themes of the feature pages and cultural programs.

On closer inspection, however, it must be stated that the large German publishers were predominantly only interested in a small sub-area of ​​South Asian literature: novels that were written by authors who write their works in English and often in Great Britain or in North America live. For Poetry from South Asia the well-known publishers were hardly interested at all. But there were exceptions, and we will take a closer look at them here.

A1 Verlag published under the title The banyan tree a beautifully designed volume with poems by the Indian poet Dilip Chitre, who is certainly one of the most important modern Indian poets. Contemporary Indian poets was the title of an anthology published by Wunderhorn Verlag. This volume contained poems by twelve important Indian poets who write their works in English.

Then there were sophisticated anthologies in which not only poems but also stories were printed. The first to be mentioned here is volume 223 from die horen magazine for literature, art and criticism. A similar anthology appeared under the title India tells - In the shadow of the Taj Mahal at Horlemann Verlag. This publisher also published the volume Kerala tells. Three blind people describe the elephantcontaining poems that had been translated into German from the Malayalam.

Finally, three volumes of poetry were published by Draupadi Verlag in 2006. The first is the anthology That come later by Vishnu Khare. The “prosaic poems” in this volume were congenially translated from Hindi into German by Lothar Lutze. I don't believe in limitsn contained poems by the internationally esteemed and award-winning Indian poet K. Satchidanandan, translated directly from the Malayalam by Annakutty V. K.-Findeis. A volume of poetry by the young Bengali poet Mandakranta Sen was also presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Taken together, it can be said that a considerable number of high-quality literary translations of poetry from South Asian languages ​​were published in 2006. However, these works were hardly noticed. The media interest was directed almost exclusively to a few authors whose works (mostly novels) had been published by well-known German publishers.

Of the very few translation volumes that have been published since 2007, the following works are worth mentioning: Rock Inscriptions, a collection of contemporary Hindi poetry , translated and edited by Monika Horstmann and Vishnu Khare (2007), the anthology Night rain with poems by 34 authors from 14 Indian languages ​​(translated by Asok Punnamparambil, 2010), Dance on the rope by Sachchidananda Vatsyayan (translated from the Hindi by Lothar Lutze, 2011) and A drop of light by O. N. V. Kurup (translated from the Malayalam by Annakutty V. K.-Findeis, 2012).

All of these volumes of poetry were published by Draupadi Verlag. Two interesting volumes of poetry by authors who write their works in English have been published by other publishers: The Ministry of Injured Feelings by Altaf Tyrewala (translated by Beatrice Faßbender, Berenberg Verlag 2013) and Fräulein Militanz by Meena Kandasamy (translated by Raphael Urweider, Wunderhorn Publisher, 2014).

In summary, it must be said that - measured against the large number of books that are published every year - only very few translations of South Asian poetry are published in Germany. But it would be wrong to conclude from this that there is no interest in poems from the subcontinent in this country. Some readings with Mandakranta Sen in 2006, with O. N.V. Kurup in 2012 and with Meena Kandasamy in 2015 were well attended and received a positive response.

There are many more opportunities to learn languages ​​such as Hindi, Bengali or Tamil today than there were 40 or 50 years ago. There are also some very good translators from these languages ​​now. It should also be mentioned that the magazines Meine Welt and Südasien regularly publish translations of South Asian poetry.

It would be important to specifically promote translations of South Asian poems. A lot could be achieved here with relatively little money.
Christian White studied German, history and Indology in Heidleberg. After graduating, he worked as an editor and translator for various publishers. In 2003 he founded Draupadi Verlag.
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