In this episode Montana Ray speaks with Yusef Komunyakaa, Goutam Datta, and Subodh Sarkar about exchanges between US and Bengali poets, including the anthology (edited by Datta) of African American poets translated into Bengali, “Ami Amar Mritur Por Sadhinota Chai Na” (I Do Not Want My Freedom When I Am Dead) and the Kolkata Book Fair. The writers also discuss the relationship between poetry and theater in both New York and Kolkata. And Komunyakaa discusses the praxis of stage-to-page translation of the Sumerian epic Gilgamesh. Finally, the poets discuss the Bengali language as coexisting with other languages within the context of multilingual societies, both in India and internationally
With poetry and music by Goutam Datta, Yusef Komunyakaa, Subodh Sarkar, Taj Mahal & Toumani Diabate, Paul Robeson, and Toots & The Maytals. Plus Goutam Datta’s Bengali translations of Langston Hughes’ poem “Juke Box Love Song” and Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem “The Crazy Woman.” And an excerpt from Yusef Komunyakaa’s Gilgamesh: A Verse Play performed by Actors Scene Unseen (available for purchase here).