Meena Alexander

Press Release



Meena Alexander’s Quickly Changing River: book launch: February 29, 2008

For immediate release:
January 25, 2008
Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU presents
With support from the Indo-American Arts Council
Meena Alexander: Quickly Changing River
Reading and Discussion moderated by Sukhdev Sandhu

Friday, February 29th, 7 - 9pm
Location: NYU Kimmel Center for University Life, Rooms 405 - 406
60 Washington Square South, 4th floor
FREE to the public.
Please RSVP by Wednesday, February 27th to
For more information, visit
With her strong voice and precise language, Meena Alexander has crafted this visceral, worldly collection of poems. The experience she brings to the reader is sensual in many senses of the word, as she invokes bright colors, sounds, smells, and feelings. Her use of vivid imagery from the natural world—birds, lilies, horses—up against that from the world of humans—oppression, slavery, and violence—ties her work to the earth even as she works a few mystical poetic transformations. In Alexander’s world, the songs of a bird can become the voice of a girl in a café and the red juice of mulberries can be as shocking as blood. When she focuses her attention on the cloth of a girl’s sari, the material of a woman’s life, or the blood in her veins, she speaks to the particular experience of women in the world. The women are vividly presents—sometimes they are hidden or veiled, juxtaposed with open gardens in full bloom. It is difficult not to come away from Quickly Changing River without a new sense of the power and frailty of being alive.
Join author Meena Alexander for a reading of her poetry and a candid conversation with moderator Sukhdev Sandhu, Associate Professor of A/P/A Studies and English at NYU.
Thanks to the Asian American Writers’ Workshop.
Quickly Changing River is an alluvial force of surprises reaching near and far, always beckoning us closer and closer to its urgent and magical source. From the collection’s firm poem to its last, Cosmopolitan to August 14, 2004, there’s a movement here that challenges and enchants. Meena Alexander is a truth-teller who knows how to make language do anything and everything she desires.” - Yusef Komunyakaa
“These are poems of rich and satisfying detail—gingko trees and water taxis, the pearly feathers of pigeons. But the real strength of this book goes far beyond detail, however lyrically rendered. These poems are a sustained elegy for homelessness, for the displacement at the heart of human life. Meena Alexander is an eloquent and ambitious poet.” – Eavan Boland
About the author:
Meena Alexander,
Distinguished Professor of English at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, is the author of several books of poetry, most recently Raw Silk and Illiterate Heart, winner of a 2002 PEN Open Book Award. She is the editor of Indian Love Poems. Her memoir Fault Lines was one of the Publishers Weekly's best books of 1993, and her novel Nampally Road was a 1991 Voice Literary Supplement Editor's Choice.
About A/P/A Institute:

A/P/A Institute brings together accomplished scholars, community builders,
and artists from new York City and beyond in interactive forums, reflection,
and new research.
Alexandra Chang

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