In 2003, a group of men and women, setting themselves up as guardians of Tamil culture, objected publicly to the language of a new generation of women poets - particularly in the work of Malathi Maithri, Salma, Kutti Revathi and Sukirtharani - charging the women with obscenity and immodesty. More than a decade later, a deep divide still persists in the way readers and critics perceive women poets. Tamil women poets have been categorized as 'bad girls' and 'good girls'. The traditional values prescribed for the 'good' Tamil woman are fearfulness, propriety and modesty. Our poets have chosen, instead, the opposite virtues - fearlessness, outspokenness and a ceaseless questioning of prescribed rules. This anthology celebrates the poetry of the four poets through Lakshmi Holmstrom's English translation.
About the Author
Lakshmi Holmstrom is a writer and translator.She has received the Crossword Book Award twice and the Iyal Award from the Tamil Literary Garden, Canada. Malathi Maithri has published four collections of poetry. Salma is the pseudonym of a writer who has kept her identity secret for years. Today, she is widely recognized in Tamil literary circles, a politician and an activist. Kutti Revathi has published several books of poetry. She is deeply influenced by Siddha thought. Sukirtharani has published five books of poetry.