Eunice de Souza
I first read her work as a teenager and she is a brilliant poet who embraces the intersections at which women live in India. She writes critically of patriarchal institutions, and demonstrates a deep sympathy for her subjects, and reading her makes me want to pick up a pen.
I studied Kolatkar’s Jejuri as an undergraduate, but his Kala Ghoda poems were my first encounter with my everyday world in verse. Kolatkar’s poems acknowledge the marginalized people who occupy the peripheries of urban spaces in post-Independence India. A bilingual poet, Kolatkar wrote in English and Marathi.
Boland’s works have long captured my heart for the deep respect for the ordinary and the often overlooked while being conscious of mythology and history. She helps her readers turn an attentive eye towards the female experience.
Agha Shahid Ali
The Country Without a Post Office is one of the most compelling collections I have read. It speaks of love and loss and longing, stitches together past and present with striking invocations of Kashmir as it is transformed by conflict. You can see his formal mastery at work in the Ghazals in Rooms are Never Finished.
I remember being immediately struck by Teaching My Mother How to give Birth and returning to it for days after I had finished reading. Here is a poet who is capable of being simultaneously nostalgic, forthright, and determined, and her work is powerful both in print and in performance.
Ragini Mohite is an academic and is based in India. Her monograph Modern Writers, Transnational Literatures: Rabindranath Tagore and W.B. Yeats is forthcoming. You can find her fiction reviews at the Hong Kong Review of Books. Find her @RaginiMohite