kaya publishes books of the asian pacific diaspora


Congrats to Rajiv Mohabir for winning the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award for his translation of I Even Regret Night: Holi Songs of Demerara!

We are thrilled to celebrate Rajiv’s recognition by the distinguished Academy of American Poets! Rajiv is in company with other brilliant poets who were honored in a total of nine categories for the 2020 American Poets Prizes. Judge Daniel Borzutzky writes: “Rajiv Mohabir’s procedural methods are complex, generously articulated, and intricately crafted; and the result is a singular text that both respects the contexts and traditions out of which these writings emerged, while also making them stand on their own as English-language poems of grace, brilliance and vivacity. In this book, translation is art, writing, and creation: a stunning translation with exceptional historical and literary significance.”

Gaiutra D. Bahadur made the vital historical and literary recovery of the Holi Songs of Demerara by Lalbihari Sharma during research for her book, the Coolie Woman: the Odyssey of Indenture. Rajiv Mohabir’s translation of Lalbihari Sharma’s work with I Even Regret Night: Holi Songs of Demerara gives us first-hand insight into the emotional lives of the indentured servants taken by the British from India to the Caribbean in the late 1800s. Mohabir—whose own ancestors were contracted for work in Guyana in 1885 and 1890—draws from his knowledge of the language, culture, and folk structures to beautifully introduce the poetry and song of the original to English-speaking audiences.

Buy a copy of I Even Regret Night: Holi Songs of Demerara today! Invitations to bring award-winning poet Rajiv Mohabir to virtually-held classes and book clubs are welcome.

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