Little magazines, small independent local presses, digital platforms, and social media have made writing and publishing a more democratic process in India. There are poets from all over the country writing passionately in English today. This list that we have curated only scratches the surface. The contemporary voices write about a range of issues. Nationalism, identity, bodies, desires, memories, feminism, empowerment, queer subjectivities, Dalit lives, the environmental crisis, ideas of socialism, democracy and freedom, and the postcolonial experience are some of the most prominent ideas explored in these writings.
The readers in the Poets Reading Poets series are contemporary Indian poets, or students of poetry, which made the process of curating this list even more exciting. By choosing to read their favourites, the readers gave us an insight into the voices that speak to them most poignantly. There are over ten female poets in this list, as also a couple of queer poets, and a Dalit poet – representing, for the purpose of this series, the multitude of voices from a country that takes its poetry and literary traditions seriously.