Join us Tuesday, Dec. 12th at 7pm EST on Zoom for a virtual reading and discussion on the art of thinking and writing about magnificent whales with literary luminaries, Talia Lakshmi Kolluri, Rajiv Mohabir, and Shruti Swamy. It will be moderated by Sangamithra Iyer, founder of The Literary Animal Project, a habitat for curated conversations and writings about the ways animal lives are portrayed on the page, and how we forge a more just and compassionate multi-species world.
Talia Lakshmi Kolluri is a mixed South Asian American writer from Northern California. Her debut collection of short stories, What We Fed to the Manticore (Tin House 2022), was a finalist for the 2023 Carol Shields Prize for Fiction and the 2023 Northern California Book Award for Fiction; was longlisted for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, the 2023 Aspen Words Literary Prize, and the 2023 Pen/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection; and was selected as a 2023 ALA RUSA Notable Book. Her short fiction has been published in Ecotone, Southern Humanities Review, The Common, One Story, Orion, and others.
A lifelong Californian, Talia lives in the Central Valley with her husband and two cats.
Poet, memoirist, and translator, Rajiv Mohabir is the author of four books of poetry including Whale Aria (Four Way Books 2023), Cutlish (Four Way Books 2021) which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and recipient of the Eric Hoffer Medal Provocateur. His poetry and nonfiction have been finalists for the 2022 PEN/America Open Book Award, the Lambda Literary Award in Poetry and in Nonfiction, the Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction, and both second place and finalist for the Guyana Prize for Literature in 2022 (poetry and memoir respectively). His translations have won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the American Academy of Poets in 2020. He is an assistant professor of poetry at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Shruti Swamy is the author of the story collection A House Is a Body, and a novel, The Archer. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Elizabeth George Foundation, the San Francisco Arts Council, and Vassar College, and is a 2024 Rome Prize Fellow in Literature. Shruti’s work has appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeny's, AFAR Magazine, and the New York Times, and twice won the O. Henry. Her introduction to Ursula K Le Guin’s masterpiece Always Coming Home appears in the novel’s 2023 reissue, and her story "Blue Whale Transmissions" is included in the Audible Original anthology The Other Animals.
She is a Kundiman Fiction Fellow, and lives in San Francisco.
Sangamithra Iyer is the founder of The Literary Animal Project, for which she was awarded a grant from the Culture and Animals Foundation. She is the recipient of a Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant and a Diamonstein-Spielvogel Fellowship at the New York Public Library for her first book forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. Sign up for The Literary Animal Project’s newsletter here: https://literaryanimal.substack.com/
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