New book of Kiriti Sengupta criticism edited by Sunil Sharma and Dustin Pickering
To be released soon!
Kiriti Sengupta first contacted me after Transcendent Zero Press published Usha Akella’s groundbreaking work, The Rosary of Latitudes. In the two years we have had regular internet discussions and arrangements, I grew to think of Sengupta as an oddity in literature. He is not shy at all about his joy in writing, his simple and untamed personality that shines in beauty, or his wish to self-promote. He pushed me to write something totally uncharacteristic of my usual work and that book sold reasonably well for a poetry collection. We all know that poetry isn’t a big seller because its concepts probably escape most minds in our post-literacy age. The Information Age has sapped us of patience in reading and made us think a mouse click makes us an expert on anything. Yet we see men like Sengupta who have certain humility and a restrained pride existing simultaneously. I think he is definitely something different in our fast-paced world of too much.
He has a bold simplicity in his ways and is not afraid to admit that his words have a tremendous power over people. Transcendent Zero Press published his Reflections on Salvation and to our surprise the book climbed to bestseller status in Indian literature as a new release. I expected a good number of sales but to turn out sales so fast? Who would have thought?
So Transcendent Zero Press will never miss an opportunity to oblige Kiriti Sengupta. Indian readers adore his works and wisdom, and he is non-conformist in the strict sense of refusing to let group thinking or ideology infest his mind. He is democratic by nature, accepting of those he may disagree with and at the same time seeing the beauty in them. It is with pleasure we announce the upcoming publication of a collection of Sengupta criticism in the form of essays, reviews, and interviews. They show an interesting persona in his most comfortable niche among other writers, including myself. Kiriti Sengupta can be a strange personality. This collection, I hope, will demonstrate the many facets of a man who is dentist by day and writer all the time.
I wrote the introduction and named his collection The Earthen Flute. I know his work well enough to comment on his patterns of thought and the themes he employs. I read most everything he has published and find something unique in the Bengali style that is absent in American poetry. If you are a lover of poetry, pick up The Earthen Flute and see how words of wisdom dig into the framing of things. A large amount of poetry in the United States is protest oriented: justifiably angry at conditions yet forgiving of those who create them. The United States always dreams of making things better and more comfortable for all. The human heart wants the best for others. Our fruit may be rotting on the vine as we discard divinity, forgetting that the world is worse in other places. We Americans are sometimes unaware of what the human fight is really for. Reading much of the translated Bengali poetry from Sengupta, and the poetry of Sengupta himself, there is still the battle cry of meaning: the words seek unity, citizenship in the larger scope, and beauty in the mysterious. Do Americans look for the hidden meanings in things? Are we aware of life’s puzzling poetry? Someone once commented that “the unreflected life is not worth living.” I hope this upcoming collection of thoughtful commentary on a luminous thinker will salvage your last feeling of holiness, and turn you to deeper thought.
An American publisher uniting with a bestselling Indian author (whose books sold thousands of copies in India) is a reason for jubilation. Americans need to hear the voice of other worlds and experiences because it will teach us more about who we are and give us breathing room to appreciate ourselves as world citizens.