Photograph by Meg Bateman
SAMPURNA CHATTARJI is a poet, novelist and translator with ten books to her credit, and three forthcoming. Born in Ethiopia in November 1970, Sampurna grew up in Darjeeling, graduated from New Delhi, and is now based in Mumbai/Thane. Her debut poetry collection, Sight May Strike You Blind, published by the Sahitya Akademi (Indian Academy of Letters) in 2007 was reprinted in 2008. Sampurna’s poetry has appeared in Indian and international journals such as The Little Magazine, New Quest, Chandrabhaga, Indian Literature (India); Stand Magazine, Wasafiri (UK); Drunken Boat, The Literary Review (USA); Wespennest (Germany), Interlitq (Argentina), Carapace (South Africa) and has been anthologized in 60 Indian Poets (Penguin); Both Sides of The Sky (NBT); We Speak in Changing Languages (Sahitya Akademi); Interior Decoration: poems by 54 women from 10 languages (Women Unlimited); Imagining Ourselves (IMOW, San Francisco); Fulcrum (Fulcrum Poetry Press, US), The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets (Bloodaxe, UK) and The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry. Her 2004 translation of Sukumar Ray’s poetry and prose Abol Tabol: The Nonsense World of Sukumar Ray was reissued in 2008 as a Puffin Classic titled Wordygurdyboom! She has also translated the Bengali poet Joy Goswami. Sampurna has authored several books for young people, including The Fried Frog and Other Funny Freaky Foodie Feisty Poems (Scholastic 2009) which has gone into several reprints. Her first novel, Rupture, was published by HarperCollins in 2009 and her second poetry book, Absent Muses, by Poetrywala in 2010. Her second novel, Land of the Well, was published in 2012 by HarperCollins. Her latest book, Dirty Love (Penguin, March 2013), is a collection of short stories about Mumbai. Sampurna was the 2012 Charles Wallace writer-in-residence at the University of Kent, Canterbury.