Kandasamy, Meena

Kandasamy, Meena (c) Varun Vasudevan

Meena Kandasamy, born 1984 in Tamil Nadu, India, writes poetry, novels, essays, translates from Tamil, is an actress and activist. In her work, she criticises the caste system and patriarchy in India. A selection of earlier poems was published in German, including “Schläge. Ein Porträt der Autorin als junge Ehefrau” (CulturBooks 2020). Kandasamy was awarded the Hermann Kesten Prize in 2022. Her new poetry collection, “Tomorrow Someone Will Arrest You” (Atlantic Books), has been published in spring 2023.

Festival Content

POETRY TALK: Meena Kandasamy and Zaffar Kunial

Where Losses And Times Fold

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE IN PROGRAM: The poetry talk will be solely with Zaffar Kunial. Matthias Kniep will host the talk.

Clubraum 7/5€ | Tickets

In their writings, poets Meena Kandasamy (born 1984 in Tamil Nadu, India) and Zaffar Kunial (born in Birmingham) contend with processes of social stratification, cultural codification, inclusion, and exclusion. Kandasamy is critical of the caste system in India and fights for womens’ rights. Her language is plaintive, addressing readers directly: “I want a word that waits and weeps and hesitates,” one of her poems reads, the title of which can be understood as a self-portrait: “a wild woman on a word hunt.” Kunial’s poems are more indirectly political, addressing themes of identity and belonging with personal family history – Kunial is the son of a British primary school teacher and a Kashmir factory worker – as well as the sport of cricket. Kunial, who himself wanted to become a professional player, published a pamphlet of poems (“Six”, Faber & Faber 2019) devoted solely to the subject. In one of the poems, he writes, “my bat felt as heavy as England.”


Kandasamy, MeenaKunial, Zaffar


Night Of Poetry

Großes Parkett | 14/9€ inkl. Anthologie Tickets


Weltklang – Night of Poetry is poesiefestival berlin’s prismatic and panoramic opening. Poets will read, sing, and perform in their source languages, demonstrating the full spectrum of contemporary poetry: its power, its diversity of approaches and styles. Just for the event, an anthology will be published in German and English so that audience members can read along with the poems presented onstage.


Aftab, AroojArai, TakakoBarskova, PolinaBrolaski, Julian TalamantezFabias, RadnaKandasamy, MeenaKunial, Zaffar