On November 2, 2023, Dr. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni gave the 14th Annual Morton Marcus Poetry Reading.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning writer, activist, professor, speaker, and author of twenty-one books including Mistress of Spices, Sister of My Heart, Before We Visit the Goddess, Palace of Illusions, The Forest of Enchantments, and The Last Queen. Her newest novel, Independence, depicts the experiences of three sisters in strife-torn Calcutta as India frees itself from the British yoke. Her work has been published in over 100 magazines and anthologies, including The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories and The O’Henry Prize Stories, and translated into thirty languages. Her work has been made into films, plays and dance dramas, and performed as operas. Her awards include an American Book Award, a PEN Josephine Miles award, a Premio Scanno, and a Light of India award. In 2015 The Economic Times included her in their List of 20 Most Influential Global Indian Women. She is the McDavid professor of Creative Writing in the internationally acclaimed Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston and lives in Houston with her husband Murthy. Divakaruni has been an activist in the fields of education and domestic violence and has been closely associated with the following nonprofits: Pratham, which educates underprivileged children in India, Akshaya Patra, which feeds Indian schoolchildren, and Daya and Maitri, which assist survivors of domestic violence in starting life anew.
Rosa Lane was the 2023 Morton Marcus Poetry Contest winner.
Rosa Lane is the author of four poetry collections including Called Back (forthcoming, Tupelo Press); Chouteau’s Chalk (2019, winner, 2017 UGA Poetry Prize); Tiller North (2016, Sixteen Rivers Press); Roots and Reckonings (chapbook). Her work won the 2018 William Matthews Poetry Prize and has appeared in the Asheville Poetry Review, Cutthroat, Massachusetts Review, Nimrod, RHINO, Southampton Review, and elsewhere. Lane splits her time between her native home in coastal Maine and the San Francisco Bay Area where she lives with her wife.
Dan White wrote about the reading for UC Santa Cruz.
Event photos by Crystal Birns:
If you have trouble viewing above images, you may view this album directly on Flickr.
The Morton Marcus Poetry Archive can be found at UCSC Special Collections. Mort’s personal papers, manuscripts, and recordings reflect his legacy as a poet and educator, and his collection of poetry books, broadsides, literary magazines and correspondence with other poets and writers illuminate his deep involvement in, and passion for, the literary art of poetry. If you missed Natasha’s reading and would like to view the video, please contact UCSC Special Collections.