Bhanu Kapil is a writer interested in how to make fragments attract: how to bring works forward from a glimpse or a smudge into being as a book or a sequence, however they are meant to be. She is equally passionate, as a teacher, about what it is to begin writing as she is about what it is to return to it again. She has been teaching creative writing for the last fifteen years at Naropa University, where she is currently an Associate Professor in the Interdisciplinary Studies program, and at Goddard College for the last ten. She has also taught in retreat settings, most recently for A Room of Her Own Foundation at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, and the Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado. Bhanu says: “The classroom is an incubator and laboratory for spiritual and practical experiments, philosophies and becomings of all kinds. I think of it as a place where the ‘tender broken heart of everything’ becomes the thing that’s at stake, as my students and I move further and deeper into what it means to write into and through contemporary narrative forms, attending to questions of duration, inter-dependence and encounter (with our radical others) as we do so.” What the ‘classroom’ will be when it is surrounded by ocean, volcano and earth energies of all kinds — at Kalani — is something that calls to the deepest part of her soul.
Bhanu’s work has been published in the U.S. by Kelsey Street Press, Leon Books and Nightboat Books. Her five full-length, published books are: The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers (2001), Incubation: a space for monsters (2006), humanimal [ a project for future children] (2009), Schizophrene (2011) and Ban en Banlieue (2015.) Born and brought up in the UK by Indian parents, Bhanu now makes her home in Colorado, and travels often between there and the India/England axis [vortex] where much of her writing loops through. She travels widely to read from her work at the invitation of different communities; most recently, she gave readings at Harvard University for the Woodberry Poetry Room, the Sussex Poetry Festival (U.K.), the Poetry Project in New York, and in a tiny cafe in New Delhi that was packed to the brim with local writers who all seemed to be re-reading the works of Dostoevsky in their spare time. Often these readings include performances, although sometimes they don’t. To summarize, Bhanu’s entire life is writing and she has no idea why she wrote this whole bio in the third person when really she wants to say hello.
HELLO. COME TO PELE’S FIRE. WE WILL SHATTER THE DRIED CLAY PACKED HARD AROUND OUR HEARTS AND WRITE SOMETHING SO BEAUTIFUL PRECISELY BECAUSE WE DID NOT EXPECT TO DO SO AT ALL.
Read what her fellow writers are saying about Bhanu’s work in this three-part discussion, published in The Believer.
WORK WITH BHANU on poetry, prose forms, experimental and hybrid texts, and memoir.