Vikram Seth to Kamala Das: The dark, brooding world of Indian poets

Holding a cigarette, a smiling Eunice de Souza stands in her nightgown, a parrot perched on her head.

This striking image greets you when you lay eyes on The Penguin Book of Indian Poets – a new anthology of Indian poets writing in English.

The almost 900-page book, edited by poet Jeet Thayil, was more than two decades in the making. It includes the work of 94 poets, ranging from global literary superstars to promising young writers.

“I wanted every interesting voice that I came across, old and new, to be a part of the book,” Thayil says.

The book also contains evocative black and white photographs of some of the poets, taken by Madhu Kapparath.

Thayil and Kapparath spoke to the BBC about the work of five of the poets featured in the book – and the stories behind their photos.

Eunice de Souza (above) wrote pithy, tender poems about everything she saw, felt and thought about – from love to womanhood to the natural world to her Goan Catholic roots.

“As a poet she was one of a kind….

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