I never could have thought my keyboard transforms so naturally into a grand piano every time I write. The prelude, the exposition, the recapitulation: it's my mind that creates; the fingers execute.
Rupam Baoni is a writer and artist who distributes her time between writing, painting, and sculpting. Her poems and short stories have been shortlisted in the 2020 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize, the 2020 Bridport Poetry Contest and longlisted over the years in awards such as the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, the National Poetry Competition, the London Short Story Prize, PBS & Mslexia Women’s Poetry Contest and Frontier Poetry Prize.
Her writing career kick-started after the publication and positive response to her chapbook Green Red & Amber at the age of nineteen, which prompted her to be invited as youngest of twenty-one international poets to prestigious poetry readings alongside the US Poet Laureate Donald Hall, Jane Kenyon and others of repute. She is now an Academic/Teaching Fellow at the Hypatia Trust Penzance that works actively towards bringing Women & Environment related issues to the fore and has been nominated in their Iconic Women’s Series in 2018. Some of her poems have appeared recently in the anthology: Invisible Borders: New Women’s Writing from Cornwall comprising works by twenty-three women poets. Her forthcoming collection of poems chronicles of entering my body (Hypatia Publications) is to be out in July 2021.
She gives talks on art and philosophy, organises workshops on painting, art appreciation, and creative writing around the UK and India. She has been invited to various International Poetry Events including World Poetry Day readings at Poetry Cafe. Apart from getting together a new collection of poems, essays, short stories, she is working on a first novel as well as a series of watercolours & mixed media paintings and directly carved sculptures on stone for forthcoming shows in London, Milan, and New York. She lives in London with her husband and daughter.
“Her new poems are the best things I have seen of hers and I like them very much.”
Donald Hall (2006 Poet Laureate of the US)
“ ‘Unchangeable’ is a poem of great wisdom by one her age. ‘Love’ reminds me of Anna Akhmatova…not bad company.” “The earnest feeling in her book is very touching to me. As poets, we must make ourselves vulnerable in speaking our most personal ideas and fears, and wishes. This is something she does very well in her poems. They are mostly without irony, and I love that quality. The poems in the section ‘He Comes When Evening Comes’ stand out as the best. That is because they have the most concrete images…’ Love’, ‘Widow’, ‘Lost Love’. When she uses real things to embody her thoughts, she is at her best…a half-drunk cup of tea, the kettle shaking on the stove. She must think of herself as a painter with words…”
Jane Kenyon (Poet & Translator)
“I have never been the poetic one but her poems made me sit up and muse over love, transience, and that inner beauty that exists in all of life. She has the faculty to look below the surface and beyond a usual line of vision.”
Khushwant Singh (Writer & Journalist)
“I found her poems sensitive and evocative.” "Rupam is a startling new voice among Indian poets. She has the capacity to get under the skin of things and empathize with her subjects in the most remarkable manner."
Prof. P Lal (Writer & Poet)
“Rupam’s compassion for the animate and inanimate in her writings is spell-binding. She is a writer of immense talent and intelligence, knowing just when to give a little more and when to stop.”
Aaron Blake (Poet & Literary critic)
“Rupam Baoni is an author of rare talent and a certain creative charisma that is all at once seductive and thought-provoking. She is a poet of a remarkable vision that she renders most simply and intelligently through her words and cadences; she is a prose writer with an extraordinary perception that she manifests through words and phrases rich in imagery, sensuousness, and symbols. Perhaps the charming blend of the lofty and the base that one gets to encounter in her writings is a reflection of the balance she likes to strike in both her professional and personal life.”
Marcus Smith (Writer and Musician)
“Rupam’s writings are an explosion on paper. They scald the pages with a flame of emotions that more than other things stir the primitive in us – a love that never surfaced, an anguish that has buried itself deep within... She is a writer of remarkable talent.”
Melissa Flack (Writer & Musician)
“The best thing about her writings is that they never fail to startle. Her words have pliability and take different shapes and forms as one reads on. They might be ballerinas dancing on her pages and the rhythms that underlie her writings are those that are innate and living in all of us. She is a writer of the earth. She births emotions that were long sown inside of us but never tampered with. She is a poet of vision and an artist of the inner light that does indeed illuminate all her paintings.”
Deborah Wellworth (Artist & writer)
“There is a sense of elusiveness and beauty in Rupam’s writings. They are artlessly simple yet sophisticated; intellectual and yet fluid. Every sentence of hers could read like a poem but without a touch of sentimentality. The sexual tension in the ‘Sky-burial’ though is palpable throughout, it is uniquely pure and spiritual. Her writings reverberate long after.”
Blake Winston (Literary & Art Critic)