Wilting Laughter


This collection brings together seventy-five poems by three renowned contemporary Tamil poets, whose works stand at the forefront of modern Tamil poetry. All three poets have experienced the pain and dislocation of recent Sri Lankan violence, the rupture of traditional life and the anguish of mass exile, all of which constantly inform their works. Each has created from these experiences a distinct and modern poetics, drawing from the same rich two-thousand-year-old culture.

R Cheran published his first collection of poetry in 1983. He has published seven collections in all, in addition to numerous essays and articles. A sociologist by training, he lives and works in Canada, where he is a professor at the University of Windsor.

VIS Jayapalan brought out his first collection of poems in 1970. In addition to five volumes of poetry, he has also published fiction and critical articles on a range of topics. A graduate of the University of Jaffna, he currently lives in Norway.

Puthuvai Ratnathurai published his first collection in 1970. His corpus consists of six collections of poems. Although best known for his political poetry, his works move across a range of experiences. His present whereabouts are unknown.


Publication Date: 2009

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-894770-59-0
Page size: 5.75″ x 8.75″
170 pages

Photo of Chelva Kanaganayakam

Chelva Kanaganayakam was a professor in the Department of English at the University of Toronto and the Director for the Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. His major publications include Moveable Margins: The Shifting Spaces of Canadian Literature (2005), Counterrealism and Indo Anglian Fiction (2002), Lutesong and Lament: Tamil Writing from Sri Lanka (2001), Dark Antonyms and Paradise: The Poetry of Rienzi Crusz (1997), Configurations of Exile: South Asian Writers and Their World (1995), and Structures of Negation: The Writings of Zulfikar Ghose (1993).

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