Arvind Krishna Mehrotra & James Magee

Photo: Madhu Kapparath

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra is the author of several books of poetry, the editor of The Oxford India Anthology of Twelve Modern Indian Poets and Collected Poems in English by Arun Kolatkar, and the translator of The Absent Traveller: Prakrit Love Poetry and Songs of Kabir. One of India’s most influential English-language poets, NYRB has recently published his first comprehensive collection in the United States and United Kingdom. He lives in Dehradun.

James Magee

In 1978, the incredibly prolific American artist (and now published poet) James Magee rooted himself in El Paso and Juarez on the U.S. Mexico Border. Michigan-born, Ivy League-educated to be a lawyer, gender-fluid, ex-taxi driver and off-shore roughneck, Magee made his way to the desert after time in NYC, and began creating The Hill, a massive stone work on the scale of Stonehenge, his on-going opus of the last four decades. He also created large metal collages, ornately framed, which he “titled” with remarkable poems. The sculptures and paintings of James Magee and Annabel Livermore (and more recently, Horace Mayfield) have been presented in major exhibitions across the United States, Mexico and Europe. Magee’s The Hill is quickly becoming an art aficionado’s destination, except visits are rare and managed by The Cornudas Foundation. The Smithsonian recently purchased Magee’s archives. A remarkable performer, James Magee traveled the country, performing his “Titles” (aka, poems) in collaboration with avant-garde classical musicians, and The Hill inspired Joan Jeanrenaud, founding cellist of the Kronos Quartet, to compose the concert “Desert Boy on a Stick”, which the quartet performed in concert with Magee in Houston. Letters to Goya: Poems, Titles and Letters to the Dead, is Magee’s first general trade publication.