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Stretchery Organic Stories - Meet Tishani Doshi

Tishani Doshi is the author of five books of fiction and poetry. At 26, an encounter with the choreographer Chandralekha led her to an unexpected career in dance. In 2006, her first book of poems, Countries of the Body, won the Forward Prize for best first collection. She is also the recipient of an Eric Gregory Award and the winner of the All-India Poetry competition. 'Girls are Coming out of the Woods' is her third full-length collection. She currently lives on a beach between two fishing villages in Tamil Nadu with her husband and three dogs.


Why did you choose a career in Poetry? When did you realize your calling? 

Life unfolds and there’s not much you can do about it. I’ve always suffered a kind of restlessness and I suppose poetry was the only thing that could channel this restlessness. I’m sure I’d have been a perfectly competent banker, but I think I would have been incredibly scattered. Poetry stills everything. For that, I’m happy.

How do you feel when you write?

In time. Exactly in that moment.

What inspires you?

Unexplored countries, well-paid gigs, the shape of pigs, breakfasts, mountain walks, I could go on.

Is dance an integral part of your life? 

It’s not. I miss dance. It was a much bigger part of my life than it is now. I don’t mean just in the performative sense, I also mean just blasting music and dancing alone in your room. There’s a basic response of the body to music, which I love. You have given me the idea to make it integral again.

What aspect of being a woman would you celebrate or you think needs to be celebrated the most today?

I don’t believe in this concept. The idea that we have to celebrate aspects of a woman seems strange to me. Or men, for that matter. Or dogs, even though they’d deserve it. Let’s celebrate aliveness. We’re alive. Yahoo!  

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