HomeBad Ass AsiansAward-Winning Poet Meena Alexander Dead at 67
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Award-Winning Poet Meena Alexander Dead at 67

Meena AlexanderFamily, friends and fans are mourning the death of a distinguished award winning Indian American poet and essayist.

The Wire reports Meena Alexander (photo from Facebook) died Tuesday in New York at the age of 67.

Her work included Atmospheric Embroidery, Birthplace with Buried Stones, Quickly Changing River, Raw Silk, and Illiterate Heart, which won the 2002 PEN Open Book Award.

She was born in India, later raised in Sudan and has lived in New York since 1979.

“Lacking just one single place to call home and shorn of the hold of one language I could take to be mine and mine alone, I felt stranded in the multiplicity that marked my life, its rich coruscating depths only forcing me—or so I felt—into grave danger,” she wrote in her essay Poetry: The Question of Home.

Scroll reports she also won the 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award in Literature from the South Asian Literary Association.

The Asian American Writers Workshop paid tribute to Alexander after hearing of her death.


According to Onmanorama, Alexander worked as a Distinguished Professor of English and Women’s Studies at New York City University and also an English teacher at Hunter College in New York City.

She spoke multiple languages-French, English, Sudanese Arabic and Hindi.

“It took me quite a while to realize that I did not have to feel strung out and lost in the swarm of multilingual syllables – rather, that the hive of language could allow me to make a strange and sweet honey, the pickings of dislocation,” she once told Wire.

She is survived by her husband, David Lelyveld and two children, Adam Kuruvilla and Svati Mariam.
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