Poetry as “an effort to understand”: An interview with Gieve Patel

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In this interview, conducted in Bombay in June 2015, Gieve Patel reflects on his career as a poet, playwright, publisher, artist and educator, from his first arts show in 1966 (a year which also saw the publication of his first collection of poems) to the present. Gieve Patel is also a doctor of medicine, and he discusses the significant place afforded to the human body in his work and his “aromantic” approach to the body in poetry. He recalls the vitality of Bombay as an artistic and literary centre in the 1960s and 1970s, the comradeship among artists at that time, and his involvement in the publishing house Clearing House. He is an important poet and artist in Bombay, who to this day maintains creative contacts across generations of artists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Postcolonial Writing
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Literature and Literary Theory


  • Akbar Padamsee
  • Clearing House
  • Jehangir Art Gallery
  • Nissim Ezekiel
  • Painting
  • medical practice
  • poetry


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