Nandana Sen Continues the Conversation on “Acrobat”

Sep/26/2021 / by Cate Reynolds
Nandana Sen with her mother, Nabaneeta Dev Sen

Immediate events surrounding “Acrobat” will be held on September 27 in Brooklyn and on September 30 virtually for the UK press release. Keep reading for more details!

Earlier this year, on May 11, actress, activist, and author Nandana Sen released a project that became one of her life’s biggest passions: Acrobat.

The book was an effort made by Sen to translate the poetry of her mother, the late literary legend Nabaneeta Dev Sen, from Bengali to English.

Now, Sen is continuing the conversation on the book, its ever-astounding work, and the art of translation with an (in person!) poetry event in New York City.

Held as part of the Brooklyn Book Festival, Sen will be joining two other poets for a discussion on her book and the joys of poetry transcending language on September 27 at 7 PM. “I am excited to be in conversation about Acrobat, my mother’s book of poetry, with the wonderful poets Anselm Berrigan and Catherine Barnett,” she wrote in her invite.

The event is one of the few slow but optimistic returns to normalcy that have started to populate the city, as culture starts seeping back into its veins with the relighting of Broadway and the resuming of larger scale events.

However, this more intimate gathering is the kind that befits the style of Sen’s book, which deserves an audience that’s attentive and there to understand and care. “Such a treat to be sharing poetry with a ‘real’ audience again, in a safe and socially distant (but poetically close) way,” she wrote.

Sen spoke to SEEMA Magazine in May ahead of the release of her book and was our cover star for the month, talking not only about the impact the project had on her, but also how it gave her a new appreciation for her mother’s work and the relationship she shared with the late great.

“It was a very difficult and painful project to do while grieving, because everything reminded me of her,” she’d said. “I had never experienced grief and sadness of that kind, But now that it’s finished, I know that it also helped me [cope] with the loss. It was the hardest project, but one that I’m going to cherish the most.”

Acrobat is a collection of poems that invoke womanhood, intimacy, first love, childbirth and death. The book pays homage in rhyme to the balancing act, the amazing feat that women must pull off in the tightrope of life.


Even before hitting stands, it received rave reviews from the likes of Gloria Steinem, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Anita Desai, and Wendy Doniger, professor and scholar of Sanskrit and Indian language.

Events like these not only help keep prominent works like these in the minds of readers for longer, but also foster a sense of community, especially in a time when all we’ve been craving is human companionship when it hasn’t been the safest to do so.

This isn’t the only event taking place to support the book, however, as Sen will also be making a virtual appearance at the Nehru Centre to celebrate the book’s UK release on September 30 at 5 PM BST. And several other events will be taking place over the course of October as well, both in person and online.

Nandana Sen and Acrobat are what you should be checking out if you’re looking to dip your toes once more into the world of poetry spanning across generations and cultures, and this event might just be for you.

To learn more about the event, click here

To check out our cover interview with Nandana Sen, check out An Elegy to an Acrobat