On Elephant’s Shoulders

Sudha Rao


This collection is full of sensory richness, movement and the beautiful sounds made when Sudha’s South Indian heritage finds a home in Aotearoa.
— Tina Makereti

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ISBN: 978-1-98-859558-0 Categories: , Tags: , , , ,

About the book

‘A poignant and evocative collection that reflects and explores the poet’s Indian heritage in a New Zealand setting – an imaginative response to a new country.’
— Majella Cullinane

With themes of longing, transition and memory, On Elephant’s Shoulders explores the poet’s South Indian heritage relocated to New Zealand and tries to unlayer the complexity of the migrant experience.

For Sudha this has meant experiencing the riches of a new culture and a new landscape while managing the realities of marginalisation. And ultimately a transformation into a person of the Pacific, still grounded in her family and her Hindu beliefs.

About the author

Photo credit: Ebony Lamb

Originally from South India, Sudha Rao migrated to Dunedin with her parents and trained in classical South Indian dance. She moved to Wellington to establish Dance Aotearoa New Zealand (DANZ). Sudha’s poems have appeared in literary journals and anthologies in New Zealand and overseas, including Ko Aotearoa Tātou | We Are New Zealand and Best New Zealand Poems. Sudha was a participant in the International Bengaluru Poetry Festival 2019 and performs in Wellington with Meow Gurrrls.


Dimensions: 148 x 210 mm
Number of pages: 82
Binding: soft cover