Mia Malhotra


I arrived at Kundiman with some frightening questions, which I had only half-pursued because I dreaded knowing the answers. Did I want to finish my manuscript? Did I care about poetry? Did I even like writing? Midway through the retreat, however, I experienced a profound shift in my creative process, due in part to the intensity of the workshop, but even more significantly because of the nourishing spirit that characterized the faculty and fellows I met at Kundiman. Everything I’ve written since the retreat: lyric, elegy, translation, prose poem, has in some way been a love song to these soulful, meticulous readers. They approached my poetry with such generosity and insight, I can't helpbut write my poems for them. I no longer feel like a solitary voice speaking into the void, hoping vaguely that someone might deem me interesting, or worthy, or in possession of some unique spark. Thanks to Kundiman, I now have a community that will genuinely receive my poems—and even better, I have their poems as well: their love songs to me.