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Google celebrates poet Meena Alexander with a Doodle

Google honors Indian-American poet Meena Alexander with a Doodle for U.S. Asian Pacific Month. Alexander was known for her poetry books.

On May 1st, Google celebrated the first day of U.S. Asian Pacific Month by honoring Indian-American poet Meena Alexander with a Doodle. Alexander, known for her acclaimed books of poetry such as Napally Road, Illiterate Heart, and Raw Silk, was born in 1951 in Allahabad, India, and spent her formative years in Sudan. Her father, a visiting meteorologist, inspired her to start writing poems in English and French.

A gifted student, Alexander began college at the young age of 13, attending the University of Khartoum where she had her early poems published in a local newspaper. Graduating with a degree in English and French, she later pursued a doctorate in British Romantic literature. Returning to India, Alexander took on faculty positions before moving to New York in 1979 to work at Fordham University. Over the years, she rose to become a Distinguished Professor of English at both Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Despite her academic career, Alexander never stopped writing poetry, with her works being translated into numerous languages. Recognized for her contributions, she received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the South Asian Literary Association. Tragically, the poet passed away in November 2018, leaving behind a legacy of artistry and resilience.

In a touching tribute, Alexander's son, Adam Kuruvilla Lelyveld, described her as an artist and a fighter who believed in the power of her craft and the pursuit of truth. He reflected on her bravery, adventurous spirit, and joyfulness, emphasizing her quest for self-discovery through the art of poetry.

The Doodle created by guest artist Anjali Vakil features Alexander at her writing desk, capturing her intense focus and dedication to her work. Vakil drew inspiration from the poet's writings, envisioning her laboring over words that encapsulated her nomadic life during late-night hours, mirroring her own creative process in designing the Google Doodle.

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