manu picsManohar ShettyManohar Shetty has published five books of poems, including ‘Domestic Creatures’ (Oxford University Press, New Delhi). His poems have been widely published and anthologized. In the UK his poems have appeared in ‘London Magazine’, ‘Poetry Review’, ‘Wasafiri’ and ‘Poetry Wales’. He has edited a special edition on English language poets of India for ‘Poetry Wales’. In the United States his poems have appeared in ‘Chelsea’, ‘Rattapallax’,  ‘Fulcrum’, ‘Shenandoah’ and ‘New Letters’, and in ‘Helix’ in Australia. Several anthologies feature his work, notably ‘The Oxford-India Anthology of Twelve Modern Indian Poets’ ( Ed Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, OUP, N Delhi). His poems have been translated into Italian, Finnish, German and Slovenian. He has been a Homi Bhaba Fellow and a Senior Sahitya Akademi Fellow.

He edited ‘Goa Today’, a monthly magazine, for eight years and has worked in magazines and newspapers in Bombay, Bangalore and Goa. He is a regular reviewer of books for various Sunday papers and magazines in India.
In 2004, he won the top prize in the nation wide ‘Asian Age’ Short Story Competition.
He has edited ‘Ferry Crossing—Short Stories from Goa’ (Penguin India), which has gone into four editions. He has lived in Goa since 1985 from where he runs Ms Editorial Services which edits .and reworks all manuscripts including academic dissertations, novels, short story collections, travelogues and long articles and features.

His more recent works are ‘Body Language” (Dec. 2012) and “Personal Effects” ( March 2011)

An in-depth review of some of his works that brings us closer to Manohar Shetty the poet, and the person, appears in The Caravan Magazine.
Manohar Shetty can be contacted at  and

MANOHAR SHETTY has rediscovered Goa in his writing and his poems. One of his love poems, ‘GIFTS’ has appeared in Arvind Krishna Mehrotra’s ‘The Oxford-India Anthology of Twelve Modern Indian Poets’, and from there into an Italian translation for a journal called Clandestino, and then into a wonderful, multilingual anthology of love poetry, Amore in Verse, published in Rome.

Here is a selection of his poems:-( © Copyright – Author )

  • Gifts
  • Moving Out
  • Personal Effects
  • Exotica
  • Peacock
  • Domestic Creatures
  • Stills from Baga Beach
  • The Old Printer
  • Recipe
  • Jackfruit
  • The Hyenas
  • Fireflies
  • The Rat
  • Mannequin
  • Dialogue with a Child
  • Jigsaw
  • Rumour
  • Anniversary Poem
  •  With the Children Gone
  • Born Still
  • Carried Forward



You unfold, like starfish
On a beach, your touch
Stills the rumpled sea,
Hair plastered seaweed.

I come from the labyrinths:
Traffic lights park in my eyes
Before I cross, highways fork
And stream like veins in my hand.

You hunger for a blade of grass
In the welter of concrete,
I step on softening sand
Suspiciously. Together

We trace a bridge: you pick
A shell translucent as neon,
And I a tribal earring
Reflected in plate glass.


Moving Out

After the packing the leavetaking.
The rooms were hollow cartons.
The gecko listened stilly—
An old custom—for the heartbeat
Of  the family clock.

After the springcleanings
Now the drawing of curtains.
I thought of the years between
These grey walls, these walls
Which are more than tympanic.

There remained much, dead and living,
Uncleared, unchecked: dust mottled
Into shreds under loaded bookshelves;
The fine twine of a cobweb
Shone in the veranda sunlight.

All this I brushed aside along
With the silverfish in flaking tomes,
The stains on marble and tile
Scoured with acid; but the ghosts
Loomed like windstruck drapes;

Like the rectangle left by
A picture frame: below a nail
Hooked into a questionmark,
A faint corona,
A contrasting shade.


Personal Effects

A few things he’ll leave behind
To no one in particular:
A gold necklace from his mother
Melted into a wedding ring;

Two first editions with broken
Spines that may fetch
A small fortune, but too late
To pay the bills; a box

Of expired pills; a gold-nibbed
Fountain pen he refused
To write with; an Olivetti,
Its keys the seats
Of an empty stadium;

And clothes worn thin—he
Loved the comfort of old
Things: old letters, stopped clocks,
The patina in sideboards,
Fading photographs and paintings;

And, last, musty notebooks
And diaries empty of
Mythical poems and important