California-based writer Amarnath Ravva has performed at LACMA, Machine Project, the MAK Center at the Schindler House, New Langton Arts, the Hammer Museum, USC, Pomona, CalArts, and the Sorbonne. In addition to his writing practice, he is a member of the site specific ambient music supergroup Ambient Force 3000 and for the past eight years he has helped run and curate events at Betalevel, a venue for social experimentation and hands-on culture located in Los Angeles’ Chinatown.

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Blending myth with interviews and first-person narrative, American Canyon uses prose, documentary footage, and still photos to recount the fragmented and ever evolving story of one person’s apprehension of the ghosts of history. This narrative of a son’s love for his mother and the ritual he performs for her takes us from California to Rameswaram, the southern tip of the Indian peninsula. It is a meditation on the moments in history that placed him in front of a small bright fire, a lament for the continual loss of those who, by remembering, let us know who we are.

“Ravva unearths myths so gently and casually that history never becomes too grand. His story-filled days accrue power and a bit of magic by the end—my sense of “now” became poignantly unmoored.”

–Miranda July

“A mesmerizing and elegiac meditation on identity, nationality, and desire. Ravva coils narratives of India and the American West in on each other, telling a family history that is both fragmented and tender. A phenomenal debut.”

–Colin Dickey

“A complex reworking of memoir form, using the tools of poetry remelted, as in Vulcan’s forge, to slash away at the ghosts and ghouls of conventional prose usage. The new journalism, Ravva-style, stimulates the nerve endings with its alternately lush and spare renditions of some spectacular settings, William Kentridge or Gauguin or Florine Stettheimer should be in charge of the art direction when the movie, or opera, appears, but in the meantime sit back and enjoy the calm cool stylings of one of America’s finest young writers.”

–Kevin Killian

“In this book words that are usually strangers to each other are invited into the same paragraph. They look at each other carefully and the cluster of English words seated politely and obediently around the Telugu makes room for them. Now a bit of chatter begins. The words like the way the atmosphere is charged by a free exchange of vocabulary. This is what is meant to happen in our world at its best.”

–Fanny Howe

“American Canyon is a book like none I have encountered, an almost hallucinatory immediacy offered with rare generosity. Amar Ravva’s tapestry of East and West demonstrates the importance of remembering rituals and histories—those of both personal and social scale.”

–Nancy Buchanan

“Magic and mystery reside in American Canyon—a place where the ancient meets the contemporary, and where the profane becomes sacred. In this elegant volume, Ravva composes provocative narratives of devotion and defiance that remind us that we are all migrants in mind and memory.”

–Varun Soni

Videopoetics, Betalevel, da benshi code

Drunken Boat, Issue #10, Requited, [out of nothing], LA-lit

Parrot 17: Airline Music, Indivisible: an Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry, Encyclopedia Project, vol 2

amar at

All videos & timelapses were shot by Amarnath Ravva in California, Sikkim, & Kerala. Website design and development by Amarnath Ravva.


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Stories Bookstore
7:30pm Saturday, November 1, 2014
1716 West Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Amarnath Ravva will be reading from his debut book American Canyon at Stories Books and Cafe on November 1st. Come to this event to hear from Ravva’s experimental memoir, which employs a variety of multimedia and narrative techniques to convey his story.

Ravva will be joined by poet Brandon Som, winner of the 2012 Nightboat Award for his poetry collection Babel’s Moon from Tupelo Press.


Green Apple Books and Music
7:00pm Tuesday, November 4, 2014
506 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94118

In celebration of his debut book, Amarnath Ravva will be reading from American Canyon at Green Apple Books on November 4th. Come to hear excerpts from his compelling memoir, which combines documentary footage with myths and first-person narrative for a magical reading experience.


The Poetry Center
HUM 512, San Francisco State University
4:30pm – 6:20pm Thursday, December 4, 2014
1600 Holloway Ave
San Francisco, California 94132

Amarnath Ravva will be reading from American Canyon, his debut book, at The Poetry Center @ San Francisco State University on December 4th. Joining him will be giovanni singleton, the founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, a journal committed to experimental work of the African Diaspora and other contested spaces. Her debut poetry collection Ascension, informed by the music and life of Alice Coltrane, received the 81st California Book Award Gold Medal. She was selected for the Poetry Society of America’s biennial New American Series, which recognizes recent first book poets.

South Asian Religions Remixed through Poetry and Music

USC Visions and Voices
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 : 7:30pm
University Park Campus
Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP at the link below beginning Thursday, March 27, at 9 a.m.

To RSVP, click here.

South Asian musicians and writers will come together to celebrate and investigate the rich diversity of South Asian spiritual influences. In Mughal courts, nightly mehfils brought performers together and elevated their collaborations to high art. This tradition will get a 21st-century update in a landmark evening featuring performances by internationally renowned diasporic South Asian artists including Sufi-influenced rock guitarist Salman Ahmad, vocalist and ten-string double-violin master Gingger Shankar, Mumbai-based dubstep DJ Bandish Projekt and hip hop artist and producer Brooklyn Shanti in collaboration with award-winning poets Kazim Ali, Tarfia Faizullah, Bhanu Kapil, and Amarnath Ravva.

KAYA PRESS 20th Anniversary Celebration

City Lights Bookstore
261 Columbus Avenue,
San Francisco, CA 94133
7:00 p.m., Thursday, April 17, 2014

City Lights celebrates the 20th year of Kaya Press with performances by

Sesshu Foster, author of the collection of prose poems about Los Angeles: City Terrace Field Manual

Gene Oishi, whose novel in stories Foxdrum Bebop is released in March 2014

Amarnath Ravva, whose experimental prose memoir American Canyon is being published in March 2014

Shailja Patel, author of the performance/poetry collection Migritude

Enter the Poet: Kaya Press & Kundiman Party at AWP 2014

Nagomi Tea House
519 6th Ave. S. Suite 200,
Seattle, WA 98104
8-10:00 p.m., Friday, February 28, 2014

Kaya Press and Kundiman are joining forces at this year’s AWP Conference to bring you ENTER THE POET: Newly Published Writers Celebrate Bruce Lee — a reading and party featuring a diverse group of writers with new books in Seattle’s historic International District — Lee’s home turf. This party is also to celebrate Kaya Press’s 20th year of publishing innovative Asian Pacific American literature. Come for an incredible line-up of writers, drinks, Bruce Lee projections, and more!

For lineup and more info, go to Kaya Press

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Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park.
Taken in October 2012, this panorama is composed of 9 images shot with a Canon 5dmkII and a Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm lens. 75 1/4″ x 11″ at 300 dpi.

East Side of Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park.
Taken in October 2012, this panorama is composed of 7 images shot with a Canon 5dmkII and a Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm lens. 68 5/6″ x 11″ at 300 dpi.

Barcelona Rooftop, Spain.
Taken in June 2012, this panorama is composed of 18 images shot with a Canon 5dmkII and a Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm lens. 102 5/6″ x 10 4/5″ at 300 dpi.

Jaipur Skyline, Rajasthan, India.
Taken in January 2012, this panorama is composed of 12 images shot with a Canon 5dmkII and a Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 100mm lens. 59 3/5″ x 11 5/6″ at 300 dpi.