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R. Cheran

Rudhramoorthy Cheran is an associate professor in the University of Windsor’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Criminology.  His Ph.D. dissertation (2000) in sociology from York University was entitled Changing Formations: Tamil Nationalism and National Liberation in Sri Lanka and the Diaspora. Cheran writes poetry in Tamil, using a single name: Cheran.  He is one of the editors of papers presented at the second and third Tamil Studies Conferences held at the University of Toronto in 2007 and 2008.  A few of his more than fifteen volumes of Tamil poetry have been translated into English.


In a Time of Burning

Edited and translated from the Tamil by Lakshmi Holmström. Introduction by Sascha Ebeling.
Todmorden, UK: ARC Publications, 2013.
electronic book (Access restricted to TMU community members)

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

This selection of poems by Cheran, one of the most important poets writing in Tamil today, charts the civil war in Sri Lanka of more than three decades, and its aftermath, in a narrative set against a landscape once idyllic, now devastated. Yet this is not the only narrative in this book: woven throughout are love poems – which, even in his earliest work, are shadowed by uncertainty and loss – and poems about displacement, exile and the experience of diaspora.

A Second Sunrise book cover


A Second Sunrise: Poems

Edited and translated from the Tamil by Lakshmi Holmström and Sascha Ebeling.
New Delhi: Navayana Publishing, 2012.
PS8605 .H463 S4313 2012 (copy lost)

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

A Second Sunrise showcases the best poems of Cheran, an accomplished poet of our times. The Sri Lankan civil war looms over much of his work. Poems of the precariousness of love are interwoven with poems of war. …

Wilting Laughter book cover


Wilting Laughter: Three Tamil Poets

Authors: R. Cheran, V.I.S. Jayapalan, Puthuvai Ratnathurai.
Edited and translated by Chelva Kanaganayakam.
Toronto: TSAR Publications, 2009.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

This collection brings together seventy-five poems by three internationally known Tamil poets, whose works, over the last three decades, have dealt with issues ranging from ethnicity and nationalism, to religion and diaspora. Together they have shaped the Tamil literary tradition, urging the reader to look at the past and present in new and important ways. All three poets have confronted the reality of Sri Lankan violence, displacement, and struggle in different ways, but reading them together reveals both connections and differences.

You Cannot Turn Away book cover


You Cannot Turn Away: Poems in Tamil

Edited and translated into English by Chelva Kanaganayakam.
Tamil-English bilingual ed.
Toronto: TSAR Publications, 2011.
PS8605 .H463 Y68 2011

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

This book provides, for the first time, a bilingual edition of forty poems by R Cheran. Written over a period of three decades, the poems cover a range of experiences, including love, war, despair, hope, and diaspora. Cheran is considered one of the finest contemporary poets in Tamil, and his poetry is read widely in North America, Europe, and South Asia. Both modernist and unfailingly lyrical, his work is a remarkable blend of tradition and innovation.

Selected Criticism and Interpretation

Chilana, Rajwant Singh. “Dr. Rudhramoorthy Cheran (Tamil).” In South Asian Writers in Canada: A Bio-Bibliographical Study. Surrey, BC: Asian Publications, 2017, 341.
Z1376 .S68 C45 2017


Publisher Mawenzi House (formerly TSAR Publications)

Publisher Arc Publications

Publisher Navayana Publishing