Intelligence and composure are the roots ...


The Runner's Almanac
Indran Amirthanayagam

ISBN ​​​978-1-963908-17-6      100 pages         $18.00

This intimate and haunting collection is a love song, a soliloquy, a work of praise, a call to arms, an offering of abundance. There’s an urgency to The Runner’s Almanac: what’s inside the poet must come out. These are poems of gusto, of movement—walking, jogging, striding, hopping—toward love, inevitably. Amirthanayagam is a poet of plurality who savors how a poem gets out of hand, bursts its banks, spills into the mind of the reader. I think of Amirthanayagam, that sharp and tender poetic voice of his, as a village elder, a guide, a truth-teller. But he’s the elder that will hold your feet to the fire and not let you forget. More than ever, in The Runner’s Almanac, one feels his “purpose / even clearer, to dedicate what / remains of breath, love and work / to spread the word of poetry.”          
   John Wall Barger, author of The Elephant of Silence: Essays on Poetics and Cinema        

The Runner’s Almanac is as much a love letter to movement and an unnamed woman, as it is to poetry itself. Throughout the collection, we see the urgency and power of movement, writing, and love (of a mother, a friend, and often a lover) to save, to humble and to break your heart open. Tucked between these themes are more rhythmic poems with biting social and political commentaries. And even these are anchored in running and writing, writing and running. Whether it is Amirthanayagam or “The Runner,” an unknown woman who acts as a muse, “The runner/is a sign in the sky, a voice inside/ the skin, a phrase in a poem.” By the end, you will be inspired to write and run, run and write.               
   Heather Bourbeau, author (with Anne Casey) of Some Days The Bird            

Dear poet–what to do when the object of desire is light of step and keeps moving, an elusive flash near a familiar birch, a trick the light plays upon a leaf beaded with moisture, a footprint that says she went this way, or perhaps this was from yesterday? What can he do, but like the infamous runner in one marathon, resort to ruses, find places along the route to spring out from, to rejoin the race and remind her that poetry is the ultimate goal, the prize that matters, after all. And so, he returns to lines that illustrate and reiterate, poem after poem, until he must catch his breath, seeking the point where her stride might slow to match his own.           
   Mervyn Taylor, author of The Last Train          

These poems pulsate with intense energy and light drawn from the universe. A prayer and companion for every season, they evoke a sense of marvel and intimacy at once. You become the runner, soaring, seeing the road and trees and passing birds through the poet’s eyes. You speak without speaking, cry in silence and laugh in cascades of flooding water. Wise and attentive to precision, imbued with lyrical finesse, these poems testify to the power of poetry as a lode star.           
   Smitha Sehgal, author of How Women Become Poems in Malabar.

Indran Amirthanayagam is a poet, editor, publisher, translator, youtube host and diplomat. For thirty years he worked for his adoptive country, the United States, on diplomatic assignments in Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America. Amirthanayagam produced a “world record” in 2020 publishing three poetry collections written in three different languages. He writes in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Haitian Creole. He has published twenty four poetry books, including Isleño (R.I.L. Editores), Blue Window (Ventana Azul) (trans. Jennifer Rathbun) (Diálogos Books), Ten Thousand Steps Against the Tyrant (, The Migrant States, Coconuts on Mars, The Elephants of Reckoning (winner 1994 Paterson Poetry Prize), Uncivil War and The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems. In music, he recorded Rankont Dout. 

He edits the Beltway Poetry Quarterly (; writes; writes a weekly poem for Haiti en Marche and El Acento; has received fellowships from the Foundation for the Contemporary Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, The US/Mexico Fund for Culture and the Macdowell Colony. 

He is the IFLAC Word Poeta Mundial 2022.
Amirthanayagam hosts The Poetry Channel 

New books include Powèt nan po la (Poet of the Port) MadHat Press, 2023) and Origami:Selected Poems of Manuel Ulacia (Diálogos Books, 2023).. Indran publishes poetry books with Sara Cahill Marron at Beltway Editions ( Let nan sid is forthcoming from Edisyon Freda in Haiti. Amirthanayagam’s first collection in Portuguese Música subterranea has been published in 2024 by Editorial Kotter in Brazil. Seer is forthcoming in 2024 from Hanging Loose Press.