The Last Bookstore is pleased to present an evening of poetry and music with writer Pavana Reddy and acclaimed New York based Sufi band The American Sufi Project. Join us for a journey across time as these two ancient art forms join together to paint a vivid story known as Rangoli.
An arduous labor of six years of unleashing memories on pages, Rangoli is a testimony of raw defining emotions that transcends personal stories and expands into the realms of womanhood. “This is a book for girls of color”, Pavana says, “more specifically, it’s a book unapologetically documenting our landscape of hurt and healing.” The poem below is a direct response to the skin lightening cream, Fair & Lovely, made popular in India due to its light skinned beauty standards.
you are lovely
in every shade.
Page 26, Rangoli
The term rangoli is an Indian artform of intricate symmetrical designs traditionally made with colorful sand, that Pavana grew up watching her mother create. The entering of a new home was never allowed without the drawing of a rangoli design, its symmetry meant to bring protection from all sides. This book, in essence, is a form of rangoli created by Pavana and her mother—whose drawings are featured throughout the book—as a way to heal through the telling of their story.
Pavana Reddy is a rapidly growing LA based writer and poet. Her first book, Rangoli, features a collection of poetry which travels through the dynamics of diaspora and colorism across both borderlines and cultures. Her work has been featured by noteworthy luminaries such as Anoushka Shankar, who invited Pavana to write a song for her Grammy nominated album, Land of Gold. The track, “Remain the Sea”, consists of a beautiful poem by Reddy read by the critically acclaimed actress, Vanessa Redgrave.
Shruti Bala Purkayastha is a theater artist, poet, songstress/vocalist, deep roots healer, and organizer with midwestern roots based in Los Angeles. Their work is guided by collective liberation speaking thru nature and ancestors. Their current projects include a solo show called Widows Counsel, exploring femme labor, caste, and breaking silence; and Living Mythologies, a multi-disciplinary show that engages personal mythological narratives as healing paths of truth and resistance with trans and non-binary BIPOC femmes.
Please note that our store has limited capacity (a mere 300!), so get here early.
Those wishing to get books signed will be asked to purchase a copy of the author’s title from The Last Bookstore. Any outside books must be checked with security upon entering the store. This policy applies to all Last Bookstore events unless otherwise noted. Save your receipt; it will be checked when you enter the signing line.