Ashok Rajamani

Poet, Creative Nonfiction Writer

New York, NY

Author's Bio

Ashok Rajamani is busy dancing among the dewdrops in the garden since hearing that his Pulitzer Prize-Luminary Commended Memoir, 'THE DAY MY BRAIN EXPLODED: A TRUE STORY' (Algonquin Books 2013), has been optioned to be a major motion picture by Animus Films.

Hailing from New York City, he is an author,  artist, poet, radio host, and speaker. Most importantly, he is the survivor of a catastrophic, near-fatal brain hemorrhage at the age of 25.  Though surviving, he was left with lifelong bisected blindness, epilepsy, distorted hearing, erratic transient amnesia, metal staples in his brain, and ultimately, a carved skull courtesy of open brain surgery.  The final consequence of his body's very own 9-11: his first book -- an irreverent and decidedly unconventional memoir about a day that exploded not only his brain, but the world around him, entitled THE DAY MY BRAIN EXPLODED: A TRUE STORY.

The memoir received worldwide acclaim, including raves from Pulitzer Prize Luminary Jane Smiley, Publisher's Weekly, Harper's Magazine, Booklist, The Times of India, Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, BBC, and more.  Ashok also performed the unabridged audio production of the book, which was called by Dr. Gregory O’Shanick, Medical Director Emeritus of the Brain Injury Association of America, a “groundbreaking masterpiece.”

After the hemorrhage, he emerged as a proud brain injury rights advocate, becoming a board member of the International Brain Injury Survivors Network, Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the Brain Injury Association of America, and guest host on Brain Injury Radio.

Ashok is also an accomplished artist, having studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and School of Visual Arts. His artwork has been submitted and exhibited in galleries and shows such as Greenpoint Gallery, Exit Art New York, and the Pancakes & Booze shows -- the nationwide Art Pop-Up events.

In addition to being a writer and artist, Ashok is a nationwide speaker, having conducted multiple reading engagements and talks in events and venues such as United Nations International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy; “Masala in Words: A Night of South Asian American Writers,” New York City (headliner); Barnes & Noble, multiple nationwide locations; Decatur Book Festival, Atlanta GA; “Explosion of the Explosion” Brain injury Book Launch, New York City; “Brain Injury as Confession,” New York City; “Brain Injury Warriors,” New York City; and Brain Injury Association of New York State.
He’s also the winner  of the Peoples’ Choice Telly Award (for the TV special “Interview with Ashok Rajamani”).

Finally entering the digital age following his memoir, he decided to release other works electronically: a flash audio production, If These Saris Could Talk, and a book of literary criticism on Literature and Myth, entitled Imagine Carnivalesque: A Duo of Psychoanalytical Essays on South Asian Literature and Gender Identity. 

Ashok's prose has appeared in other books/journals/magazines including: Scholars & Rogues, South Asian Review, The Opiate, Orion Headless, Catamaran, Monsters of the Rue Macabre, Armageddon Buffet, Pulp Metal Literary Magazine, and dozens more.  His poems have appeared in multiple poetry journals, including: Arcturus, Voices on the Wind,  Mad Swirl Poetry, and Clutching at Straws. He will soon be participating in the 24th edition of the prestigious 'Curtea de Arges Poetry Nights' World Poetry Festival in Romania. 

Ashok belongs to the Authors Guild, South Asian Journalists Association, New York Writers Coalition, and Indo-American Arts Council.  He is a Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of New York University, where he received his Journalism degree with Kappa Tau Alpha honors. He attended Columbia University for advanced cultural studies.  For more information on Ashok, his writings and art, please go to www.ashokrajamani.com.

Publications & Prizes

Creative Nonfiction

Books:
Imagine Carnivalesque: A Duo of Psychoanalytical Essays on South Asian Literature and Gender Identity (Smashwords, 2015)
,
Monsters of the Rue Macabre (Hammer & Anvil Books, 2013)
,
The Day My Brain Exploded: a true story (Algonquin Books, 2013)
Journals:
322 Review
,
3AM Magazine
,
Barcelona Review
,
Burning Word
,
Catamaran: South Asian American Writing
,
Danse Macabre
, ,
Flashshot Daily Genre Flash Fiction
,
Gutter Eloquence Magazine
,
In Posse Review
,
Negative Suck
,
New Wave Vomit
, ,
Orion headless
, ,
pulp metal
,
Red River Review
,
Scholars & Rogues
,
South Asian Review
,
The Blotter
,
Voices on the Wind
, ,

Poetry

Journals: ,
amphibi.us
, ,
Armageddon Buffet
,
Barnwood International Poetry Magazine
,
Bewildering Stories
,
Clutching at Straws
,
Mad Swirl
, ,
Pens On Fire
,
Red River Review
, ,
Voices on the Wind
,
Prizes won: 

Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers" Pick 2013, Barnes & Noble "Best Book of the Month" Pick 2013

More Information

Gives readings: 
Yes
Travels for readings: 
Yes
Identifies as: 
Indian American
Prefers to work with: 
Any
Born in: 
Raised in: 
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Feb 29, 2020