top of page

Poorna Swami is a  writer, translator, choreographer, and dancer from Bangalore, India. 

She writes on arts & culture, literature, and politics. Her essays, criticism, and reportage have appeared in London Review of Books blog, The Caravan, Open, Mint-Lounge, The Hindu BLink, Firstpost and Words Without Borders, among other publications. Her poetry has been published in journals such as Indiana Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Indian Quarterly, and Prelude.


Between 2015-2017 Poorna served as the India Editor-at-large  for the international online quarterly Asymptote, and co-edited the journal's first special feature on Indian-language poetry in English translation. In 2018, she was awarded the Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize for young Indian poets. She also received the 2023 Jawad Memorial Prize and a 2024 ALTA Emerging Translators Mentorship for her translations from Urdu. 


At the age of seven, Poorna began training in the classical Indian dance form Bharatanatyam, before extending her training to contemporary dance and post-modern techniques. Her choreographic works frequently cross disciplines but are rooted in formal investigations of the body. Her works have shown both in India and the United States, most recently at noted Indian arts spaces such as 1 Shanthi Road Studio/Gallery, Chatterjee & Lal, G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture, and Serendipity Arts Festival. She was a recipient of the 2018 danceWEB scholarship at ImPulsTanz - Vienna International Dance Festival. 

Poorna holds a BA in Dance-Theatre and English from Mount Holyoke College. She is currently pursuing a PhD in South Asian Studies at Harvard University.

bottom of page