Poet Ravi Shankar grew up in Virginia, earning a BA from the University of Virginia and an MFA from Columbia University. His collections of poetry include Instrumentality (2004), a finalist for the 2005 Connecticut Book Awards; the collaborative chapbook Wanton Textiles (2006), with Reb Livingston; and Deepening Groove (2011), winner of the National Poetry Review Prize.

In reviewing Instrumentality, Djelloul Marbrook commented: “Shankar is that breed of formalist who refuses to disdain experimental verse. He has considered it and uses what he chooses of it, but it’s chemically absorbed into his love of symmetry and classical sensibility.” In Wanton Textiles, Livingston and Shankar exchange poems that reveal the tensions of a long-distance relationship through the patterns of contemporary communication, meditating on fashion, romance, and sexual longing.

Shankar has received numerous honors and awards for his work, including a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. He is founding editor and executive of director of the online arts journal Drunken Boat, one of the oldest electronic arts journals on the web. With Tina Chang and Nathalie Handal he co-edited the anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (2008).

Chairman of the Connecticut Young Writers Trust, Shankar is associate professor at Central Connecticut State College and a faculty member of the first international MFA program at City University of Hong Kong.