Latika is an educator, social worker and a storyteller, who is carrying forward the tradition of the 'kathakar' through her own stories as well as ones drawn from mythology and folklore to promote social dialogue and develop 'Cultures of Peace.'
Her work has been featured at Detroit Art Institute, San Francisco Public Library and in various settings. 'Virangana' a tale of female empowerment depicted through Bharatnatyam by Sudha Chandrasekhar at the University of Michigan for New Visions, as part of community awareness presentation on gender violence. She was invited to read her English and Hindi poetry at the 15th year Gala Celebration for NARIKA, an organization working with immigrant women in the Bay Area.
Latika has participated at the World Congress of Poets in Acapulco, Mexico (2008), Budapest, Hungary (2009), read papers on 'Gender Issues' at ISTR, Bangkok, (2007) and Istanbul (2010) and conducted workshops internationally. She moves from research papers to poetry, narrative to dramatic reading with equal ease. Weaving many strands, occasional essays, clinical enquiries of psycho-social issues, as well as short fiction and poetry in English, Marathi and Hindi Latika writes for various media.
India Currents, Muse India, Hudson Review, Chicken Soup for the Soul Series are some examples where her work has appeared. She is also a contributor to the Marathi periodical, Ekata, published out of Toronto and her poetry was selected for 'Srujan' @broad', a Marathi anthology of poets across North America.
From 1977-1985 Latika produced and hosted 'Yuv Jagat' a radio program geared towards children and teenagers of Indian Heritage, under the auspices of Bal Bharati a Michigan organization of which she is founding member. From 1979-1986 she was also a co-presenter of a half-hour program on Indian Music for the international listener, 'Madhushala' for Detroit NPR.
She has written commentaries for numerous stage-productions, including classics like Kalidas's Shakuntala and Meghdoot, presented in Sanskrit/English as well as contemporary adaptation of traditional tales. She has consulted with the Michigan Opera Company on their production of Lakme as well as other civic organizations. Her work of building bridges amongst ethnic groups was recognized by the Birmingham Bloomfield Task Force on Race Relations and Diversity when she was chose as a Diversity Champion (2003)
In recent years Latika is focusing on writing for print, making her debut in this arena with 'Family Matters and Other Complications: assorted stories crossing many borders' (June 2010). The second volume of thematically related poems and stories, 'Life happens, and Death Too' will be released in the next few months. Currently she is working on 'Shadows Fall Different: same story, a changing view' as well as 'A Culinary Cruise: the story of the South Asian Diaspora through food.'
Some of her other work includes an essay 'A Lifestyle Sabbatical' featured in 'Indian Voices: emerging writers from India and Canada' (November, 2010) as well as a profile in an anthology of Marathi writers from Canada and the United states expected to be released in January 2011.
Like Grandma Moses, Latika says "it was not till the second half of my life that I realized that I had a few stories to tell" so maybe a little late but not too late. Latika has found her true voice.
South Asian Women authors