July 18, 2003 by

Reetika Vazirani

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Categories: Writers/Editors

rvazirani.jpgReetika Vazirani, a prize-winning poet, died on Wednesday in an apparent murder-suicide. She was 40.
Vazirani and her 15-month-old son, Jehan, were found dead with their wrists slashed in the Maryland home of novelist Howard Norman. A note and two large kitchen knives were allegedly obtained by police at the scene. Vazirani also left a message on a friend’s voice mail that said, “I think I’m going to hurt myself.”
Born in India, Vazirani immigrated to the United States in 1968. She graduated from Wellesley College and received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study in India, Thailand, Japan and China.
After earning a master’s degree from the University of Virginia, Vazirani worked hard to establish herself in the most prestigious literary circles. Her poetry appeared in The Best American Poetry 2000, The Kenyon Review, The Nation and the Paris Review. Her first book, “White Elephants,” earned her a Barnard New Women Poet Prize in 1996. “World Hotel,” Vazirani’s second book, won the 2003 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Vazirani also received the Pushcart Prize for her poem, “Daughter-Mother-Maya-Seeta.”
Vazirani, who previously taught in the creative writing programs at the University of Virginia and the University of Oregon, was scheduled to begin teaching at Emory University in the fall.
Listen to Vazirani Read Her Poetry

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