Aditi Rao is a writer, educator, and dreamer. She has spent the last decade traveling between India, Argentina, Mexico, and the United States; all the places, cultures, and languages she has encountered on this journey have had a profound influence on her writing and her life.
Passionate about peace education and working with young people, especially teenagers, Aditi has worked extensively in the youth development and social change arenas, be it with Pravah or the Gandhi Fellowship in New Delhi, SEDEPAC and the Musculo Secreto in Mexico, or the Student Press Initiative at Columbia Teachers’ College and The Possibility Project in New York. She conceived and developed “Write the Wor(l)d: An Educator’s Guide to Turn Creative Writing into a Tool for Change,” published in 2012 by Pravah. In 2014, she founded Tasawwur, a unique arts-for-social-change program that works with a diverse group of teenagers in New Delhi, using the literary and performing arts to address important issues of social justice.
Aditi has published essays with InfochangeIndia, India Untravelled, and other online publications, and poems in many journals including Vayavya, Muse India, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, qarrtsiluni, and Four Quarters Magazine, and The Feminist Wire. Her story “Face to Face: Transforming Conflict in South Asia” was featured in People Building Peace 2.0, published by the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, and “I can bear it” was featured in Moments that Speak: Images and Stories of Connection, published by the Earth Charter Initiative. Her first full-length collection of poetry, The Fingers Remember, was released by Yoda Press in November 2014.
Aditi has been a fellow at the Sangam House International Writers’ Residency, received the 2011 Srinivas Rayaprol Prize for Poetry, as well as the 2013 TFA Creative Writing in English award. In 2014, she was one of five emerging Indian writers selected by the Caravan magazine to attend the Writers of India Festival in Paris, France.
Aditi currently resides in New Delhi, where she works as a consultant for non-profit organizations in the field of education for peace, runs her own youth program on arts and social change, facilitates creative and research writing workshops, and carves out time for her twin passions of poetry and pottery. She holds a Masters’ of Fine Arts in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a Bachelors’ in Liberal Arts from Soka University of America. She also has a certificate in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding from the School of International Training, Vermont, and a Diploma in Spanish, Level C1 (Advanced Operational Proficiency) from the Ministry of Education of Spain.