Sirish Rao is a writer, festival producer and publishing professional with deep connections to the international literary and publishing world. Sirish is the founding Artistic Director of Vancouver’s annual Indian Summer Festival. He has authored twenty books, from commentaries on popular culture to children’s books and retellings of Greek plays. His books have been translated into seventeen languages and won several international awards.
Born and raised in India, Sirish is the former Director of the award-winning Tara Books, widely recognized as one of India’s finest publishing houses. Sirish steered Tara Books for eleven years, working with writers around the world to build a distinct and carefully curated list. Sirish has also been involved with the storied Jaipur Literature Festival, India (the world’s largest free literary event). He has hosted JLF’s main stage for three successive years, presenting such guests as the Dalai Lama, Pico Iyer, Jonathan Franzen, Gloria Steinem and Vikram Seth, among others.
Since moving to Vancouver and founding the Indian Summer Festival, he has been responsible for presenting writers such as Yann Martel, Arundhati Roy, Reza Aslan, Shauna Singh Baldwin and Ivan Coyote on its stages. Sirish is deeply committed to playing his part in ensuring that Vancouver and BC are at the heart of global dialogues.
Sirish is an Adjunct and Visiting Professor at CISP where he teaches PUB 458, a course in event management that helps students explore the increasingly important role of large-scale events in the cultural world.