Showing all 7 results

  • Abstract Oralism

    About the Book

    Yamini Dand Shah, with this new book Abstract Oralism, captures both precisely and remarkably the mysterious and elusive world of the Kachchh of Western Gujarat. Her metaphors and similes transport the reader towards this ancient terrain where Indus Valley peoples once flourished. Conceptually advanced and sophisticated, the poetry of this book causes us to reconsider our place in the world: in the light of the author’s extraordinary perception that translates earthly experience into a uniquely beautiful expression of the human condition.

    -KEVIN MCGRATH, Poet Laureate, Harvard University

    In the ‘Abstract Oralism’, Yamini reveals the beguiling mythic and mimetic history of the dangerously luminous, sensuous, and ephemeral beauty of the desert of Rann of Kachchh leaving us astonished and redeemed at once. ‘Sifting through soiled pages of an anti-modern, abridged dictionary’ of memories, she weaves embroidered tales of palaeolithic biographies of forgotten people in an experimental genre of speech-therapy with fierce emotional power. By turns poignant, playful and ironic, Yamini’s deceptively layered linguistic dreamscapes break new ground in experiencing hallucinatory minimalism in poetry. A mesmerizing debut!

    -ASHWANI KUMAR, Poet, Writer and Public Policy Researcher

    $20
  • Mapping Gondwana

    About the Book

    I was moved by the ways in which, at key moments in the dialogue, rhythms shift, and instead of call-response between the poems, we go into each poet’s memory – a call-response between present and past. As they traversed back and forth between private parallel hum – after all, hum is “we” in Hindi – and direct synapse, I loved how freely they responded to both inner reverie and external stimuli. In some of Ari’s poems it felt like he was revisiting earlier trips to India – so that the duet was not restricted to what has just been received but what has always been residual – suggesting collaboration as a pretext – for return? Ari’s riverine contemplations counterpoint Subhro’s archetypal majhi (the boatman) made unmetaphorical. From Tagore’s golden boat to Subhro’s carbon kayak, what rapids have been crossed?

    —Sampurna Chattarji

    $16
  • On The High Wire

    About The Book

    “How timely the invisible rain appears to be / when we have stopped expecting it,” says Siddhartha Menon: words that might equally apply to this substantial and somewhat unexpected collection that establishes him as a major Indian poet.  The vocabulary is often unfussy and, despite the book’s title, the form carries no hijinks, but every line, you feel, has been tested, every line holds in the solitary practice of the mind.  Here place is not a romance of names but an ethics of speaking and a scrupulous attention to both the immediate and the far away, the ants on a teaspoon or the spacecraft on the edge of Saturn, the sentry who “could be” a poet or the unfortunate politics of the state that holds us and others captive, an anonymous bellboy or the great actor Irrfan Khan who could make himself anonymous.  Some of the most dazzling poems in the book are sequences; always, we can be sure that following Menon’s thought through will reward us and leave room for us.  It’s like a magic trick with no sleight of hand.  The “certitudes” may be “green and gleaming” but the “eyes betray the sting of wisdom”.

    – Vivek Narayanan

    $16
  • The Tattooed Teetotaller and other wonders

    About the Book

    We say mind the book, it’s out of control.
    But it’s author says
    ‘Nonsense verse helps its writers escape their resident demons,
    setting them free to deal with the more transient ones of mischief.
    At time I’ve tried to use that freedom to highlight contemporary absurdities,
    at other times to write about those of a not-too-distant colonial past.
    Readers will find that not everything here is nonsense, like the poem below.
    But I hope they also find that however disastrous our falls into folly may be,
    they can also be luminous’
    Like Dictators
    Rats are strict in their regulations.
    Like dictators they regulate
    meals and nations
    along lines of bite.

    $18
  • Vital Signs

    About The Book

    What happens when you pay attention to which foot leads – when you walk? Or when we really attend to the pleasures of eating, or of a changing sky? What if we realised that paradise is found all around us – Shangri La behind bus stops?

    Amlanjyoti Goswami’s poetry is full of these Vital Signs, these details of wonder. Stringing words on a high wire, his is a rare ability to pause time, so we can look, really look, and live. Even the act of repairing a shoe can be meditative and philosophical in his hands. And within the glimpses of grand ideas there is a humility, a reminder that life is there to be felt, touched, lived, in the quietest of moments.

    The laureate of ‘the idea of forever, inside an instant’, Amlan’s poetry carries within it, that most unfashionable of qualities – a sense of grace – but also the quiet wisdom that a life is a series of sensations that become memories. He shows us how the mythic can be ordinary, and how the ordinary becomes mythic. –Rishi Dastidar

    $16
  • WALK

    About the Book

    This is a breath-taking experiment involving three poets, four languages, a pandemic and a million miles of migration. You will not find a bleeding heart here nor any cheap sentiment. Here is a watchful eye and a savage tongue. Here is a calligrapher’s pen and a bow to Ezra Pound. Mustansir Dalvi’s poetry has always meant something more to me than the best words in the best order. Here he shows us the order of things in a disordered world and we are humbled by this act of bravery and of empathy.

    Jerry Pinto, poet and translator

    Asylum, I want a poem and other poems

    First published as an e-chapbook by Yavanika Press in that dreadful plague year, 2020, Mustansir Dalvi’s brilliant and memorable WALK is an act of homage to the suffering of those millions of Indians, already living precariously between village and metropolis, who were turned into migrants in their own land – forced to walk thousands of miles home, on what was effectively a death march, by a callous State and a society that improvises rather than systematising effective forms of compassion.

    WALK now returns, under the Poetrywala imprint, as a surging polyphony. Dalvi is joined in this splendid quadriga of a book by Hemant Divate and Udayan Thakker, who have translated these poems into Marathi and Gujarati respectively; the author has rendered himself into a vibrant Hindi. This relay of versions is completed by Sudhir Patwardhan’s painterly testimony to the anguish of the Covid refugees caught up in a humanitarian catastrophe. A poet and translator, Dalvi infuses his writing with multilingual resonance and quicksilver diversity, shuttling among idioms and registers, in-group argot and makeshift patois. As befits the gravity and universal urgency of its subject, this book will reach readers in four languages simultaneously, saying to them, to us: Never forget!

    Ranjit Hoskote, Poet, art critic and cultural theorist

    $20