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About the Book
Vivekanand Selvaraj’s debut book of poems, ‘Cog Verse’ has clever cogs that rotate and fit snugly into the amiable cog machine in succinct poetry. His prose poetry dealing with the internal life of a freshman and the business of medicine as a profession is unflinchingly incisive. Speaking of his ancestors and grandparents on both sides, nowhere does he forget his Tamil ethos and the book comes off as startlingly original.
— Sivakami Velliangiri
Here, in these poems, the object-worlds of a pre-liberalized India rub shoulders with the pandemic present, incongruent, yet strangely essential. Here, failure is rebellion, and rebellion in itself, becomes an illusion. Yet, Selvaraj’s poems document a severe critique of the institutions we hold as pristine – the medical school, the hospital, the deep state. Oftentimes, this critique is that of an insider, who, in spite of the said critique, feels depleted, hopeless, leaving us – the readers – asking for more. And, it is often done through careful manipulation of the white spaces on a page, unconventional line-break and a playful engagement with the very idea of lyric subjectivity.
— Nandini Dhar
Vivekanand is a poet of spaces. He isn’t interested in the broader themes of things that happen every day. But he is still interested in the façade of equanimity, everyday cruelty, and mundanity. These poems are Vivekanand’s way of chronicling stories for posterity, but also because everyone else has simply forgotten to catalogue them. These aren’t poems you’ve read before. Vivekanand isn’t a poet you’ve met before. Unique in his writing and assured in his voice, Vivekanand’s CogVerse is a necessary addition to your poetry collection.
—- Manjiri Indurkar