In this, her first poetry collection since the award-winning Countries of the Body, Tishani Doshi returns to the body as a central theme, but extends beyond the corporeal to challenge the more metaphysical borders of space and time. These new poems are powerful meditations born on the joineries of life and death, union and separation, memory and dream, where lovers speak to each other across the centuries, and daughters wander into their mothers’ childhoods. As much about loss as they are about reclamation, Doshi’s poems guide us through an ‘underworld of longing and deliverance’, making the exhilarating claim that through the act of vanishing, we may be shaped into existence again. Everything Begins Elsewhere was followed by two further collections, Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods in 2018, and A God at the Door in 2021.
'...an invigorating, thought-provoking collection which, like the dancing Doshi loves, enlivens soul and senses, sharpening responses to both "the music of uncertainty" and "the aftertaste of rain".' --Miriam Gamble, The Guardian [on Everything Begins Elsewhere]
‘These poems move in different directions, as true poetry should. We hear in them joy and sadness, praise and lament, love and disenchantment – simultaneously. Tishani Doshi speaks courageously about herself, about her choices, about the growing shadows. It’s a beautiful book' – Adam Zagajewski
‘There is a fierce power to Tishani Doshi’s poetry. Delicate as spun silk, it draws us into the zone of desire, even as it opens us to what lies beyond – the quick of the metaphysical. Places slip and slide and melt into each other – lover, mother, father, brother appear and disappear, time perfects itself as eternal vanishing’ – Meena Alexander
'Doshi’s poems embody a world of longing – her laments and dreams sear the reader’s senses, setting their world alight. She makes you want to dance to the strings of her taut and tender soundboard, and echo aloud her fathomless world. Here is a poet with lyrical acuity in abundance' – Menna Elfyn
'A quest for the truths contained within that "failed infinity / Of body, fibre, blood". She works under her expressive title to offer an eloquent dissection of the body - its attributes, metaphors, deficiencies and contradictions - all delivered in chromatic, richly textured lines, in which the assured manipulation of rhythm and internal rhyme produces poems of remarkable balance and grace' – Sarah Crown, The Guardian [on Countries of the Body]
'A striking, emergent talent who is prepared to take risks in pursuit of sensual, emotionally engaged and passionate poetry' – John Burnside, Forward Prize judge's comment [on Countries of the Body]
'Free of the habitual lyricism of Indian writers, her work is austere and beautiful. Her refreshing muscularity gives her a distinct voice, both as a woman and an Indian, focusing on the female body, which she treats as a venue for male pleasure and a factory for patriarchy, producing desired sons and unwanted daughters' – Nirpal Dhaliwal, The Times Online
Tishani Doshi: Everything Begins Elsewhere
Tishani Doshi introduces and reads five poems from Everything Begins Elsewhere: 'The Art of Losing', 'Walking Around' (after Neruda), 'The Memory of Wales' (a sestina), 'The Adulterous Citizen' and 'Homecoming'. Neil Astley filmed her reading from the book after her Ledbury Poetry Festival reading in July 2012.
Tishani Doshi reads Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods and other poems
Tishani Doshi reads and talks about ‘Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods’ and six other poems from the collection: ‘Everyone Loves a Dead Girl’, ‘Contract’. ‘Ode to Patrick Swayze’, ‘Find the Poets’, ‘A Fable for the 21st Century’ and ‘Poem for a Dead Dog’. Neil Astley filmed her reading poems from the book before her reading with Pascale Petit at Ledbury Poetry Festival on 5 July 2018.
Tishani Doshi dances Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods in Chennai
Tishani Doshi performs her dance version of ‘Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods’ at a TEDx event in Chennai in March 2018. The poem is read by her with music composed by Luca Nardon (www.lucanardon.it). She also read two other poems from Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods at this presentation, ‘Contract’ and ‘Find the Poets’ which you can view via this link.
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