The poems of Arundhathi Subramaniam's Love Without a Story celebrate an expanding kinship: of passion and friendship, mythic quest and modern-day longing, in a world animated by dialogue and dissent, delirium and silence. Circling themes of intimacy and time, they return to the urgency of conversation: that fragile bridge across the frozen attitudes that divide our world.
But at the heart of the collection is a deeper preoccupation, with those blurry places where humans might walk with gods, where the body might touch the beyond, where the enchanted might intersect effortlessly with the everyday. Where one stumbles upon what the poet simply calls ‘love without a story’.
Arundhathi Subramaniam's previous book from Bloodaxe, When God Is a Traveller, was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Love Without a Story is her fourth collection of poetry. Her earlier work is available in Where I Live: New & Selected Poems.
'Subramaniam’s verse is imbued with the spiritual and mythic in this wonderful collection, Love Without A Story. Poised and measured, these poems encourage the reader to think and feel deeply, to sit and watch as Subramaniam unveils artfully composed observations about the cosmos we inhabit and those we share it with. Love Without a Story is a breath-taking and heart-warming collection.' - Poetry Book Society Bulletin
'Arundhathi Subramaniam's collection, Love Without a Story, is crammed full of delicious sensations, drawn from a multitude of cultures... My lasting impression of her work is of sheer, inventive, self-delighting energy... a fabulous book!.' - Dorothy Yamamoto, ARTEMISpoetry
'To read Love Without a Story... is to be in the presence of a poet who is capable of rendering the physical and the everyday with a sort of sensual plenitude whilst at the same time exploring connections outwards onto more transcendental, sometimes mythical planes...' - Tom Phillips, Inkroci Magazine
'Love Without a Story is a lyrical exposition of the journey through life; we are left the richer for having read these poems.' - Sue Wallace-Shaddad, The Alchemy Spoon
‘By turns laconic and passionate, she asks questions about morality and integrity that many poets simply refuse to take on. Yet she is also an extraordinary love poet… A remarkable book from a remarkable poet.’ – John Burnside, Poetry Review, on Where I Live
'Arundhathi Subramaniam has already won acclaim as a poet of integrity… There is a beautiful uncertainty about her poems… intimately physical, intense enough to scald and char, along with a will to withdraw, to renounce… unhibitedly sensual while still yearning for transcendence. This ambivalence, combined with a sense of wonder, of unexpectedness, of moods as well as words, is what marks her apart,' – K. Satchidanandan, Frontline, on When God Is a Traveller.
Arundhathi Subramaniam live at Ledbury Poetry Festival
Arundhathi Subramaniam reads and introduces a selection of poems from her two Bloodaxe titles, When God Is a Traveller and Where I Live: New & Selected Poems: ‘How Some Hindus Find ‘Their Personal Gods’’, My Friends’, ‘Winter, Delhi, 1997’, ‘Madras, November, 1995’, ‘Home’, ‘To the Welsh Critic Who Doesn’t Find Me Identifiably Indian’, ‘I Speak for Those with Orange Lunchboxes’, ‘Or Take Mrs Salim Sheikh’, ‘Where the Script Ends’ and ‘Prayer’. This video shows part of the reading she gave at Ledbury Poetry Festival on 8 July 2016 following an interview with Maitreyabandu which will be posted separately.
Arundhathi Subramaniam reads eight poems from Where I Live
Arundhathi Subramaniam’s poems explore various ambivalences – around human intimacy with its bottlenecks and surprises, life in a Third World megalopolis, myth, the politics of culture and gender, and the persistent trope of the existential journey. Neil Astley filmed her reading a selection of her work from Where I Live in Bombay in November 2011. Here she reads eight poems: 'Winter, Delhi, 1997', 'To the Welsh Critic Who Doesn't Find Me Identifiably Indian', 'Prayer', 'Home', 'Madras', 'I Live on a Road', 'Recycled' and 'Confession', all from Where I Live: New & Selected Poems (2009).
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