Vidyan Ravinthiran reviewed in The Guardian
Vidyan Ravinthiran's The Million-petalled Flower of Being Here is his second collection. This book of sonnets for his wife is finely balanced between the inward and outward. These are love poems which, considering life in Northern England for a mixed-race couple, touch on Brexit; racist and sexist abuse; taboos surrounding mental health; and the poet's Sri Lankan Tamil heritage. It is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for summer 2019 and has been shortisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection 2019.
The Million-petalled Flower of Being Here was reviewed in The Guardian's Forward Prize special feature of 13 July 2019. A poem from Niall Campbell's Noctuary, also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection, features on the same page.
‘Also on the shortlist [for the Forward Prize for Best Collection] is another collection that approaches divisive politics with humanity and warmth: Vidyan Ravinthiran’s The Million-petalled Flower of Being Here. Formally assured but far from formulaic, this book of sonnets for the poet’s wife is testament, at its best, to the ways in which poetry can reach from the particular to the universal. Moving and inviting in their conversational ease, Ravinthiran’s sonnets stretch from the grounding details of life for a mixed-race couple in England today… to thoughtfully touch on themes of identity, class, work and community.’ – Ben Wilkinson, The Guardian
Read the full review here.
The Yorkshire Times, online Monday 8 July 2019
A perceptive and detailed review of Vidyan Ravinthiran’s ‘brilliantly original new collection’ The Million-petalled Flower of Being Here is featured in the arts section of the online regional newspaper The Yorkshire Times.
‘The poet’s domestic introspection is no less than a conduit for contemplation of the troubles which define many lives. And in this fine collection, they include racism (Ravinthiran is British by birth and Sinhalese by family origin, his wife is white British), cultural dislocation, mental illness, politics and identity… Vidyan Ravinthiran’s collection is both bracing and complex, and it is difficult to give a comprehensive review of such a diversionary, inclusive body of work without venturing into essay territory.’ – Steve Whitaker, The Yorkshire Times
Click here to read the review in full.
[10 July 2019]