The Yak Dilemma
Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal
In ‘The Yak Dilemma’, Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal ventures out of the mountain ranges of Palampur and across vast distances of land and sea. From scenes playing out through Dublin windows to ruminating on wearing a Sadri in the West, these innovative mediations are as much about personal identity as they are a testament to the human spirit’s drive to cross territory and forge a ‘map’ of our own. Kaur Dhaliwal’s map, if she has one, is without architecture or foundations; ‘Four walls don’t make a home or a house-it takes some doing’, she writes in ‘Ghazal on Living in a Hotel in Downtown Cairo’. She is part of a dynamic new generation of poets pushing the medium into exciting new areas by questioning the notion of ‘place’ and its effect on our bodies-including the human spirit and memory. Uprooted and unsettled, her lyrical voice generously outlines ‘home’ as something other than a physical place. ‘The Yak Dilemma’ is a remarkable poetic journey, its words create new territories by carefully revealing the fragile spaces that fall in between.
'Tender, innovative and potent, with a razor sharp intelligence, these poems travel the world, and the heart, with fierce beauty. Dhaliwal is an important and vibrantly exciting new voice in poetry.' -Rebecca Tamas; 'Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal is an assured and musical poet. In The Yak Dilemma, the natural world turns through lyrics of brief encounter. Language, like a bird, alights and then departs, leaving behind an impression of change, held momentarily, and then set free. These are songs of belonging and of movement, of fluid identity, carefully crafted and always graceful. Like a global flaneuse, Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal writes poems that offer hope, 'a daisy chain of ampersands / on no man's land.' -Sean Hewitt; 'This collection is a treat for the soul, taking readers on a journey across time and borders. Dhaliwal's writing is evocative, thrilling, and magnificent.' -Zeba Talkhani; 'The Yak Dilemma charts a masterful fugue of exile, longing and belonging. Dhaliwal writes with a rich fluency of tongues, evoking pathos and pleasure in equal measure. Upending perception, these poems become a way of looking by which we start to see through our hands. A marvellous work.' -Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe; 'This deeply satisfying collection is bathed in wit and colour, and skilfully interweaves personal, literary and socio-political events. Kaur Dhaliwal travels through time and space and the self; I wanted to go wherever she was heading.' -Jen Calleja; 'A heartfelt, entertaining debut which sees the author explore Europe and the Middle East like an intrepid flaneuse, reminding us how the impulse to walk around our world's cities allows the best poets to turn one's private life into a constantly shifting terrain for exploration.' -Andre Naffis-Sahely; 'The Yak Dilemma is beautiful, transportative and so deeply felt. Surpiya Kaur Dhaliwal takes us on a powerful and tender poetic journey through liminal spaces and places, asking what it means to feel at home in the world and at home in your mind.' -Lucia Osborne-Crowley; 'The Yak Dilemma asks: why risk myopia, when we can move forward-and unfold?' -Poetry London; 'a collection which inspires a complex mix of pathos, longing, curiosity and joy.' -Idler; 'an illuminating exercise about the self and our surroundings' -Nidhi Verma, Platform; 'Her work is quick, interrogative and moves deceptively easily from city to city and subject to subject, but never do we lose sight of the questions Dhaliwal asks, "Where have I truly come to?" -Poetry Book Society
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