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Vahni Capildeo

Vahni Capildeo
Books by this author: Measures of Expatriation
  • About
  • Reviews
  • Awards
  • Vahni Capildeo is a British Trinidadian writer, daughter of Leila Capildeo, with whom she co-writes short fiction and non-fiction for outlets such as Moving Worlds and Womanspeak, and the late poet Devendranath Capildeo. Her published books are No Traveller Returns (2003), Person Animal Figure (2005), Undraining Sea (2009) (shortlisted for the Guyana Prize for Literature Caribbean Award), All Your Houses (2010) (a limited-edition artist’s book with photometry by Andre Bagoo), Dark & Unaccustomed Words (2012) (longlisted for the 2013 OCM Bocas Poetry Prize), Utter (2013), Simple Complex Shapes (2015), and Measures of Expatriation (2016) (winner of the Forward Best Collection Prize). She read English at Christ Church, Oxford and subsequently became a Rhodes Scholar there, completing a DPhil in Old Norse and translation theory, which overlapped with her Research Fellowship at Girton College, Cambridge. She was the first poet on tour for the Out of Bounds poetry project, is a contributing editor for the Caribbean Review of Books, and a contributing advisor to Blackbox Manifold. Her performance and installation work, begun during her Judith E. Wilson Poetry Fellowship (2014), includes responses to Euripides' Bacchae, 'Radical Shakespeare', and the revolutionary Guyanese writer Martin Carter. She is actively seeking new collaborators and further training in movement, sound, and traditional masquerade. The Harper-Wood Studentship (St John's College, Cambridge) supported her travel for research during 2015-16.
     'So much of the world has been rendered familiar by the industries of interpretation (including the literary) that it takes a genius to recover its real intransigence. It is like being brought up hard against an unmoveable rock amidst all the torrents of counterfeited poetry when you catch hold of any poem by Capildeo.'
    Rod Mengham
    'Vahni Capildeo'€™s Measure of Expatriation is a work that amazes. We found a vertiginous excitement in the way in which the book grasps its subject: the sense of never quite being at home. This is poetry that transforms. When people in the future seek to know what it'€™s like to live between places, traditions, habits and cultures, they will read this. Here is the language for what expatriation feels like.'
    Malika Booker, Chair of the 2016 Forward Prize judging panel
    'The writing is done from word to word, following images, sounds, movement and sense-associations relentlessly, shifting focus every few words, heading for an unforeseen ending.'
    Peter Riley, Fortnightly Review
    Awards won by Vahni Capildeo Short-listed, 2016 T.S. Eliot Prize (Measures of Expatriation) Winner, 2016 Poetry Book Society Choice (Measures of Expatriation) Winner, 2016 Forward Prize for Best Collection
    (Measures of Expatriation)
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