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Vahni Capildeo

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  • Vahni Capildeo’s multilingual, cross-genre writing is grounded in time experienced through place. Her DPhil in Old Norse literature and translation theory, her travels, and her Indian diaspora/Caribbean background deepen the voices in the landscapes that inspire her. Her poetry (six books and four pamphlets) includes Measures of Expatriation, awarded the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2016. She has worked in academia; in culture for development, with Commonwealth Writers; and as an Oxford English Dictionary lexicographer. Capildeo held the Judith E. Wilson Poetry Fellowship and the Harper-Wood Studentship at Cambridge. She is currently a Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow at the University of Leeds.
    'She has a kind of Ezra Pound-like status among the younger poets. An influential exponent of prose-poetry.'
    The Sunday Times, Twelve poets to read now


    'This is a book to last, and one that I will keep reading. It is a collection in which new threads appear in every reading: a tapestry that refuses to be frozen.'
    Stand Magazine


     'This is a highly original collection in form and content, with blunted messages and sharp polished undertones. One to read slowly and savour.' Poetry Salzberg Review on Measures of Expatriation  '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 Winner, 2018 Poetry Book Society Summer Choice (Venus as a Bear) 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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