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Dr Work's Leopard
Life with Appa
Categories: 21st Century, American, BAME, Indian, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (96 pages)
(Due Mar 2025)
For several years Sujata Bhatt has been working on two parallel projects, a new collection of poems to be called Habitat (her most recent book was Poppies in Translation in 2015) and her Appa stories, a move into prose. Appa is a physician, a father; he is wise, witty, always imaginative, making sure his children understand the connections between things, how blood flows, cures work, and how unpredictable life is, though patterns underlie even the most unexpected experiences. He speaks differently from his children, with an accent that delights and amuses them. He wants his children to be wise. He helps them imagine their way through their expanding worlds.
Bhatt tells the stories in no particular order. They're not building a novel. They come like lyric poems. There are unifying themes but no connected narrative. This is a treasury of stories that recur to the poet in response to something seen, heard or dreamt. They come as living memory.
Awards won by Sujata Bhatt Winner, 2000 Italian Tratti Poetry Prize Winner, 1991 Cholmondeley Award Winner, 1988 Alice Hunt Bartlett Award (Brunizem) Winner, 1991 Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Asia)
Short-listed, 1995 Forward Poetry Prize
Praise for Sujata Bhatt 'a substantial collection of poems, one that allows us to travel, dream and learn, but one that ultimately moves us by the quietude of its stance and its impeccable articulation.'
Times Literary Supplement
Bhatt's style is refreshingly plain and direct, depending for its lyricism on moments of gentle repitition.
Alan Marshall, The Daily Telegraph. 'An exciting first collection, moving and invigorating.'
Poetry Review 'Sujata Bhatt leads the reader through the bright, familiar world and on into the dark until her words pierce that darkness, offering a light that will challenge and reward. Here are poems that move confidently through that dangerous border-world between the real and the surreal, illuminating both. This book is a treasure-house of modern, magical poems.'
John F. Deane 'Here is a chance to see Sujata Bhatt's favourite themes strengthened by re-gathering. A common theme is language, the very stuff of poetry, given special insight by her travels and her multilingual experience. In India, she says, it is 'a sin to be rude to a book'; 'The Stare' considers two babies, human and monkey, gazing at each other curiously, one with language, the other with' who knows? Elsewhere she considers the loss of her mother tongue, 'dead' in her mouth but returning to her in dreams. A broad-minded, humane, imaginative book.'
Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales
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