Sandra Lim and Rajiv Mohabir
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Join the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith for an in-store event with authors Sandra Lim and Rajiv Mohabir to discuss their work, including their new collections The Curious Thing and Cutlish, among others.
Truthful, sensuous, and intellectually relentless, the poems in The Curious Thing are compelling meditations on love, art making, solitude, female fate, and both the mundane and serious principles of life. Sandra Lim’s poetry displays stinging wit and a tough-minded approach to her own experiences: She speaks with Jean Rhys about beauty, encounters the dark loneliness that can exist inside a relationship, and discovers a coiled anger on a hot summer day. An extended poem sequence slyly revolves the meanings of finding oneself astray in midlife. A steely strength courses through the volume’s myriad discoveries―Lim’s lucidity and tenderness form a striking complement to her remarkable metaphors and the emotional clamor of her material.
Sandra Lim was born in Seoul, Korea. She is the author of three poetry collections, most recently The Curious Thing (W.W. Norton, 2021), as well as Loveliest Grotesque (Kore Press, 2006) and The Wilderness (W.W. Norton, 2014), chosen by Louise Glück for the Barnard Women Poets Prize. She has received many honors for her work, including the Levis Reading Prize, a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from MacDowell, the Getty Institute, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and lives in Cambridge, MA.
In Cutlish, a title referencing the rural recasting of the cutlass or machete, Rajiv Mohabir creates a form migrated from Caribbean chutney music in order to verse the precarity of a queer Indo-Caribbean speaker in the newest context of the United States. By joining the disparate threads of his fading, often derided, multilingual Guyanese Creole and Guyanese Bhojpuri linguistic inheritances, Mohabir mingles the ghosts that haunt from the cane fields his ancestors worked with the canonical colonial education of his elders, creating a new syncretic American poetry—pushing through the “post” of postcolonial, the “poet” in the poetic.
Rajiv Mohabir’s memoir Antiman (Restless Books, 2021) received the 2019 Restless Books’ New Immigrant Writing Prize. He is also the author of three books of poetry including Cutlish (Four Way Books, 2021), The Cowherd’s Son (Tupelo Press, 2017, winner of the 2015 Kundiman Prize; Eric Hoffer Honorable Mention 2018) and The Taxidermist’s Cut (Four Way Books, 2016, winner of the Four Way Books Intro to Poetry Prize, Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry in 2017), and translator of I Even Regret Night: Holi Songs of Demerara (1916) (Kaya Press, 2019) which received a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant Award and the 2020 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of poetry in the MFA program at Emerson College and translations editor at Waxwing Journal.