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Indivisible

An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry

Edited by Neelanjana Banerjee, Summi Kaipa, and Pireeni Sundaralingam

Publication Year: 2010

The first anthology of its kind, Indivisible brings together forty-nine American poets who trace their roots to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Featuring award-winning poets including Meena Alexander, Agha Shahid Ali, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, and Vijay Seshadri, here are poets who share a long history of grappling with a multiplicity of languages, cultures, and faiths. The poems gathered here take us from basketball courts to Bollywood, from the Grand Canyon to sugar plantations, and from Hindu-Muslim riots in India to anti-immigrant attacks on the streets of post–9/11 America. Showcasing a diversity of forms, from traditional ghazals and sestinas to free verse, experimental writing, and slam poetry, Indivisible presents 141 poems by authors who are rewriting the cultural and literary landscape of their time and their place. Includes biographies of each poet.

Published by: University of Arkansas Press

Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. iii-v

Contents

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pp. vii-xiii

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Editors’ Preface

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pp. xv-xvii

Indivisible is the first anthology to showcase American poets whose ancestral roots lie in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The shape of the current book grew and metamorphosed over several years after we were approached by the literary publicist Kim McMillon. Kim originally suggested that we compile a short selection of local South Asian American poets, as a response to the fact that many of these voices had been diminished by the tide...

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Thank Yous

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p. xviii

We would like to express our gratitude to Kim McMillon for planting that first seed; to Sunyoung Lee, Jannie Dresser, Ravi Shankar, and Hayan Charara for their advice and fellowship; to Colm

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Introduction

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pp. xix-xxx

South Asian American poets have roots in a multiplicity of languages, cultures, and faiths. As a result, there will always be inherent contradictions in grouping together writers of such differing backgrounds. However, the experience of living and writing in the United States ensures that these poets share at least one thing in common: they are all active participants in the world of American literature. In compiling this anthology, we aim to encourage both...

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REETIKA VAZIRANI

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pp. 3-6

It’s a Young Country.; From the Postcard at Vertigo Bookstore in D.C.; It’s Me, I’m Not Home; Aerogram Punjab

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VANDANA KHANNA

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pp. 7-11

Blackwater Fever; Hair; Dot Head; Echo

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MOHAMMAD FAISAL HADI

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pp. 12-15

My Uncle, Failing to Slaughter the Goat of His 12th Eid; Fatima; Public Benefits

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MAYA KHOSLA

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pp. 16-21

Oppenheimer quotes The Bhagavad Gita; Return to Grand Canyon; Sequoia Sempervirens; Under Wolf-Paw

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TANUJA MEHROTRA

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pp. 22-29

Manthara; Nainital; Song for New Orleans

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VIJAY SESHADRI

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pp. 30-34

The Disappearances; Elegy; The Dream I Didn’t Have; Memoir

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BHANU KAPIL

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pp. 35-37

from Humanimal [a project for future children]

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VIKAS MENON

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pp. 38-41

Radha; Drown; Urdu Funk: The Gentle Art of Subtitles

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SUMMI KAIPA

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pp. 42-45

from A Personal Cinema; from The Epics

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MINAL HAJRATWALA

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pp. 46-53

Angerfish; Miss Indo-America dreams; Generica/America

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CHITRA BANERJEE DIVAKARUNI

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pp. 54-61

Yuba City School; The Geography Lesson; Two Women Outside a Circus, Pushkar; Indian Movie, New Jersey

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SEJAL SHAH

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pp. 62-65

Everybody’s Greatest Hits; Accordion; Independence, Iowa

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NEELANJANA BANERJEE

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pp. 66-68

Cowgirl Series I; Priapos

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AMARNATH RAVVA

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pp. 69-76

I Am Burning a Pig in My Room, Apollinaire; Bear Scat Flat; the spectacle of a few trees in spring, off the 5.

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MYTILI JAGANNATHAN

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pp. 77-79

nationalism redactor; Dream House

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SRIKANTH REDDY

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pp. 80-87

Jungle Book; Scarecrow Eclogue; Fundamentals of Esperanto; Corruption

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PRAGEETA SHARMA

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pp. 88-90

Paper; Paper II; I Cannot Forget You; In Open Water, In Mathematical Star

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SASHA KAMINI PARMASAD

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pp. 91-95

Burning; Sugarcane Farmer; The Old Man

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VIVEK JAIN

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pp. 96-98

Poem for a Would Be Revolutionary, My Father; Anand’s Story; December, 1984

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RO GUNETILLEKE

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pp. 99-101

Lost Column; Spirited Away

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AMITAVA KUMAR

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pp. 102-110

Mistaken Identity; Against Nostalgia

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SACHIN B. PATEL

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pp. 111-116

In the Business of Erasing History; The Blacktop Gospels

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BUSHRA REHMAN

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pp. 117-119

Ami’s Cassettes; At the Museum of Natural History; The Difference

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SHAILJA PATEL

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pp. 120-128

Shilling Love; Love Poem for London

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SUDEEP SEN

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pp. 129-132

Offering; Jacket on a Chair

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AIMEE NEZHUKUMATATHIL

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pp. 133-136

The Mascot of Beavercreek High Breaks Her Silence; Fishbone; Last Aerogramme to You, With Lizard; Mr. Mustard’s Dance Club: Ladies’ Night

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RAVI CHANDRA

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pp. 137-139

Cleanup on Aisle #3; The Old Man Speaks

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RALPH NAZARETH

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pp. 140-142

A Question for Vaclav Havel; Red Eye; Horse Play

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MEENA ALEXANDER

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pp. 143-147

River and Bridge; September Sunlight; Color of Home; Slow Dancing

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FAISAL MOHYUDDIN

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pp. 148-156

Ayodhya; Blood Harmonies; Poem Inspired by a Note Found Scrawled onto the Inside Cover of One Day at a Time in Al-Anon Sitting on a Bookshelf at Caf

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DILRUBA AHMED

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pp. 157-163

The 18th Century Weavers of Muslin Whose Thumbs Were Chopped; Learning; Invitation

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PRAMILA VENKATESWARAN

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pp. 164-166

Draupadi’s Dharma; Exile

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BHARGAVI C. MANDAVA

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pp. 167-169

Of Starry Silence; Moonsweets

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REENA NARAYAN

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pp. 170-175

My Daughter; Tobacco Wrapped in The Fiji Times

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HOMRAJ ACHARYA

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pp. 176-180

The Silk-Cotton Tree; The Kerosene Stove

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R. PARTHASARATHY

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pp. 181-186

from Exile; The Concise Kamasutra; Remembered Village

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PURVI SHAH

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pp. 187-190

Made in India, Immigrant Song #3; Unhoming; Nature’s Acre, POSTED

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KAZIM ALI

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pp. 191-193

The River’s Address; Thicket; Event

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MONICA FERRELL

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pp. 194-197

Confessions of Beatrice D’Este; The Coin of Your Country; In the Binary Alleys of the Lion’s Virus; Love, the Kunstkammer Version

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RAVI SHANKAR

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pp. 198-201

The Flock’s Reply to the Passionate Shepherd; Before Sunrise, San Francisco; Return to Mumbai

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VINAY DHARWADKER

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pp. 202-204

A Draft of Excavations; Thirty Years Ago, in a Suburb of Bombay

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ARYANIL MUKHERJEE

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pp. 205-208

after promise; treeforms :: the touch of language; memory writings :: picnic

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INDRAN AMIRTHANAYAGAM

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pp. 209-213

Runner; Girl Dressed; The City, with Elephants

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SWATI RANA

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pp. 214-216

Stopping for the Northern Lights; To Reveal

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SUBHASHINI KALIGOTLA

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pp. 217-219

Lepidoptera; Letter to New York; My Heart Belongs to Daddy

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MONA ALI

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pp. 220-224

Noor; The Wolf’s Cry

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AGHA SHAHID ALI

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pp. 225-230

A Pastoral; Ghazal; Footnote to History; At the Museum

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PIREENI SUNDARALINGAM

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pp. 231-233

Lot’s Wives; Vermont, 1885; Language Like Birds

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JEET THAYIL

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pp. 234-239

September 10, 2001; from Premonition; Letter from a Mughal Emperor, 2006; Flight

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 241-248

HOMRAJ ACHARYA, “The Silk-Cotton Tree.” Copyright © 2001 by Homraj Acharya. Originally appeared in Salt Hill Journal. Reprinted by permission of the author. “The Kerosene Stove.” Copyright © 2001 by Homraj Acharya. Originally appeared in Strategic Confusion. Reprinted by permission of the author. DILRUBA AHMED, “Invitation.” Copyright © 2005 by Dilruba Ahmed.

Author Index

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pp. 249-250

Title Index [Includes Back Cover]

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pp. 251-254


E-ISBN-13: 9781610752077
E-ISBN-10: 1610752074
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557289315
Print-ISBN-10: 155728931X

Page Count: 220
Publication Year: 2010

OCLC Number: 769187859
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Indivisible

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • American poetry -- 21st century
  • American poetry -- South Asian American authors.
  • American poetry -- 20th century.
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