Books for Independent Thinkers

Bloodaxe Books

Everything Begins Elsewhere

by Tishani Doshi

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  • Paperback
  • 72 pages
  • ISBN 978-1-852249-36-6
  • Published May 2012
  • Publisher Bloodaxe Books


In this, her first poetry collection since the award-winning Countries of the Body, Tishani Doshi returns to the body as a central theme, but extends beyond the corporeal to challenge the more metaphysical borders of space and time. These new poems are powerful meditations born on the joineries of life and death, union and separation, memory and dream, where lovers speak to each other across the centuries, and daughters wander into their mothers’ childhoods. As much about loss as they are about reclamation, Doshi’s poems guide us through an ‘underworld of longing and deliverance’, making the exhilarating claim that through the act of vanishing, we may be shaped into existence again.

"These poems move in different directions, as true poetry should. We hear in them joy and sadness, praise and lament, love and disenchantment – simultaneously. Tishani Doshi speaks courageously about herself, about her choices, about the growing shadows. It’s a beautiful book."
Adam Zagajewski

"There is a fierce power to Tishani Doshi’s poetry. Delicate as spun silk, it draws us into the zone of desire, even as it opens us to what lies beyond – the quick of the metaphysical. Places slip and slide and melt into each other – lover, mother, father, brother appear and disappear, time perfects itself as eternal vanishing."
Meena Alexander

"Doshi’s poems embody a world of longing – her laments and dreams sear the reader’s senses, setting their world alight. She makes you want to dance to the strings of her taut and tender soundboard, and echo aloud her fathomless world. Here is a poet with lyrical acuity in abundance."
Menna Elfyn

"A striking, emergent talent who is prepared to take risks in pursuit of sensual, emotionally engaged and passionate poetry."
John Burnside, Forward Prize judge's comment

"A quest for the truths contained within that 'failed infinity / Of body, fibre, blood'. She works under her expressive title to offer an eloquent dissection of the body - its attributes, metaphors, deficiencies and contradictions - all delivered in chromatic, richly textured lines, in which the assured manipulation of rhythm and internal rhyme produces poems of remarkable balance and grace."
Sarah Crown, The Guardian

"Free of the habitual lyricism of Indian writers, her work is austere and beautiful. Her refreshing muscularity gives her a distinct voice, both as a woman and an Indian, focusing on the female body, which she treats as a venue for male pleasure and a factory for patriarchy, producing desired sons and unwanted daughters."
Nirpal Dhaliwal, The Times Online

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Everything Begins Elsewhere