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Release Date: 31/08/2009
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Vahni Capildeo is one of the finest and most exciting young poets around. A poem in this collection ('From First to Last...') has already been highly commended in the Forward Prize, 2009. To listen to Vahni read, and to read further extracts of her work yourself (in addition to that above), visit Poet Casting. We have a second collection, Dark and Uaccustomed Words, scheduled for 2011.
“The poetry of Vahni Capildeo not only breaks down conventional notions of seeing the world, but re-affirms ideas of the value and worth of individual experiences. This work attacks and affirms order and underlines what matters above all: the fate of the free self. It is a subversive ocean of diamonds, rubies and bones, raging against limiting forces."
-- Andre Bagoo
"This poetry is not for the faint-hearted. It disturbs conventional notions of how poems make meaning, both for the reader and for other poets for whom Vahni Capildeo — a Trinidadian writer living in Britain — may be the poet’s poet ... [Her poems] are at one and the same time tantalising enticement and warning."
-- Edward Baugh
"This is an urgent, shapely, generous and serious collection – of self-witness, astute, gentle, sharp and alive, sensing where the mind in words will go, along long journeys/sequences of encounter with the lost other in language."
-- Adam Piette
“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 profoundly intelligent poems are original in a very unusual way. They are modern, but composed without fear of traditional subjects or language. Every topic springs to life, in a way that is both disturbing and beautiful. These are life-enhancing poems that stay with you long after you have closed the book."
-- Bernard O’Donoghue
“Capildeo’s poetry is sassy, sometimes scary; dark, certainly, but there's light there, too, even sweetness, and much humour; complex, even virtuosic, though she can be simple, in her own unique way. She's one of the best around, and I applaud her.”
-- David Miller
"If Capildeo keeps writing like this, then we other poor scribes will mass to break her cunning nails and delicious bones, pull out her unique glimmering teeth and pluck out her sincere and breathtaking heart long before we dare touch her sensual Gnostic tongue."
-- Brian Catling