Bird of the Indian Subcontinent

by Subhashini Kaligotla


Paperback, 86 Pages, 6.6 x 9 in
Publication Date: March 2018
ISBN: 978-0-9860652-5-5

Stubborn, scheming, versatile, segueing between ecstasy and desolation, between a mythic raas leela and a modern day bar stool in the East Village, the heart in Subhashini Kaligotla’s poems is a slippery, politically incorrect shape-shifter. Combining wry honesty with delicate poise, the poet invokes the age-old theme of desire –its delirium, indignity, desperation and capacity for sudden, unbidden equanimity. Crafted with a capacity to calibrate the many subtle textures of longing, these are poems of precision, strength and radiant surprise.



These poems describe a world in which “desire is the only master” and the poet’s eye alights on art and men and gods alike, and each fleet thing is fixed unerring to the page.

— JEET THAYIL, poet and novelist


This radiant poetry collection navigates the seismic journey of the heart across continents, time and legend. What does it mean to be faithful?  To belong to a city, a country or a lover?  Kaligotla employs a steely eyed precision as she tunnels into these vast questions. Bridging the silences in the great Ramayana and the lonelinesses that great diasporic artists bear, she’s able to unlock new insight into what it means to make a post-modern home. A gorgeous read! 


The poems in this debut collection chart the passage of a metamorphosing self through euphoria, desire, despair, defiance, equanimity, grief, and loneliness. Appropriating freely from diverse poetic sources, the writer gives voice to a polyglot emotional range. Sanskrit poetics, Jazz lyrics, ekphrasis, the locutions of India’s poet-saints, and the Anglo-American writing tradition all find place here. The book’s chorus of figures—from Christ to Krishna to Caravaggio—move the reader between present and past, myth and history, bird and human, and across cities and continents.

SKU: 978-0-9860652-5-5 Category:

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