Sridala Swami's first collection of poems, A Reluctant Survivor, was published by The Sahitya Akademi in 2007 and was shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Award. She has written four books for children published by Pratham Books in 2009 and 2012. Swami was the 2011 Charles Wallace Writer-in-Residence at The University of Stirling, Scotland and has most recently been a Fellow of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa (2013).
Sridala Swami's Escape Artist offers a diviner's eloquent testimony to survival in a world of dissolving certitudes, precarious relationships, transcontinental mobility and political cataclysm. Transiting between the vivid latitudes of delight and the austere geometries of mortality, these poems map the dilemmas of the bodied self. Poised, subtle, luminous, Swami's poetry clothes the ephemera of everyday life in an intimate tangibility and secures them against the insistent attritions of history and nature. The finely gauged frame is Swami's chosen instrument. Through it, she effects surprising juxtapositions of myth and contemporary experience, investigates whether the finality of extinction is preferable to the self-parody of repetition, revisits Paul Celan's cryptic notations, Odilon Redon's enigmatic images, Abbas Kiarostami's deceptively quotidian cinema and pays homage to that rediscoverer of lost myths, Giorgos Seferis. At the core of Escape Artistis a visceral awareness of what words can do: they can induce 'temporary insanity', voice 'inaudible stories' and remind us that 'the measure of love is not loss but residue'.
This book will appeal to all poetry lovers and readers.
Sridala Swami's first collection of poems, A Reluctant Survivor, was shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Award.
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