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Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Indian Poetry Now

Jeet Thayil, the Indian poet, has edited an important new anthology of Indian poetry (in the English tradition), just out from Bloodaxe, a book Eyewear will review in time. Before then, it needs to be said that The Guardian ran a hugely blundering (and borderline offensive) review of the book - a dismissal by other means - on Saturday, an odd act since the UK has been in need of such a collection for more than a decade. I have long believed that the best of Indian English-language contemporary poetry, from the likes of Ranjit Hoskote, Vivek Narayanan, and Sudeep Sen, is among the best of contemporary poetry from anywhere - and its lack of availability, until now, was almost silly, if not sad. So, Thayil should have been thanked first, criticised, if at all, later. Anyway, he's responded.
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