Shehzar Doja, pictured, was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and currently resides in Luxembourg as a poet, student, and founder/editor-in-chief of literary journal The Luxembourg Review.
Photo: Shehzar Doja
If you are looking for some reading material to pack in your suitcase this summer, look no further than Delano’s "Summer reads" series. Each week, we feature three new recommendations from someone active in the literary scene.
By Sudeep Sen (The London Magazine Hardback edition)
Having recently completed this fine collection, I find myself occasionally having some of its lines roaming about and tiptoeing around silently in solitary moments.
This book is an anthology, comprising of work from several collections over the years--ranging from 1980 to more recent work. This volume’s sheer poetic vocabulary and presence is truly exemplified in the diverse stylistic forms and techniques articulated by its presentation.
Poems like ‘Lily-Pads’, ‘Graveyards’ and ‘Indus’ are only some of the great examples of stylistic choices permeating on page but the true draw of this book resides in its emotionally driven core, layered consistently by technical and literary finesse.
A poem like ‘Kargil’ is a beautiful example of a work that sears the heart, set in the backdrop of its historical context. This collection is also a great introduction to poetry from the subcontinent, consisting of translations by the author--of well renowned poets from Urdu, Hindi and Bengali.
In the epoch of crowdfunded projects, this particular anthology of short stories is an example of one done rather well. Gaining momentum since its inception, the collection has since found its way to several important reading lists as well as attracting the endorsement of prominent writers like Margaret Atwood, who described it as “an essential window into many of the hazard-strewn worlds younger women are living in right now”.
This volume consists of engaging stories from women in various countries, dealing with a host of deeply emotional and relevant topics. Themes range from Brexit, sexual assault, the search for identity, growing up in a working class environment among the myriad topics discussed and at its core--the stories are deeply enthralling and moving at times. It is a book for all to read.
Winner of the TS Eliot prize in 2015, “Loop of Jade” was the first debut collection to win this prestigious prize and is one of my personal favourite contemporary book of poetry.
Deeply engaging and intellectually stimulating, the collection carries the fragrance of its subtle motifs and well-constructed architecture throughout. It is not an easy read (having to revisit it a few times), however, it is extremely commendable and rewarding at the end. The dissonance between the author’s two worlds--Hong Kong and Britain--is one of the central thematic summits that propel the author to revisit and explore in depth--her dual inheritance. This book of poetry is a beautiful exploration of identity and catharsis and certainly worth the time to engage and probe into its multifoliate depths.
Shehzar Doja was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and currently resides in Luxembourg as a poet, student, and founder/editor-in-chief of literary journal The Luxembourg Review. As a resident of Luxembourg, he was selected to represent the country at a pan-European poetry festival. His work has appeared in The San Antonio Review, New Welsh Review, Fireside International Publication, Delano, Monsoon Letters, Dhaka Tribune’s Arts and Letters. His poetry collection “Drift” was published in 2016.