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Dhaka Dust
     

Dhaka Dust

by Dilruba Ahmed
 

Winner of the 2010 Bakeless Prize for Poetry, the debut collection by Dilruba Ahmed

Can't occupy the same space at the same time
unless, of course, you land in Dhaka
—from "Dhaka Dust"

Ranging across Europe and America to the streets of Bangladesh, the sharp-edged poems in Dhaka Dust

Overview

Winner of the 2010 Bakeless Prize for Poetry, the debut collection by Dilruba Ahmed

Can't occupy the same space at the same time
unless, of course, you land in Dhaka
—from "Dhaka Dust"

Ranging across Europe and America to the streets of Bangladesh, the sharp-edged poems in Dhaka Dust are culled from a rich mélange of languages, people, and poetic attitudes. Through lyric and narrative poems, Dilruba Ahmed's keen observations on birth, motherhood, and death offer a unique way into the beckoning world. Voices of villagers resonate alongside those of global travelers, each searching for an elusive homeland in small towns and cities alike. Vendors hawk their wares at a bazaar in Dhaka. Gyms in Ohio double as mosques for uprooted immigrants. In Ahmed's skillful hands, these disparate subjects adroitly capture the textures of life in this new century.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Clear, sensuous, and astute, Dilruba Ahmed's poems play and radiate off each other in subtle and provocative ways. She embraces life in all its complexity and handles a variety of forms with originality and grace. And the themes of departures and arrivals, of cultural and poetic hybridity, resonate gorgeously through this book.” —ARTHUR SZE, Bakeless Prize Judge
Library Journal
Winner of the Bakeless Prize, this debut presents rich poetry that embraces the physical and the sensual in life. Ahmed's alert and filtering eye detects the most overlooked details and breathes a new life into them—"I thought you'd sail/ into that sea with/ me, into the water/ hanging at the horizon/ like a pale slice of slate"—and delivers a vivid sense of awakening to everyday circumstances of life—"My sandals gather dung in the fields—/ my heels caked with dirt, collecting/ wildness." Ahmed's subjects range from poverty to childhood memories, immigrants, motherhood, and family, all narrated in a smooth lyrical and emotionally restrained language. Places intimate to her, from Dhaka in Bangladesh to Ohio, stream through her lines as traces of broken anecdotes, repressed sorrows, and the stories of peopled passed by. VERDICT Concise, clear, and blessed with common speech, these poems at their best fulfill William Carlos Williams's precept "No idea but in things." Ahmed is a promising poet who restores a sense of vivacity and freshness to our everyday experiences.—Sadiq Alkoriji, South Regional Lib., Broward Cty., FL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555975890
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Publication date:
06/21/2011
Pages:
88
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Dilruba Ahmed's work has appeared in Cream City Review, New England Review, New Orleans Review, and other publications. She was born in Philadelphia and raised in Ohio, and holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College.

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