Thursday, 7 February 2008

Bloodaxe & the Indian Takeaway

Bloodaxe Books celebrates its 30th birthday this year. A colourful catalogue landed with a plop on P-i-R's doormat today. Prominently featured in the new list is the 368page 'Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poetry' (hardly an imaginative title - but will suffice) edited by Jeet Thayil; a selection that 'covers 55 years of Indian poetry in English'.
It's described as 'a goundbreaking...anthology'. Thayil's 'starting point is Nissim Ezekiel'. He then 'pays hommage to major influences including ... Arun Kolatkar' and 'rediscovers forgotten figures such as Lawrence Bantelman...' before he gives us the Indian 'poets of the future'. Strange that Tagore (see recent P-i-R feature on this poet) seems not to be in here, but editor Thayil will doubtless say that he had to draw the line somewhere.
At 15 GBP (incl.p&p) the price is on the top side of P-i-R's poetic budget these days. A tenner is a bit of a psychological barrier when it comes to buying these things. P-i-R is therefore a banana-box rooter and a small press and public library afficionado.
A catalogue note in microscopic print informs the observant reader that the book is also being published in India (Penguin India). May be cheaper. Must contact R K Singh!


  1. I know Jeet Thayil is a contemporary Indian English poet but he doesn't seem to recognise that R.K.Singh also exists! I have no idea about his new very expensive book that hardly any poet will care to buy. Nor do I hope to read anything new in it!!
    R K

  2. On Poet-in-Residence not only do we "we recognise that R.K.Singh exists" but we hold him in high esteem!


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