Author Tags: Poetry
Born in India, Proma Tagore immigrated to Canada when she was four years old, and lives in Vancouver, where she is active in anti-racist, feminist, queer and migrant justice organizing. Her first book of poetry, Language is Not the Only Thing That Breaks (Arsenal, 2011) explores colonization and imperialism, migration, globalization, capitalism and war.
The Shape of Silence: Writings by Women of Colour and the Politics of Testimony
Language Is Not the Only Thing That Breaks (Arsenal, 2011) 978-1-55152-399-6 $16.95
In Our Own Voices: Learning and Teaching Toward Decolonisation
Language Is Not the Only Thing That Breaks (Arsenal Pulp $14.95)
from Hannah Main–van der Kamp,
Talking up causes, a poet runs the risks of erasing poetry’s subtleties. At times, strong advocacy can result in some predictable lines.
Born in India, Proma Tagore is a political poet in the overt sense of the term. She immigrated to Canada when she was four years old and is now active in anti-racist, feminist, queer and migrant justice organizing.
In her first collection, Tagore explores takes on Big Subjects such as colonization, imperialism, globalization, capitalism and war, as well as the experience of immigration as a child (she was born in Kolkata), anti-racism, same gender loving and feminism. She almost succeeds to do so without sloganeering.
Language Is Not the Only Thing That Breaks is recommended for readers who dwell on “higher things” and have lost their engagement with what really is: the broken things.
From a poet whose first language is not English, a poet whose speech is “the hybridized tongue of immigrant children,” who breaks up the language when it cannot express the depths of grief, this is a notable first book of poems.
Best of all, Proma Tagore shows how a skilled poet can convey outrage without losing poignancy or tenderness.
“You are mistaken for the armour you’ve become but don’t know how to carry…”,
“… skin worn from keeping too much quiet”