New Book: “Skin Can Hold”


Skin Can Hold (Carcanet Press, 2019) is the latest book by Vahni Capildeo.

Description: Vahni Capildeo, author of Measures of Expatriation (Forward Prize, 2016), returns with a third Carcanet volume, Skin Can Hold. The collection marks an adventurous departure for a pen-and-paper poet. These texts are the fruit of collaborative experiments in theatre, dance and other performance, drawing on burlesque and mime as well as Capildeo’s fascination with Caribbean masquerade. The poems are astir with voices and bodies usually kept ‘between the lines’ of poetry: a weeping poltergeist disrupting the decorum of a lyric; polyglot workmen along an ivory-tower city road. Novels are turned inside out to become dramas of sleaze and surveillance.

Vahni Capildeo is a Trinidadian Scottish writer inspired by other voices, ranging from live Caribbean connections and an Indian diaspora background to the landscapes where Capildeo travels and lives. Following a DPhil in Old Norse literature, Capildeo has worked in academia; in culture for development, with Commonwealth Writers; and as an Oxford English Dictionary lexicographer. Skin Can Hold reflects on experiments with masquerade and embodiment undertaken during Capildeo’s Judith E. Wilson Poetry Fellowship and Harper-Wood Studentship at Cambridge, and completed thanks to a Douglas Caster Cultural Fellowship at the University of Leeds.

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[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.]bv

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