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Notes from the Birth Year by Mia Ayumi Malhotra is now Available!  Notes from the Birth Year won the 2021/2022 BOOM Chapbook Contest.  It. Is. So. So. So. Good.

 

Near the end of Notes from the Birth Year, Mia Ayumi Malhotra asks a question I cannot get out of my head: What is the difference between a ghost and an ancestor? In its exquisite record and retelling of the ways we behold the world and of the ways we share that beholding with others, Malhotra’s intimate and spellbinding poetry illuminates love as attention shared and attention transferred, while creating, in that illumination, space for the ghost and the ancestor to exist, in their differences, together—in the living, in the dying, and in the beholding.  —Brandon Shimoda

What strikes me as I read Mia Ayumi Malhotra’s poems is that they never start by saying, “this is what a poem is,” but always by asking, “what might a poem be?”. I prize this in her poetry, which encounters the world not to prescribe its being but in an attempt to describe that meeting. Newness, meet newness. Wonder, meet wonder. Horror, meet horror. Loss, meet loss. Confounding joy, meet confounding joy. When Malhotra writes that in flight she lose[s] all sense of where one body ends and the next begins, she is also naming the child’s first sense of relation and the poet’s (re)awakening to their entanglement in the net of being that is the world. Amid the endlessness of our earthly being-together—human, plant, animal, land, air; our ancestors and our children; the texts that precede and follow us—these poems make beauty in their asking and their going to find out.   —Éireann Lorsung

 

Publication Date: April 10, 2022.  Bateau will have Mia’s book at the AWP Conference Bookfair too. See youse in Philly. 

 

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