Radha Says, by Reetika Vazirani

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The inaugural title in Drunken Boat’s list of books, Radha Says, the final poems of Reetika Vazirani has been called a presence that elicits our gratitude…with dazzling erudition, sensuality, and despair by National Book Award winner Marilyn Hacker.

   “In this posthumously edited work we feel the wonder the poet felt
   in the face of language and we feel too the sorrow and the pity of
   her passing.”
Meena Alexander

A rising star, winner of the Barnard New Women Poets Prize, recipient of a “Discovery”/The Nation Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a Glenna Luschei/Prairie Schooner Award, and the companion of Pulitzer Prize winning author Yusef Komunyakaa, Reetika Vazirani was at the height of her literary prowess when she tragically ended her own life in 2003.

With the support of her estate and Komunyakaa’s blessing, the Indian-American poet’s final collection has been released by Drunken Boat.

Edited by Leslie McGrath and Ravi Shankar, Radha Says has been pieced together from the raw, unedited manuscripts found sealed in an envelope and addressed to her publisher after this brilliant poet’s untimely death. Starkly lyrical and radically inventive, using Hindu mythology as a springboard into an investigation of gender and culture, the powerful and controversial Radha Says is a crucial book from one of the most important Diasporic poets of our time.

Including reproduced handwritten pages from her manuscripts, a range of new and never before seen poems, and a foreword written by Kazim Ali.
86 pages. Limited Quantities.

The poems challenge the reader to follow where the anguished sensibility becomes greater than its life story—the gods and goddesses take over and embody, as   they do, psychological states—trauma and joy.
Huffington Post

Click here to read a poem from Radha Says.

These last poems by Reetika Vazirani, written before her death in 2003, are meditations on transience and impermeability. Her language is free; lyrical, playful, bittersweet at times, rich in scholarly references, and with an ability to soar and dive within mere syllables.
The Café Review