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The Lives of Coat Hangers

Friday, 1 November 2013 4:16pm

Sudesh Mishra

Mishra Lives of Coathangers cover imageThe book

In Sudesh Mishra’s new collection the opening poem, ‘The Capacious Muse’, acts as a manifesto or declaration of intent. It’s a sequence of aphoristic sentences that begins: ‘The muse will not proscribe.’ In other words, this poet will not rule anything out as the fit subject for a poem.

Sudesh Mishra is a philosophical poet, one preoccupied not only with how meaning is made, but with how meaning is manifested in the modern world. His poetry is rich in the truths revealed by humble, humdrum objects, as in the title poem, ‘The Lives of Coat Hangers’:

       They wait for a latch to raise an eyebrow,
       For a shadow to step in from the light.

       They long to be held in the arms of a coat ...

Subtle, witty, linguistically adept and internationally well travelled, Sudesh Mishra is a poet whose range of reference traverses global culture. An ambitious and accomplished writer, one able to brilliantly reinvent language, myth and metaphor, his fifth collection confirms him as a major poetic voice in the South Pacific.

... a poet with imagination to burn
        – Murray Bramwell, Adelaide Review

Mishra’s development as a poet shows in the restrained, formal, technical brilliance of the poems
        – Briar Wood, The Contemporary Pacific

The author

SUDESH MISHRA was born in Fiji and is the author of four books of poetry, including Diaspora and the Difficult Art of Dying (OUP, 2002). His poems have also been much anthologised. Sudesh has taught at universities in Fiji, Australia and Scotland. He is currently head of the School of Language, Arts and Media at the University of the South Pacific in Suva.

Publication details

Paperback, 150 x 235 mm, 144 pages, ISBN 978 1 927322 37 6, $25
2015