Postcards from the New World, chapbook, April 2018, Paper Nautilus Press, (Debut Series Prize winner). I'm doubly excited because Aaliyah Gupta's fabulous art is on the cover! The chapbook launch reading at Hugo House was fantastic, thanks to Gabrielle Bates, Troy Osaki, and Dujie Tahat! Pictures here. Video below under Watch/Listen. Order the chapbook here.
These poems are wholly original and loaded with compassion, intellect, and lyric interrogation. Shankar Narayan’s Postcards from the New World explores proximity, intimacy, identity, violence, and diaspora with a knowing, prophetic allure. I love these poems for their epistemological underpinnings and their graceful invention. Gorgeous surprises fuel this wonderful debut. Fiercely talented and equally humane, Narayan is one of my favorite new poets.
—Lee Herrick, Fresno Poet Laureate Emeritus, 2015-17
This series of thirty-one poems meditates on connection and dissolution, construction and deconstruction, selves and societies. In a violent historical moment, when rupture and brokenness (the breaking of bodies and the breaking of the word) are so evident, the speaker in these poems announces a belief that there is (there has to be) some good, some optimism, some light from a new sun if "Entanglement is a whole country." In an eerie echo of Whitman, Narayan writes that "Entanglement means /what happens to you happens / to me," not just as cosmic fact but as an ethical binding of various selves—the constructed energies of the speaker (abused by the world, consumed by idealism), the inherited and problematic threads of the world around the speaker (distant traditions as tethers to a faraway land, the violent and virulent racism of the America right at hand). In a song driven by words from our moment, Narayan has given us a compelling series of poems that will be worthy of rereading in the coming years.
—Tod Marshall, Washington State Poet Laureate, 2016-18
To CEO@Ancestry.com, Crab Creek Review, Vol. 1, Spring 2017 (Pushcart Prize nominated)
Duwamish, Crab Creek Review, Vol. 1, Spring 2017
Immigrant Life in Bohemia, Raven Chronicles Vol. 24 (Home), Winter 2017
X, Raven Chronicles Vol. 19 (Race -- Under Our Skin), Winter 2014 (Pushcart Prize nominated)
Police Department Demonstrates New Drone, to Help Allay Concerns, Mochila Review, Vol. 15, 2013
How To Run Above the Cliffs, Washington 129: Poems Selected by Tod Marshall, State Poet Laureate
This Is Not a Translation, Poets Unite! The LitFuse @10 Anthology
The Moment I Realize Living in Seattle is Killing Me, Poets Unite! The LitFuse@10 Anthology
Reading at Hugo House's chapbook launch event for Postcards from the New World, April 25, 2018: