Whale Aria

Product Details
$17.95  $16.69
Four Way Books
Publish Date
5.98 X 8.9 X 0.32 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author
Rajiv Mohabir is the author of The Taxidermist's Cut, The Cowherd's Son, and Cutlish, which was awarded the Eric Hoffer Medal Provocateur, second place in the 2022 Guyana Prize for Literature, was longlisted for the 2022 PEN/Voelcker Prize, and was a finalist for both the New England Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His memoir, Antiman: A Hybrid Memoir won the Forward Indies Award for LGBTQ+ Nonfiction and was a finalist for the 2022 PEN/America Open Book Award, 2021 Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction, and 2021 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Memoir/Biography. As a translator, his version of I Even Regret Night: Holi Songs of Demerara, won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets in 2020. In 2022, he was awarded a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of Colorado Boulder.
"Rajiv Mohabir is one of the most brilliant poets writing today. In Whale Aria, he plunges us into the crosscurrents of ecological, documentary, queer, postcolonial, and diasporic poetics. Throughout, Mohabir translates the structure of whale songs into multilingual lyricism and irregular forms. These vocalizations (and invocations) sing across the depth of every page and ping against the shores of our attunement. If you listen deeply to these aquatic songs, you will hear, as whales do, how the ghostly echoes of our more-than-human kin 'pierce the dark / fathoms' and reveal 'the miracle: // what was once lost / now leaps before you.'"

--Craig Santos Perez
"Whale songs are classified into dynamic clicks, whistles, and pulsed calls -- and just like these majestic giants, this book also carries desire and loneliness, twinned across these pages in bright and sagacious paths. You will revel at how Mohabir develops wholly new poetic forms from this iridescent ocean language. This book is simply a revelation."

--Aimee Nezhukumatathil

"Rajiv Mohabir's poems make me want to sing. Out loud. And loudly, while naked, swimming in wide nocturnal waters. The music of this work fills the body, the mind, the history-wracked heart. Whale Aria reminds me that song is animal, is queer, is oceanic, is elemental sustenance full of salt, sorrow, memory, tides, semen, dream. These poems dart and dive; they live in radical leaps of lyric imagination as well as in the narrative heft of love ballads. Against the intertwined forces of capitalism, ecological destruction, and colonialism, this book inhales a deep desire for aliveness and exhales a vast humming wave."

--Chen Chen