What Is Not Beautiful, by Adeeba Shahid Talukder

What Is Not Beautiful, by Adeeba Shahid Talukder

Glass Poetry Press
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Poetry, chapbook, 40 pages, from Glass Poetry Press.

"The poems in this collection evoke the wonder and newness of a recent marriage, exploring the ways love both calms and troubles our deepest wounds. Weaving Urdu and English poetic traditions, Talukder recalls Agha Shahid Ali's intellectual grace, but there's an intimacy to these poems that is all her own. 'You / will never know / if you are beautiful,' Talukder cautions. Her poems balance on this knife's edge — at once deft and revelatory. Her voice is like nothing I've encountered before."

-Emily Moore, author of Shuffle

"In poems that weave the lyrical passions and strains of Urdu literary traditions with contemporary nerve and insight, What Is Not Beautiful by Adeeba Shahid Talukder presents a new and necessary voice. This collection invites the reader to follow meditations on family, self, womanhood, and culture rendered with the intimate urgency of the best lyric poetry. In the same way the speaker of one poem '[searches], again for beauty' only to find it 'means something / else now,' the readers of Talukder's poems will find the world around them cast in a new, vivid clarity."

-José Angel Araguz, author of Until We Are Level Again

Adeeba Talukder is a poet who knows in her bones that everything changes, that the transience of our experience in this world is what calls us to record its beauty, and that this transience itself must be named beautiful. Returning again and again to the intimacy of the mirror’s gaze, we are called to communion, to gaze with her into the dark that is ourselves. In doing so, we are given an immeasurable gift: with these poems in your grasp, you will never again be alone with your reflections. Both courageous and strikingly gentle, these poems are a potent tincture. Drink deep and you will be made strong.

— Katie Willingham, author of Unlikely Designs

Adeeba Shahid Talukder is a Pakistani American poet and translator. She translates Urdu and Persian poetry, and cannot help but bring elements from these worlds to her own work in English. Her first book Shahr-e-jaanaan: The City of the Beloved, forthcoming through Tupelo Press, is a winner of the Kundiman Prize. A Best of the Net finalist and a Pushcart nominee, Adeeba holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan and is a Poets House 2017 Emerging Poets Fellow.