None of this is the city. All of it is you.
So writes Siddhartha Bose in his new book of experimental poetry – Digital Monsoon. In this follow-up to the acclaimed debut Kalagora, Bose proposes the poet as a twenty-first century beatnik, a ravenous language machine eating up the margins of the city.
Dreams trigger extraordinary visions of an apocalyptic London populated by technologised bodies; beat-boxers and graffiti writers as urban oracles; the ghosts of a multicultural city moving through banks and brothels, kebab shops and squat parties. Dispatches from the post-industrial landscapes of the North, and from the poet’s hometowns of Mumbai and Kolkata, complete this raw and uncompromisingly modern collection of poems and texts. Composed in Bose’s trademark rhythmical, open field style, Digital Monsoon celebrates the dynamism of the urban edgeland in an updated Jazz Age poetic.
‘Poems with the sprung dazzle of jazz. Siddhartha Bose makes it new.’
Jeet Thayil, author of Narcopolis
(shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize)
‘This new poetry collection plunges into the scuzzy, frothy, beautiful underbelly of London. Forget odes upon Westminster Bridge, Siddhartha Bose is all about Hackney Wick, getting under its skin and the people who live there (including himself) … But what we most love about this collection is how the imagery explodes dirtily in your mind. You may never look at cities the same way again.’
‘prophetic, brave and experimental [...] Monsoon seems to lift, quite literally, like water from the page [...] powerfully unsettling, and extremely challenging.’
‘I read through Digital Monsoon in one sitting one evening last week and it made me completely giddy with delight. So brilliantly bizarre and playful.’
‘Rampantly active and radioactive poetry … Kalagora is a vital book of poems for the 21st century’
‘One of the most exciting first collections I’ve come across in a long time’
Ian MacMillan, BBC Radio 3
‘Bose’s use of language – invented words, nouns made into verbs and other colourful concoctions – produces a writhing, seething, pulsating poetry’
Poetry Book Society Bulletin
‘A collection that is always dramatic, always in tune with the sensational possibilities of language ‘
Cover design by William Daw
Published 5 November 2013
Poems with the sprung dazzle of jazz
Siddhartha Bose is a poet, playwright and performer based in London. His poetry has appeared in Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century (Bloodaxe, 2009), Dear World and Everyone in It: New Poetry in the UK (Bloodaxe, 2013) and The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (HarperCollins, 2012). His first book, Kalagora, appeared in 2010 from Penned in the Margins. Siddhartha has been featured on BBC Four, BBC Radio 3 and was dubbed one of the ‘ten rising stars of British poetry’ by The Times. Siddhartha wrote and performed Kalagora, which completed an acclaimed run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011. His second show, London’s Perverted Children, was longlisted for an Oxford Samuel Becket Theatre Trust Award. He is a Leverhulme Fellow in Drama at Queen Mary, University of London.