Tishani Doshi (b. 1975, Chennai, India) found her poetic feet while training as a dancer aged twenty six. ‘I learned about breath, stamina, flexion, time, rhythm, control, discipline’, she writes, ‘and I also received the subject that would be the centerpiece of all my explorations: the body’. She has pursued this subject through four full collections, beginning in 2006 with the appropriately titled Countries of the Body, winner of the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.
A God at the Door continues this focus on embodiment: poems take on the shapes of their subjects, a fir tree, a pair of speedos, an ambiguous ‘bird or flower’, while in poems like ‘Why the Brazilian Butt Lift Won’t Save Us’, Doshi interrogates beauty norms with caustic, irreverent humour. She lives in a coastal village in Tamil Nadu, where the name of her beachside house, Ar Lan y Môr (‘Beside the Sea’), provides a physical expression of her Welsh-Gujarati heritage.
Forward Prizes History: