About the Author, Kawita Kandpal
Kawita Kandpal's poems have appeared in such journals as TriQuarterly and Puerto del Sol. She is a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at Bowling Green State University and lives presently in Detroit.
Kawita Kandpal's Folding a River is an exploration of East-West cultures. In it, Kandpal's lingual and cartographic explorations of these cultural landscapes takes her into an emo-mythic place not to be found on any map.
“This is a volume of memory and desire, landscape and water, and again water. Loss is redeemed by the sensuous beauty of Kandpal's language, and the precision of her insights into ‘the darker currents.’ You will believe her when she names them ‘holy.’” – Alicia Ostriker, author of No Heaven
“In her debut collection, Folding a River, Kawita Kandpal traces the shoreline of memory. Birds lift in and from these poems as all our margins of error are measured and re-measured. ‘I praise what endures,’ one poem tells us, and here eden is remembered and re-imagined in all its bittersweetness. Haunted by other landscapes and other languages, Kandpal has written a new narrative of exile, a wish made from the sound of willows and the sound of hooves, a hum of longing, the song the bones sing: ‘tra la la to the flesh, tra la la…’” – Mary Ann Samyn, author of Purr
“The elegantly muscular poems in Kawita Kandpal’s Folding a River are aware of themselves as artifacts with an aesthetic but are also, always, aware, intensely, of this world. These are poems that can rearrange ‘constellations, / spelling daughter in an evening sky,’ and delve deeply enough to find the ‘continents submerged / in centuries of desire.’ Folding a River illuminates the fact that grace is not the absence of longing but the form of longing that’s never absent. In Kawita Kandpal’s poems, that longing illuminates a sensual and sensuous world.” – George Looney, author of The Precarious Rhetoric of Angels
“Folding a River, a collection of elegies, shows a pleasing range of free-verse forms that develop themes sustained throughout: loss, exile, myth, landscape. Kandpal’s mood is melancholy,articulated with intelligence and grace; her phrasing can rise to the level of proverb: ‘This time next year you will have evolved into an idea.’ In its personal evocations of geographical and linguistic exile from the subcontinent, centered on a lost father, her work recalls that of Li-Young Lee, yet with a feminine perspective often haunting in its own right: ‘tenderly / taking back the mistakes of men.’ A graceful, deeply meditative debut.” – Sharona Muir, author of The Book of Telling
“Place Kawita Kandpal’s poems under your tongue and let them release the origamic blue of a folded river, the echoes of exile, the spaces in one language that can be filled with the heaviness of another. Each poem in this book is a ceremony, each word calls forth a home land. She names the language of silence and helps us take comfort in those absences waiting to be filled. Her book becomes a necessary part of the reader.” – Kathleene West, Poetry Editor, Puerto del Sol