Published 5 November 2013
£8.99, 80 pages, ISBN 978-1908058164
A Scottish Poetry Library Recommendation 2013
One of Sudeep Sen’s ’11 books of poetry to read’ in 2015
Buy from Penned in the Margins
‘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) … It’s multi-ethnic, perfectly diverse London, with the second half upping the ante into the future with cyborgs and dystopia and general Bladerunner nightmares. 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’
‘ [Bose’s] skill shines through in his use of language as a razored whip; bending words and actions to his whim as he herds the reader into the dank and dreamy underworld of his London’s twenty-first century streets […] Within its short number of pages, Digital Monsoon explores themes of multiculturalism, the power of dreams, the ravages of war and the societal slide into poverty and drugs. Through these thematic influences Bose succeeds in writing his own modern day mythology of London, borrowing from the stories of old and fusing them with the new techniques and stanzas of the street into a collection of works that take the reader on a breathless thrill-ride, best consumed in a single pulse-lifting sitting.’
‘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.’
Will Barrett, The Poetry School, London