Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe’s spellbinding debut poetry collection explores love and the wounds it makes. Its first half is composed of five sections, corresponding to the five arrows of Kama, the Hindu God of Love, Desire and Memory. From ‘stunning’ and ‘paralysing’ to ‘killing’ and ‘destroying’, each arrow has its own effect on some body – a very real, contemporary body – and its particular journey of love.
The second is a long narrative poem, ‘A is for [Arabs]’, which follows a different kind of journey: a family of refugees who have fled to the West from conflict in an unspecified Middle Eastern country. With an extraordinary structure, yoking abecedarian and Fibonacci sequences, it is a skilful and intimate account of migration and exile, of home and belonging.