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States of the Body Produced by Love Reviews

States of the Body Produced by Love by Nisha Ramayya

States of the Body Produced by Love

Nisha Ramayya

Score pending

2 reviews

Category: Poetry, Non-fiction
Imprint: Ignota Books
Publisher: Ignota Books
Publication date: 30 Sep 2019
ISBN: 9781999675943

Desire, eroticism, and care contain the possibilities of shame, fury, and destruction. Moving towards and away from love, being translated and transformed by love, suffering under love and refusing its power - the poems in this book never leave love's hold.

3 stars out of 5
20 Jan 2020

" It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end to read a poet engaging so directly with how her language came to be hers"

She highlights the violence of the language, its use as a colonial weapon. Of course, all language can be made violent and Ramayya muses on Hindu nationalism’s appropriation of the lexicon she has studied so lovingly: “Sanskrit is weaponised; its am. -s and ah. -s that sounded to me like a chorus of laughter, a string of pearls … turn to bile and blood in my mouth.” Nevertheless, English is the language Ramayya lives and works in. By using it to write anti-imperial poetry, she has turned it against itself. To paraphrase Adrienne Rich, Ramayya cannot refuse English, the language forced upon her family by invasion and migration, but she can re-fuse it.


4 stars out of 5
18 Dec 2019

"Nisha Ramayya’s first book is a welcome affirmation of the feminist power to be found in Hinduism."

In her commitment to investigating love, Ramayya finds a lyrical but controlled form that can critique the most painful subjects and remain hopeful. Using South Asian feminist mythology as a language and a system of knowledge, she describes the Mahavidyas as “words, actions, meanings, and the supreme stage of language that transcends words, actions, meanings… They speak me into being.” The resulting voice is fierce, inspiring and sublime.