This book of poems explores the questions of identity and race, and what it means to be in exile in your own country. Ms. Laskar writes of the politics of race and gender and not belonging in both the Deep South of the United States where she was born and raised, and in India, where she spent many summers as a child and adolescent visiting her extended family.
Ms. Laskar's poetry explores dislocation. The title poem plays with the idea of turning back time or catching a glimpse of the future - but the narrator wakes to find that all the best plans are in fate's hands. She writes of the underbellies of fairytales and myths - and how, sometimes, change and wisdom follow great personal upheaval.
Praise for Gas & Food, No Lodging:
Here are poems burnished by unquiet rage, fragments of subtle humor drenched in irony and sorrow. Here are lyrical forms gleaming with wry intelligence and a fierce originality.
Here is a collection poised to snap you out of your daydreams and into an alert wonder about this strange, familiar world.
–Elizabeth Rosner, author of "Survivor Cafe," “Electric City” & “Gravity.”
Praise for Anastasia Maps:
In Anastasia Maps: Poems, Devi S. Laskar “[journeys]/ here with seed-bags of wildflowers” as she writes in a voice rooted in ancient lyric tradition. The speaker of these poems “walks backwards//toward [her] stellar beginnings”—the time where the mythological and the contemporary join one chorus. The steady form and articulation of her lines cycle from the land of Olympic myth to the corner of “Willow and Banks,” transforming each landscape with the poem-as-axis-mundi. In these poems an apple bears the discursive weight imbued with the Judeo-Christian creation story, Hades and Persephone, and Natalie Diaz’s poetry. Laskar’s each poem grows a bough that leads to realization, each realization bears fruit that startles with its starlight. Each incisive poem sacralizes the world of the mundane with contemporary parables as the poet crouches “close to the earth, humming its most ancient/ song.”
–Rajiv Mohabir, author of poetry collections The Cowherd’s Son and The Taxidermist’s Cut
Additional praise by Molly Fisk.