A prominent poet brings the experience of the world to her struggles to find her place in America, and explores what the many cultures in this country mean for poets practicing their craft
Poetics of Dislocation sets the work of contemporary American poetry within the streams of migration that have made the nation what it is in the twenty-first century. There are few poets better qualified to muse on that context than Meena Alexander, who spent her life studying at prestigious institutions around the globe before settling in the United States to work on her acclaimed body of poetry.
Part of the University of Michigan Press's award-winning Poets on Poetry series, Poetics of Dislocation studies not only the personal creative process Alexander uses, but also the work of other prominent writers. Alexander discusses what it means to come to America as an adult to write poetry, and her place---and that of others---in the collection of cultures that makes up this country. She outlines the dilemmas that face modern immigrant poets, including how to make a place for oneself in a new society and how to write poetry in a time of violence worldwide.
Meena Alexander was born in Allahabad, India and grew up there and in the Sudan. At the age of eighteen she traveled to England to study, returning afterward to India. She lives and works in New York City, where she is Distinguished Professor of English at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her six volumes of poetry include Illiterate Heart, which won the PEN Open Book Award; Raw Silk; and Quickly Changing River. Her autobiography, Fault Lines, chosen as one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 1993, appears in an expanded post 9/11 edition. She is the editor of Indian Love Poems and author of two novels, two academic studies and a book of poems, and essays entitled The Shock of Arrival: Reflections on Postcolonial Experience. She is the recipient of Guggenheim, Fulbright, Rockefeller, NEH, Arts Council of England, and other fellowships.