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Newtness by Rahana K Ismail

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“What strikes me about these poems is the directness and sustained intimacy of their address to a fictional character – a reminder of how literary community can be no less real for being imaginary. These poems also ask questions that linger: questions about ‘how we came to this’, how we ‘cover up the skinness of our being’, and above all, ‘What now?’ I am curious to see the questions to which Rahana’s poetry leads her in the years ahead.”

— Arundhathi Subramaniam


“Rahana K. Ismail’s Newtness is an exercise in deep reading. A deep reading that does not confine itself to a mere consumption of a text, but finds its own distinct meaning in creation, which also ends up being a form of re-creation. There is a larger story of modernity, of literary texts crossing national borders, linguistic confinements, a larger story of one region transplanting itself into another. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say, in Ismail’s homage and recreation of Úrsula Iguarán, there is a seed of a kind of planetary consciousness – one that can interpret an Indian woman’s experiences of domesticity, family, and marriage into the everyday domestic materialities of a mythical Latin American-Colombian home.”

— Nandini Dhar


About the Author:

Rahana K. Ismail is a poet and doctor from Kozhikode, Kerala. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in Yearbook of Indian Poetry in English, Penn ReviewUsawa Literary ReviewPOSIT, Io Literary Journal (Refractions), Alchemy Spoon, Paradoxlitnether Quarterly, Contemporary Haibun Online, Farmer-ish, Poetic Sun, Chakkar, The Alipore Post, and Pine Cone Review, and elsewhere.
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