Reclamation Song9Soni Somarajan review’s Jhilmil Breckenridge’s Reclamation Song in Kitaab:

The 55 poems in Reclamation Song are anything but ‘let it be light, it should float’ kind that Jhilmil aspires to, because the personal tragedy and anguish – the crux anchoring this collection – is of an enormous scale. The verse may be light but the effect is anything but floating, the weight of angst becoming our own – threatening to undo the objectivity of a review. For a debut collection, it has everything going for it – including a glowing introduction by the Master himself, Keki Daruwalla, who terms it ‘solid poetry grounded in pain’. Also, add a cluster of luminous blurbs from the who’s who in the world of letters.

Read the complete review ‘Reclaiming the Power of the Feminine’ in Kitaab.org.

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Page Turner Pune Mirror 4 October 2018

Reclamation Song featured in ‘Page Turner’ section of Pune Mirror on 4 October 2018.

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Reclamation Song14Poornima Laxmeshwar interviews Jhilmil Breckenridge on Reclamation Song and more in Cafe Dissensus Everyday:

PL: Do you think that all your personal betrayals, hardships have sharpened your perspective and made you a better poet?

Jhilmil: In one word, yes! Pain transforms a person and some people just wilt or go under, but some shine. In my case, I used pain as sandpaper on my soul – perhaps a curiosity to see what was under all the layers of pain, betrayal, abandonment, emotional and physical. But I would not wish these personal betrayals and hardships on anyone else just to become a better poet. There must be easier ways! And in my own case also, I sometimes yearn to be weak, to be looked after, but then laugh it off because I do not have an option but to be the way I am.

Read the full interview A conversation with poet and activist, Jhilmil Breckenridge in Cafe Dissensus Everyday.

Mirai5Afifa Kauser reviews Namrata Pathak’s That’s How Mirai Eats a Pomegranate in The Thumb Print – A magazine from the East:

Every time you read the book, not only you unearth new shades and hues, but each poem conjures up a chunk of emotion, sharp and familiar. It is a dream packed in a few lines; the rhymes and metaphors, often unusual, twine grace with raw, earthy beauty. The poetry collection covers a range of topics, such as the dismay and desolation of a young wife in the ‘fish woman,’ the monotony of a professor and the day to day ‘mundane routine’ that binds her, the aches of loneliness of a lover whose beloved is no more, the disrupted ties between a mother and a daughter, reconstruction of writers like Celan, Marquez and Robin Ngangom and the eventual erasure of the boundary between life and art, to mention a few.

Read the complete interview in The Thumb Print.

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Find Me Leonard Cohen (6)Preeja Aravind in The Free Press Journal
Ranjan, like Cohen, is a writer-poet: A master of literary wordplay. Like Cohen’s poems and songs, there is a deeper meaning and feeling in each of Ranjan’s poems. You will love some, you will scratch your head about some other. And yet, there is indescribable emotion — that you missed something, that there is a story behind the poem, within the poem. Most of Ranjan’s creations evoke this, and still, there is a wry humour that holds some other hidden meaning altogether. Any ’90s child would see that in the backward classification in the Index: Name, Place, Animal, Thing; with a very Cohenesque extra ‘Remembering’.

Read the complete review in The Free Press Journal.

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Find Me Leonard Cohen (3)Shelly Bhoil in The Wire
Ranjan’s poems are layered with the possibility of infinite identities (as against the contemporary ideological pitfall of identity labelling with either an anti-this/that or a trans-everything), reinforced by the recurrent image of the hat in the book. The poems, however, gravitate around one axial point – the muse after whom the book is titled Find Me Leonard Cohen, I’m Almost Thirty. That Leonard Cohen, like Ranjan’s poems, would sport caps – fedoras or gavroche – is not a mere coincidence.

Read the complete review The Possibility of Infinite Identities in The Wire.