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Mona Arshi’s debut collection, 'Small Hands', introduces a brilliant and compelling new voice. At the centre of the book is the slow detonation of grief after her brother’s death but her work focuses on the whole variety of human experience: pleasure, hardship, tradition, energised by language which is in turn both tender and risky. Often startling as well as lyrical, Arsh ...more
Paperback, 56 pages
Published 2015 by Liverpool University Press
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Mona Arshi's Small Hands was the winner of the 2015 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection, and it is first rate in every sense of the word. Small Hands contains a ample variety of poems, the best of which are the witty love poems (like "Practicing Your Skills," "What Every Girl Should Know Before Marriage," and "Bad Day at the Office," which are grouped in the front of the collection) and the sequence of poems dedicated to her brother's death (which form the heart of the collection). Ther ...more
Mona Arshi's first collection is stunning. Her ability to evoke the absolute depth of heartbreak or joy with one image or a few lines is rare to find and reads like a reawakening of language. Her writing has the ability to make each of us human again, reminding us why participating in life is so important, even if it's often painful. Her work asks her readers to be human first, and then something more.
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