‘Tender, innovative and potent, with a razor sharp intelligence, these poems travel the world, and the heart, with fierce beauty. Dhaliwal is an important and vibrantly exciting new voice in poetry.’
— Rebecca Tamás
In The Yak Dilemma, Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal ventures out of the mountain ranges of Palampur and across vast distances of land and sea. From scenes playing out through Dublin windows to ruminating on wearing a Sadri in the West, these innovative mediations are as much about personal identity as they are a testament to the human spirit‘s drive to cross territory and forge a ‘map’ of our own. Kaur Dhaliwal’s map, if she has one, is without architecture or foundations; ‘Four walls don’t make a home or a house—it takes some doing’, she writes in Ghazal on Living in a Hotel in Downtown Cairo. She is part of a dynamic new generation of poets pushing the medium into exciting new areas by questioning the notion of ‘place’ and its effect on our bodies– including the human spirit and memory. Uprooted and unsettled, her lyrical voice generously outlines ‘home’ as something other than a physical place. The Yak Dilemma is a remarkable poetic journey, its words create new territories by carefully revealing the fragile spaces that fall in between.
‘This collection is a treat for the soul, taking readers on a journey across time and borders. Dhaliwal’s writing is evocative, thrilling, and magnificent.’
— Zeba Talkhani
‘Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal is an assured and musical poet. In The Yak Dilemma, the natural world turns through lyrics of brief encounter. Language, like a bird, alights and then departs, leaving behind an impression of change, held momentarily, and then set free. These are songs of belonging and of movement, of fluid identity, carefully crafted and always graceful. Like a global flâneuse, Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal writes poems that offer hope, ‘a daisy chain of ampersands / on no man’s land.’
— Seán Hewitt
‘A heartfelt, entertaining debut which sees the author explore Europe and the Middle East like an intrepid flâneuse, reminding us how the impulse to walk around our world’s cities allows the best poets to turn one’s private life into a constantly shifting terrain for exploration.’
— André Naffis-Sahely
‘This deeply satisfying collection is bathed in wit and colour, and skilfully interweaves personal, literary and socio-political events. Kaur Dhaliwal travels through time and space and the self; I wanted to go wherever she was heading.’
— Jen Calleja
‘The Yak Dilemma is beautiful, transportative and so deeply felt. Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal takes us on a powerful and tender poetic journey through liminal spaces and places, asking what it means to feel at home in the world and at home in your mind.’
– Lucia Osborne-Crowley
‘The Yak Dilemma charts a masterful fugue of exile, longing and belonging. Dhaliwal writes with a rich fluency of tongues, evoking pathos and pleasure in equal measure. Upending perception, these poems become a way of looking by which we start to see through our hands. A marvellous work.’
— Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe
Four Poems from The Yak Dilemma can be read on Hotel.
A review of The Yak Dilemma by Chris Edgoose can be read here.
Published with Makina Books, London on April 15th, 2021 in paperback with flapped covers and full-colour offset litho printed on Munken Lynx paper stock.