Tishani Doshi is an award-winning poet and dancer of Welsh-Gujarati descent. She was born in Madras, India, in 1975. She received her masters in writing from the Johns Hopkins University in America and worked in London in advertising before returning to India in 2001 to work with the choreographer Chandralekha, with whom she performed on many international stages. An avid traveller, she has been trekking in the Ethiopian Bale Mountains, visited Antarctica with a group of high-school students, and documented the largest transvestite gathering in Koovakam. She has written about her travels in newspapers such as the Guardian, International Herald Tribune, The Hindu and the Financial Times. She won an Eric Gregory Award for her poetry in 2001. In 2006, she won the All-India Poetry Competition, and her debut collection, Countries of the Body (Aark Arts), won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Her first novel, The Pleasure Seekers (Bloomsbury, 2010), was longlisted for the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Hindu Fiction Award, and has been translated into several languages. Her second poetry collection, Everything Begins Elsewhere, was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2012. Fountainville: new stories from the Mabinogion was published by Seren in 2013. Her third collection, Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods (Bloodaxe Books, 2018), is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry 2018. Her second novel, Small Days and Nights, was published by Bloomsbury in 2019. Tishani Doshi currently lives on a beach between two fishing villages in Tamil Nadu with her husband and three dogs, and sometimes moonlights as a dancer.
The poet revels in a love of language; its capacity for ambiguity,
for awe, to express emotional fragility. Sometimes playful and
ambivalent, this is an invariably profound and excavating
experience in its search for meaning. -- Linton Kwesi Johnson,
Canon Mark Oakley and Clare Shaw * Judges of the Ted Hughes Award
Tishani Doshi's third collection, Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods, chillingly conjures an uprising of dead women who refuse to be silent victims of male violence... Elsewhere, there are frank and moving poems about the experience of ageing and pressures on women to reproduce, as well as a playful imagined meeting with a young Elizabeth Bishop in Madras and an ode to Patrick Swayze. -- Sandeep Parmar * The Guardian (Poetry Books of the Year 2018) *
I've already read Tishani Doshi's poetry collection Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods but I know I'll return to it many times. One of the poems talks about poets `holding the throat of life/ till all the sunsets and lies are choked out/ till only the bones of truth remain' - that's precisely what Doshi does in this intelligent, elegant, unflinching collection. It's very much a collection for this moment in history, but one that will endure long past it. -- Kamila Shamsie * The Guardian (Best Summer Books 2018) *