The poems on this captivating collection weave beauty with violence, the personal with the historic as they recount the harrowing experiences of the two hundred thousand female sufferers of rape and torture by the hands of the Pakistani army all over the 1971 Liberation War. As the child of Bangladeshi immigrants, the poet in turn explores her own losses, in addition to the complexities of bearing witness to the atrocities these war heroines endured.
Throughout the volume, the narrator endeavors to bridge generational and cultural gaps at the same time as the sufferers recount the horror of grief and personal loss. As we read, we discover the profound yet fragile seam that unites the fields, rivers, and prisons of the 1971 war with the poet’s brand new-day hotel, or the tragic death of a loved one with the holocaust of a nation.
Moving from West Texas to Dubai, from Virginia to remote villages in Bangladesh and back again, the narrator calls at the legacies of Willa Cather, César Vallejo, Tomas Tranströmer, and Paul Celan to offer voice to the voiceless. Fierce yet loving, devastating and magical without delay, Seam is a testament to the lingering potency of memory and the bravery of a nation’s sufferers.
Winner, Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, 2014
Winner, Binghamton University Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award, 2015
Winner, Drake University Emerging Writers Award, 2015