April 4, 2023
8.25 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
.7 Pounds (US)
$26.00 USD, £19.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
April 4, 2023
8.25 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
.4 Pounds (US)
$15.95 USD, £11.95 GBP
v2.1 Reference


Set in an age of ecological catastrophe, Icelight eloquently accepts transience yet asserts the robustness of hope

Icelight, Ranjit Hoskote's eighth collection of poems, enacts the experience of standing at the edge—of a life, a landscape, a world assuming new contours or going up in flames. Yet, the protagonists of these poems also stand at the edge of epiphany. In the title poem, we meet the Neolithic cave-dweller who, dazzled by a shapeshifting nature, crafts the first icon. The 'I' of these poems is not a sovereign 'I'. A questing, questioning voice, it locates itself in the web of life, in relation to the cosmos. In 'Tacet', the speaker asks: "What if I had/ no skin/ Of what/ am I the barometer?" Long committed to the Japanese mono no aware aesthetic, Hoskote embraces talismans, premonitions, fossils: active residues from the previous lives of people and places. Icelight is a book about transitions and departures, eloquent in its acceptance of transience in the face of mortality.


Rumours of wind, banners of cloud.
The low earth shakes but the storm
has not arrived. You pack

for the journey, look up, look through
the doors at trees shedding their leaves
too soon, a track on which silk shoes
would be wasted, a moon

still dangling above a boat.
Wearing your salt mask, you face
the mulberry shadows.
The valley into which
you're rappelling

is you.

About the Author

RANJIT HOSKOTE (Bombay, India) is a poet, cultural theorist, and curator. This year he was honored with the 7th Mahakavi Kanhaiyalal Sethia Poetry Award by the Jaipur Literature Festival. His seven collections of poetry include Vanishing Acts: New & Selected Poems, Central Time, Jonahwhale (published by Arc in the UK as The Atlas of Lost Beliefs, which won a Poetry Book Society Summer Recommendation in 2020 and, most recently, Hunchprose. His poems have been translated into German, Hindi, Bengali, Irish Gaelic, Marathi, Swedish, Spanish, and Arabic.


"Because Ranjit Hoskote lives a double life as art critic and poet, we might expect him to be drawn to art history and ekphrasis. But in fact, almost all the poems in Icelight are concerned with shifts in perspective that function not merely as aesthetic tropes, but as a philosophical insistence on the simultaneity of different viewpoints, of cultural differences, and of those multiplicities that compose any self—what Hoskote calls 'the prism of this moment.' His poems derive their thrilling energy from the way Hoskote toggles between precise description and conceptual reflection, modulations that charge these poems with muscular tension."—Forrest Gander, author of Be With

"At the heart of this utterly beautiful, resonant, and moving collection is a profound sense of South Asia's role in world history, and the title poem's image of an Ice Age artist. The beginning of human attention to animal, nature and the earth, but also the beginning of what human does to earth, 'maimed and gloried' through art."—Ruth Padel, author of Beethoven Variations
Wesleyan University Press
Wesleyan Poetry Series

9780819500533 : icelight-hoskote
April 4, 2023
$26.00 USD
9780819500557 : icelight-hoskote
Paperback / softback
April 4, 2023
$15.95 USD

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