Kundiman, in partnership with the Tupelo Press, has chosen Adeeba Shahid Talukder's manuscript, Shahr-e- jaanaan: The City of The Beloved, as our 2017 Kundiman Poetry Prize Winner!
Her manuscript will be published by Tupelo Press in late 2018 or early 2019. Tupelo Associate Editor-in-Chief Kristina Marie Darling expressed that "the language is simple and understated, and the voice is undoubtedly consistent, yet this collection creates such a dynamic narrative arc as it unfolds. I couldn’t put the book down, and as I read, I was compelled not only by the careful orchestration of story, but also the ways beauty and urgency, lyricism and violence are brought into conversation. In her subtle yet commanding debut, Adeeba Shahid Talukder’s poems become a ledger of transformation. Here we trace the narrator’s careful path through seemingly incommensurable mythologies—of self, family, artistic legacy, and womanhood. What’s more, we are invited to glimpse the 'mirror' as it illuminates before her eyes. 'When in the dark / my mind brightened,' Talukder writes, 'I realized I could no longer / wait be beautiful.' Yet the beauty of these poems arises from their complexity, the infinite ways they bring together lyricism and urgency, femininity and violence, adornment and danger. 'In this intricacy is power,' Talukder explains. This is a first book you will not soon forget."
We would also like to congratulate our brilliant finalists: Dilruba Ahmed, Krupa Harishankar, Jennifer Hayashida, Kien Lam, Laurel Nakanishi, Purvi Shah, Leah Silvieus, Sophia Terazawa, and Jane Wong!
Congratulations to Adeeba and all of the finalists, and many thanks to everyone who submitted and gave us a chance to read their work!
ADEEBA SHAHID TALUKDER is a Pakistani American poet and translator. She translates Urdu and Persian poetry, and cannot help but bring elements from these worlds to her own work in English. A Best of the Net finalist and a Pushcart nominee, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Glass, Drunken Boat, Solstice, Washington Square Review, and PBS Frontline among other publications. Adeeba holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan, and is currently a 2017 Emerging Poets Fellow at Poets House. She is the author of the chapbook 'What Is Not Beautiful,' forthcoming through Glass Poetry Press.