Shortlisted for the 2021 Forward Prize for Best Collection
An exquisite collection from a poet at the peak of her powers, A God at the Door spans time and space, drawing on the extraordinary minutiae of nature and humanity to elevate the marginalised. These poems, taken together, traverse history, from the cosmic to the everyday. There is a playful spikiness to be found in poems like 'Why the Brazilian Butt Lift Won’t Save Us', while others, such as 'I Found a Village and in it Were All Our Missing Women', are fed by rage. As the collection unfolds, there are gem-like poems such as 'I Carry My Uterus in a Small Suitcase' which sparkles on the page with impeccable precision. Later, there are the sharp shocks delivered by two mirrored poems set side by side, 'Microeconomics' and 'Macroeconomics'.
Tishani Doshi's poetry deploys beauty to heal trauma, enabling the voices of the oppressed to be heard with piercing clarity. From flightless birds and witches, to black holes and Marilyn Monroe, A God at the Door illuminates with lines and images that surprise, inflame and dazzle.
'The poems of Tishani Doshi’s A God at the Door operate on the grand scale, reaching for visionary responses to their often troubling subjects. They etch articulate outrage deftly on to ecological backdrops... everywhere these poems are caustic and comic in turn, “unbelted, unbuttoned”, shimmering and bright. Though “hope is a booby trap” in the war-ravaged landscapes, it is nevertheless offered up and renewed throughout this stunning and ambitious collection.' - Aingeal Clare, The Guardian
‘Elegantly weaving together the intimate and the cosmic, it’s as overwhelming and disorientating as the year of ‘infectious’ panic and uncertain boundaries that it describes. It [‘Mandala’] is the opening poem in Doshi’s fine fourth collection A God at the Door.’ – Tristram Fane Saunders, Poem of the Week, The Telegraph
‘As its title suggests, Doshi’s fourth collection explores human and divine worlds with characteristic grace, style and wit... Doshi’s style is characterised by a tremendous fluidity and vitality. Her eloquent writing demonstrates an astonishing range of free verse suffused with both playfulness and fury… A powerful and timely collection from an accomplished poet who effortlessly traverses history, space and time to reflect on ‘the difficulty of reconciliation’ (‘Hope is the thing’) in these coronapocalyptic times.’ – Jennifer Lee Tsai, Mslexia, on A God at the Door
'Doshi’s poems confront a range of oppressive regimes and political leaders, speaking out with fluent oratory in defence of the powerless.' - Carol Rumens, Poem of the Week, The Guardian, on A God at the Door
'Tishani Doshi’s latest collection showcases the power and eloquence of her verse. A God at the Door is a dizzying and unflinching guide to the crises we face in our current age – personal, social, political. This is no catalogue of woes but a fantastic lyrical challenge in which all of the poet’s resources are utilised to cast light on places others may rather keep hidden.' - Poetry Book Society Bulletin