For Rupinder Kaur, writing, along with any other art form, should be azaad – free: free to express what the artist wants or needs to say, without any censorship. Rupinder is known for speaking her mind and this is reflected in her poems.
In Rooh, her debut poetry collection, she takes us on a poetic journey that transcends borders and arbitrary boundaries of subject and style. Her work straddles English and Punjabi culture – fusing words from Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu and English. Her poems look at love, religion, identity, politics, history, taboos, society – often questioning orthodox views, particularly around the roles that different genders are expected to adopt. Rooh has a grand scope, and stares unblinkingly at the world. It is a stunning first collection from this young, intelligent poet.
To reflect these concerns the poems in Rooh have been detatched from their own moorings, to become and single river of verse. A river that by turns widens and narrows, meanders and charges rapidly onwards, that is contained when it isn’t breaking its bounds. The poems move with the freedom that Rupinder wishes she could see in the world around her – and with this in mind this book can be read in one long sitting or can be dipped into and out of like a cold river on a hot day, as your own rooh or soul dictates.
Rupinder Kaur is a Birmingham born Panjabi poet and biomedical science student with an immense love for South Asian arts. She sees writing and reading poetry as a way to liberate the soul.