We are incredibly excited to celebrate the huge achievement of Devjani Bodepudi in winning the award for ‘Best Pamphlet’ at the Saboteur Awards!
Her pamphlet ‘For the daughters carried here on the hips of their mothers’ is a stunning debut from an incredible writer and we are so proud to celebrate alongside Devjani. It has been such an honour to work with Devjani from when she entered the mentorship programme in 2021, through to publishing her pamphlet in early 2022, and to her receiving this well-deserved award. Devjani will undoubtedly go on to achieve even more accolades throughout her career!
The third in Fawn Press’ pamphlet series, ‘For the daughters carried here on the hips of their mothers‘ attempts to bear witness to the stories of women throughout generations who find themselves balancing on a winding timeline from the 1960s to the present day, spanning from India to Britain.
Through stunning poetic craft and storytelling, Devjani documents the past and the ways in which it leaves its bruise on the present. Although fading, the evidence of injury and loss remains and will remain, for generations to come.
Praise for the pamphlet:
“Devjani’s poems take us on a journey. We paddle downstream with women who have been brutally uprooted and arrive, a generation or two later, to find them thriving in unlikely places. We enjoy samosas with them, and collect seashells. We marvel at their grit, and suffer in their loss. These unflinchingly honest poems bear witness to the harsh realities of female destiny and sacrifices expected of us, as well as the love, aspirations and hope that anchor us. An observant pair of eyes guides the reader throughout, and through them, we learn to appreciate all the love and sacrifices it’s taken for us all to come this far.” -Sujana Crawford. “A tender, heart-warming and at times heart-rendering consideration of post-partition displacement through the often-neglected eyes of mothers and daughters. Voices of strength, survival and subversion bubbling under the surface, sometimes restrained, sometimes ‘careful not to stand out from their surroundings for fear of discovery’ like the Coconut Butterfly. Devjani understands this delicate position of being the stranger in a new land with a pining for home, a positioning that echoes in the next generation, via letters, praise, worship and a Proust questionnaire we get a taste of this precarious positioning. In spite of all of this Devjani shrills out a clarion call to remember those who have gone before and have ‘stepped into the black river’ carrying hope and their daughters on their hips.” -Roy Mcfarlane.
“This is poetry, it’s storytelling, it’s testimony. The words on these pages capture the complexities of the times when Just for a second, you allow yourself to miss your mother and then you continue to be her. For them. Growth and duty dressed in beauty. A stunning read.” -Casey Bailey.
“It’s remarkable to see such formal invention on every page coalesce into a beautifully coherent whole. Devjani Bodepudi has written the kind of collection you could open at any point and find insight, humour, compassion, but taken in a sequence it reveals a restless, soulful and radically honest power.” -Luke Kennard.
“Balancing storytelling and formal experimentation, Bodepudi’s poetry deals with movement; with the traditional and the new; with rituals rooted in history and those we create to invite sense into our lives; with longing and resolve. Themes of family, uprooting, discrimination, and more echo throughout this moving and urgent collection.” -Bohdan Piaseki.
“These are such wistful, strong poems about the chasm, the search for home—naming it and filling it with bright be(longing). I read them in awe of their delicacy, their febrile movements across time, reminding us that for all we carry, we have been carried too.” -Tishani Doshi.