Skin Can Hold
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More About This Title Skin Can Hold
Vahni Capildeo, author of Measures of Expatriation (Forward Prize, 2016), returns with a third Carcanet volume, Skin Can Hold. The collection marks an adventurous departure for a pen-and-paper poet. These texts are the fruit of collaborative experiments in theatre, dance and other performance, drawing on burlesque and mime as well as Capildeo’s fascination with Caribbean masquerade. The poems are astir with voices and bodies usually kept ‘between the lines’ of poetry: a weeping poltergeist disrupting the decorum of a lyric; polyglot workmen along an ivory-towercity road. Novels are turned inside out to become dramas of sleaze and surveillance.
Vahni Capildeo is a Trinidadian Scottish writer inspired by other voices, ranging from live Caribbean connexions and an Indian diaspora background to the landscapes where Capildeo travels and lives. Capildeo’s poetry (seven books and four pamphlets) includes Measures of Expatriation, awarded the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2016. Following a DPhil in Old Norse literature, Capildeo has worked in academia; in culture for development, with Commonwealth Writers; and as an Oxford English Dictionary lexicographer. Skin Can Hold reflects on experiments with masquerade and embodiment undertaken during Capildeo’s Judith E. Wilson Poetry Fellowship and Harper-Wood Studentship at Cambridge, and completed thanks to a Douglas Caster Cultural Fellowship at the University of Leeds.