The Flayed City
Hari Alluri is Michaux for our time. Which is to say: he is the poet who is able to find myth in our days of sorrow and displacement, when so many lose homes and identities, Hari Alluri offers a new music. When cities are destroyed by fire, Hari Alluri offers lyric fire that heals the heart, that lets the imagination save us. When there is nothing left to say and the page of our drive to stop the pain is brightly-lit and blank, Hari Alluri brings a few words that sing, brings them by the hand, gives them to us—not just words but images, sparks, from which the fire comes, from which whole villages are alive again. This is the poet to live with.
—Ilya Kaminsky, author of Dancing in Odessa
Hari is one of the best young poets writing today. His voice is at once smart, meditative, funny and fraught. And yes, he also knows how to write a gorgeous line.
—Marilyn Chin, author of Hard Love Province
In its commitment to action and an ethical destabilising of the ‘I’, Hari Alluri’s Flayed City is a guide through layers of identity, language, association and loss. We enter the city as a metaphorical space, as a complex location, with poems that speak to a nomadic subjectivity, always traversing the knowable world of empathy and memory. Alluri’s sumptuous language, his prophetic warnings and his carving up of the visible world with sonic alacrity, are a testament to our times. He ‘eyes the eye’ with the lyric ‘we’ of human compassion—Flayed City puts its ear to the earth and sings an unforgettable chorus.
—Sandeep Parmar, author of Eidolon
Told with a “contraband tongue,” Hari Alluri’s The Flayed City witnesses the city in transformation—a ghosted landscape which holds reached-across oceans, collapsed mornings and imminent danger. Despite ever-present soldiers, despite oil-slicked rift, The Flayed City is a love song to difficult memory, to naming a “thousand pent-up names” swelling in the grass, a tender letter voicing “a yearning to arrange our grief” in a future world desperate against war.
—Ching-In Chen, author of The Heart’s Traffic
Nearby, in the phosphorescence,” these poems of The Flayed City hunger for the miraculous accuracy of lyric. They perceive and persist as language must, determined to remember, to disperse forgetting. Hari Alluri carries the cadence of the city, and that which survives and postpones it.”
—Joan Naviyuk Kane, author of Hyperboreal
The Promise of Rust
Praise for The Promise of Rust
I am thrown by Hari’s collection where the city is akimbo and cut with cactus sap, whalesong, the child and father where the voice shakes with the elders drinking grog, longing for stray dogs and alleyways. In the gentle sway of a flag, Hari finds violence—because he carries a new, quiet brush of multi-currents, of multi-worlds to paint this holographic life-scape; a most rare set of poems—with jazz beat word lines, long-line wisdom and open space scenes where you can widen your eyes, scrape your hands and rush into colliding worlds, the “phosphorescence,” that is, the “flow mixed,” the “blur of it,” “the infinite capacities,” the “drunk-walk” of total vision. Love this post-surreal kulingtang, read Hari’s oceanics, his cement melter; it is pushing out your green rain skin—come back with your delicious original self. Bravo, many bravos! —Juan Felipe Herrera, former U.S. Poet Laureate
Carving Ashes. Kamloops: CiCAC Press, 2013.
Praise for Carving Ashes
Hari Alluri’s poems span an impossible distance, carve an iridescent faith and tremble with all the loss only a truly global soul can know. These are incantations for a new being, a new hope, one that is always being born. —Chris Abani, author of The Face: Cartography of the Void, The Secret History of Las Vegas and Graceland
the hum of Carving Ashes gathers guava’s advice in light of jackal’s discord. we imagine landing and are grateful for the barong and the blues Hari Alluri offers us rooked and stooped. just stunning melodies lovers reverence for solidarities and home against implacement are found here. as Alluri labours the boxes seem endless yet he carries on to provide the workers with a manual. fabling over time across distance like the local Ibadan boys those sly lovely area boys listening to a call the poems of this book say something that matters. they have found teachers in the caverns. their brash talk on the sidewalk like quiet concrete smoke scales walls with words. walls will get hauled down. an echo refrain longs to finish impractical tasks. scraps form open tongued rhythm lessons a lantern later on the porch after the summer rain. —Cecily Nicholson, author of Wayside Sang and From the Poplars
Carving Ashes by Hari Alluri undercuts, inundates, and inhabits anew the languages that hold us—masculinities, “the New World,” ethnicity. It is a book that breaks the spine of the backlash, even as it lets us be a broken whole. This is poetry that disintegrates to create and leaves to remain, and you might not understand where you are until you read it. Go with Hari Alluri’s Carving Ashes and know.” —Wayde Compton, author of The Outer Harbour and After Canaan: Essays on Race
an aerogramme letter winging across generations of diaspora and occupied and resisting land, carving ashes is a compendium of muscular, lyrical prayers. they’re all love letters—to bangalore, to the other young black and brown dudes working the UPS line, to the water that connects both, travelled by brilliant kin who have always known how to steer small boats through big water. thank you so much for telling these secret histories. our ancestors and those to come are happy. —Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Lambda Award winner, author of Dirty River, Love Cake, Consensual Genocide, The Revolution Starts at Home