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    ISBN: 9781772013573 | Paperback

    298 pages | Pub. Date: 20210914
    5.5 W × 8.5 H × 1 D inches
    forthcoming | Non-Fiction | Bisac: LCO004020
    Rights: WORLD

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A moving, poetic correspondence written during the ongoing military occupation of Kashmir.

The City That Is Leaving Forever is a unique instant-message exchange between Kashmir and Vancouver spanning more than five years in the lives of two Kashmiri Muslim women poets. As India’s military carries out extrajudicial killings and imposes a lengthy curfew in Srinagar, the authors describe daily hardships and small pleasures, share drafts of their poems, discuss multilingual poetics, and contrast the anguish of exile with life under lockdown. Their conversation expands during periods of intensifying conflict and personal loss, bearing witness to the harsh tolls (including depression and attempted suicide) exacted by patriarchy and state violence. The correspondence becomes a rigorously feminist record of two poets thinking through trauma together and creating new work in solidarity with emerging freedom struggles across the globe, “a book like a cluster of thorns with some few fragrant petals caught in them.”

“At a time of deliberate silencing of Kashmiri voices, a unique poetic resistance packed with a punch of righteous anger against tyranny and oppression. As the ‘shahids’ (witnesses) of our time, Rahat and Summaya carry forward the tradition of Kashmiri poet Agha Shahid Ali. Their compassionate poetic revolt must be heard, read, and felt.”
—Idrisa Pandit

“Two Kashmiri friends, one in Vancouver and the other in Srinagar, write to each other about everyday challenges: life under military occupation, lives constrained by patriarchal expectations. As poets of loss – and of resistant, stubborn hope – their dialogue unites them and us into eddying circles of pain, empathy, and love.”
—Suvir Kaul

In The City That Is Leaving Forever, Rahat Kurd and Sumayya Syed illustrate how poetry sustains them through the violence of war, the threat of a pandemic, summer heat, and incessant Vancouver rain. A remarkable testament to a gorgeous epistolary friendship.”
—Otoniya Juliane Okot Bitek

"A poetic, sometimes-hilarious, and heartfelt book … Resistance courses through every letter, every photograph, and every poem … [this] correspondence reveals the poetry constantly embedded in shared WhatsApp messages, photographs, emojis, and everyday anecdotes. This is a book that echoes and resonates with every page."
Minola Review

By Rahat Kurd

Rahat Kurd is a poet and a prose writer whose work has appeared in The Walrus and Maisonneuve magazines and has been nominated for a variety of literary awards. She is the author of Reading Rights: A Woman’s Guide to the Law in Canada (Quarry Press, 1999).

Read more about Rahat Kurd



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