Winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize 2020. Poetry Book Society Choice for Summer 2020.
Bhanu Kapil's extraordinary and original work been published in the U.S. over the last two decades to create what she calls in Ban en Banlieue (2015) a 'Literature that is not made from literature.' During that time Kapil has established herself as one of our most important and ethical writers, whose books often defy categorisation, as she fearlessly engages with colonialism and its ongoing and devastating aftermath. Always at the centre of her books and performances are the experiences of the body, and, whether she is exploring racism, violence, the experiences of diaspora communities in India, England or America, what emerges is a heart-stopping, life-affirming way of telling the near impossible-to-be-told.
How To Wash A Heart, Kapil's first full-length collection published in the U.K., depicts the complex relations that emerge between an immigrant guest and a citizen host. Drawn from a first performance at the ICA in London in 2019, and using poetry as a mode of interrogation that is both rigorous, compassionate, surreal, comic, painful and tender, by turn, Kapil begins to ask difficult and urgent questions about the limits of inclusion, hospitality and care.