In Cutlish, a title referencing the rural recasting of the cutlass or machete, Rajiv Mohabir creates a form migrated from Caribbean chutney music in order to verse the precarity of a queer Indo-Caribbean speaker in the newest context of the United States. By joining the disparate threads of his fading, often derided, multilingual Guyanese Creole and Guyanese Bhojpuri linguistic inheritances, Mohabir mingles the ghosts that haunt from the cane fields his ancestors worked with the canonical colonial education of his elders, creating a new syncretic American poetry -- pushing through the "post" of postcolonial, the "poet" in the poetic.
About the Author
Rajiv Mohabir, an immigrant to the United States, is the author of The Cowherd 's Son (Tupelo Press 2017, winner of the 2015 Kundiman Prize; Eric Hoffer Honorable Mention 2018) and The Taxidermist's Cut (Four Way Books 2016, winner of the Four Way Books Intro to Poetry Prize, Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry in 2017), and translator of I Even Regret Night: Holi Songs of Demerara (1916) (Kaya Press 2019) which received a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant Award. His memoir Antiman received Reckless Books' New Immigrant Writing Prize and is forthcoming 2021. He received his PhD in English from the University of Hawai'i, Mānoa and his MFA in Poetry from Queens College, CUNY. Currently he is an Assistant Professor of poetry in the MFA program at Emerson College. He lives in the Boston area.