“Hand in hand with the beauty of these poems is their resiliency, as they capture the desire of the spirit to overcome and to connect with others, whether it is another person or a flower.”
Tuhin Das is a Bengali poet, activist, political columnist, short story writer and essayist. His work is widely published in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India. He is the author of eight poetry books in his native language. Exile Poems: In the Labyrinth of Homesickness, translated from Bengali by Indian translator Arunava Sinha, comprises sixty-five poems written in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, after Das is forced to flee from his home in Barishal in 2016. These poems chronicle Das’s innermost thoughts, insuppressible fears, and poignant observations as he considers both places, the one he left behind and the one that offered him sanctuary. Das’s story is one of resilience, meditative self-reflection, and courageous rebellion as he navigates a new life in exile and continues to fight for freedom of expression.
Since 2013, Das has been the target of fundamentalist militant groups who have murdered secular writers and activists in Bangladesh. Instead of protecting him, the police collected and examined his writings for anti-Islamist statements to use against him. In order to save his own life, he had no choice but to go into hiding and find a way out of Bangladesh. Tuhin Das is currently an ICORN writer-in-residence of City of Asylum in Pittsburgh.
“A heartfelt collection of poems, intense and evocative, singing of a longing for home, the confusion of exile, and a hope for reconciliation between the bittersweet memories of Bangladesh and the promises of a new life in America.”
Edward Hower, author of A Garden of Demons and River Music
Bridge & Tunnel Books
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Exile Poems will be available for sale from White Whale Bookstore. Signed copies will be available at the event.