“Fresh, dangerous and thrilling”: Churchill Fellow’s book of poetry and prose receives critical acclaim
Bhanu Kapil’s book Incubation: A Space for Monsters has been re-published after being out of print for a number of years. The re-release of this hybrid-genre book, which incorporates both poetry and prose in a shifting narrative environment, is accompanied by new writing in two new editions.
Innovative and provocative in form, the book follows Laloo – a Cyborg, girl, mother, child, immigrant, settler – on a road trip through America. Of the Prototype (UK) edition, American poet and essayist Ocean Vuong said, ‘I read everything Kapil writes and each time am left in awe at her erudite dexterity to see the book, not as a medium of mere knowing, but of questing. Here she casts the dialectical inquiry between continuity and rupture, deploying cyborgs and monsters to overlay and amplify existential questions for the Anthropocene. The result is an ambitious work of complex yet coherent semiotic prowess I can’t wait to teach from.’ The edition published by Kelsey Street Press (USA) has been described by the poet and novelist, Douglas A. Martin, as a “feminist , post-colonial On the Road.”
Kapil was also featured recently on a Between the Covers podcast, where listeners can hear a reading from the book, as well as a discussion of the influences, issues and experiences that have shaped her work, as well as Tender Buttons podcast, which discusses what it means to return to earlier work in new contexts. Earlier this Autumn, she was a headline performer at the Burley Fisher Festival in London, presenting a multi-media performance of Incubation with Blue Pieta (dramaturg, performer), Yasmin Rai (choreographer, performer) and Nina Harries (musician, performer). Their rehearsals took place in the Churchill College chapel.
The book was included by The Guardian in its November 3rd “Best Recent Poetry Review Round-up”, where it was described as “as fresh, dangerous and thrilling as the open road”. In the United States, Vol. 1 Brooklyn has selected Incubation as a book of the month for November, noting it “does transformative things when it comes to form, style, and genre”. Bhanu’s work was also recently covered in the Guardian as part of the Weight of Words exhibition in Leeds.