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Sugu Pillay’s thought provoking work shifts effortlessly between New Zealand – with a seamless integration of Maori themes – and Asian locales, especially India, but is also informed by classical thinkers and artists. A challenging read, with its allusiveness, but one with rewards for those open to its startling juxtapositions and time warps.
The title is from Flaubert’s comment: “Human language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat our tunes for bears to dance to when all the time we long to move the stars to pity”.
Previously titled In Medias Res, the collection was Highly Commended in the 2012 IP Picks Best Poetry Awards and is a collection of mostly published poems from 1995 to 2012.
Born and raised in Malaysia, Sugu Pillay has postgraduate degrees from Victoria University of Wellington and the University of London. Awarded a Creative New Zealand Grant in 1997, she completed her collection of short fiction, The Chandrasekhar Limit, which was published by The Writers Group, Auckland in 2002. In 2009, her play, Serendipity, premiered in Wellington. Her second play, Salaam Pukekohe, was co-winner of Playmarket’s 2010 Write Out Loud script development programme.
A former resident of Christchurch, Sugu now lives in Wellington.