Curb maps our post-9/11 political landscape by locating the wounds of domestic terrorism at unacknowledged sites of racial and religious conflict across cities and suburbs of the United States.
Divya Victor documents how immigrants and Americans navigate the liminal sites of everyday living: lawns, curbs, and sidewalks undergirded by violence but also constantly repaved with new possibilities of belonging. Curb witnesses immigrant survival, familial bonds, and interracial parenting in the context of nationalist and white-supremacist violence against South Asians. The book refutes the binary of the model minority and the monstrous, dark “other” by reclaiming the throbbing, many-tongued, vermillion heart of kith.
Publication Date: April 20, 2021
Curb maps the exact locations of post-9/11 white-supremacist violence against South Asians with exact markings: dots, lines, squares, DMS coordinates, soundscapes, diacritical marks, Latin, Hindi, Gujarati, Malayalam, and “No English.” Divya Victor’s innovative lyrical exactness lays bare the US nationalist project and movingly documents and reenacts exact moments of diasporic bodies lived out in place and history. Curb’s existential coordinates cast a powerful spell against empire’s geography.
DON MEE CHOI, author of HARDLY WAR and DMZ COLONY (Wave Books)
Divya Victor’s fine-spun Curb carefully tracks, documents, and descriptively elucidates the veritable language of testimony to make visible the invisibility of South Asians, particularly those targeted and erased by domestic terrorism and violence in the United States. These poems speak with potency as they innovate methods of thinking about what a speaker can witness and who they can address. These poems buck the traditional lyric to go to the matters of the “she in me,” to what is “swollen and pressing,” to the “birth certificates” and the “death certificates,” and to the lives that are “settled out of suitcases.” She writes deepening sequences that evoke the “locution/location” at the heart of migration. Curb is as extraordinary as her previous book, Kith, and continues to build on its perceptual engagements. This collection is an outstanding document that locates us in the coordinates of an abode where we can discuss who gets counted, heard, or “read” with the compassion and love required to belong in community.
PRAGEETA SHARMA, author of Grief Sequence (Wave Books)