Pilgrim to No Country
by Anvesh Jain
Pilgrim to No Country is a skillful, high-energy, visionary debut poetry collection. Anvesh Jain, reliving his childhood immigration from Delhi to Calgary over and over, reimagines home with humour and wisdom. From the primordial to the present, from alienation to acceptance, Jain enacts a mythic clashing of worlds: “Self-immolation at Banff – / Burn me, burn it all. Spread my ashes / From Peace Bridge … // Bring me back to New Delhi, / Where air cremates my tongue, / Where it is brown and dirty / And unblinded by white snow.” Balancing critique of empire, love for his new homeland, and longing for the old world, Jain’s Pilgrim to No Country makes you laugh out loud and then leaves you haunted.
|Dimensions||9 × 6 × .2 in|
Soft Cover with flaps
Anvesh Jain was born in Delhi and moved to Calgary when he was one year old. His poems have appeared in literary magazines in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Portugal, India, and South Africa. He was an editor at The Hart House Review from 2018 to 2021. Anvesh is a chai enthusiast, and loves cricket. Pilgrim to No Country is his first book.
Anvesh Jain invites us into the in-between world of a suburban Calgary childhood steeped in a South Asian past. The terrain teems with memory and myth, backyard cricket games, and fragrant oceans of chai. Sensual, tender, at times angry and wry, these poems travel through Jain’s two homelands and “the many-named universe” of himself, claiming a place of wholeness and joyful possibility.
~ Shaun Hunter, author of Calgary through the Eyes of Writers
An outstanding debut. Defiantly of its time and place, Pilgrim to No Country is nonetheless poetry for any country, language that feels alive from a smart observer of his and our world.
~ Nick Mount, author of Arrival: The Story of CanLit