Shalini Sengupta is a final year PhD student at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom, and a Ledbury Poetry Critic. Her thesis takes an intersectional approach to the concept of modernist difficulty, and explores the poetry of lesser-known British (and diasporic) feminist writers. Her academic writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, with the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry, The Bloomsbury Companion to Contemporary Poetry in Ireland and the UK, and Contemporary Women’s Writing.
“Enabling Entanglements”: Rethinking Modernist Difficulty in the Sixth Extinction
There’s something incredibly unsettling about the dispassionate description captured in these lines, which the reader encounters midway through “Pinky Agarwalia,” a science fiction narrative written by the British-Indian poet Bhanu Kapil. By Kapil’s account, the story revolves around the destruction of what was once Earth by a thermonuclear war and opens in medias res with the narrative voice of its eponymous protagonist: the orphaned Punjabi child named Pinky Agarwalia.